Saturday, August 12, 2017

[Book Review] Final Girls by Riley Sager

Book Review of Final Girls by Riley Sager

I'm a total sucker for thrillers that keep me on my toes. The suspense in Final Girls by Riley Sager was done so well! I found myself guessing at what would happen next and each time... I was wrong! It's one of those thrillers that makes you go, "OH! Why didn't I see that earlier!" or "I KNEW there was something up with x!"

In this book, Riley Sager takes the trope of the "final girl," the sole survivor that manages to stagger away from a massacre with serious injuries at the very end of a horror movie, and shows us what happens next.


Final Girls by Riley Sager

Click here to read the Goodreads synopsis. I personally, think this synopsis gives too much away. So if you like to dive into thrillers pretty blind like I do, just a caution there.


My thoughts:
I really needed to read a great thriller this week! This one, overall, did not disappoint!

First things first, I have to say that I LOVE that this book starts off with a major bang; an intense scene from the past. This hooked me immediately! We then jump to the present, and slowly learn what had happened through flashbacks, until the past and the present meet in one final standoff.

I loved the element of the flashbacks because I felt that this really helped add to the suspense. On one hand you just wanted to know what had happened in the past, but on the other you can't wait to see what happens next during the present! However, sections of each did tend to drag a bit (more on that later).

One thing that I really enjoy as a reader is when authors include foreshadowing. But not just any foreshadowing, the type that I totally don't pick up on until the very last minute. So many times I literally gasped out loud, groaned, or said "No!" once I realized what the author had been dangling right in front of my face the entire time. There were also a bunch of red herrings that totally threw me off (in a good way, of course!).

Needless to say I really enjoyed the storyline and the writing style!


Beware, the negatives:
I can't say I really cared for any of the characters, especially not the main character. They were all developed pretty well, and I enjoyed how we learned more about each of them as time went on. But I just thought that they were pretty unlikable characters in general, though not nearly as bad as Girl On The Train.

After the incredible first two pages, the book slowed way down. For the quarter of the book, I found myself quickly reading through the current day so I could hurry up and read the bits from past. But even then, quite a bit of the past was just boring. About halfway through, I found that my feelings switched; I was more interested to see where the storyline of the present was going vs. the storyline from the past.

There was a little consistency issue when it came to the main characters thoughts about suicide. On one page, she says she never considered suicide, but pages later she lists her top two preferences for suicide "if it ever comes to that." So clearly she had thought about it enough to make a list.


My favorite passages:
There’s safety in numbers, yes, but also uncertainty.

In my mind, that hour is a blackboard completely erased. There’s nothing left but dust.

We were, for whatever reason, the lucky ones who survived when no one else had. Pretty girls covered in blood. As such, we were each in turn treated like something rare and exotic. A beautiful bird that spreads its bright wings only once a decade. Or that flower that stinks like rotting meat whenever it decides to bloom.

I start to hyperventilate again, my body wrapped by a series of lung-scraping gasps. The sudden lack of air makes me woozy.

I'm the moth that got careless with the flame. Now I'm engulfed.

It feels as if gravity has failed and everything once secure and settled in my life is now tumbling in midair, suddenly just beyond reach.

I scream.
Then.
Now.
The two screams collide until I can't tell which is in the present and which is in the past.


My final thoughts:
A bit unoriginal, sure. And I had a few personal irks. But I would still very highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys slow building stories with action packed endings that you will never see coming. Four stars!


Thanks for reading!
Have you read a great thriller or horror novel recently? I'd love to hear about it!
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24 comments:

  1. So glad you liked it! I see a lot of mixed reviews, but I totally LOVED this book.
    And I absolutely agree on the not-so-likable characters, especially in Girl On The Train, yes!

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    1. Me too!! Your review made me bump it to the top of my list. I love seeing how similar our reading tastes are! :)

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    2. Aww that's nice to hear!
      Yes, I do see similar taste quite often! :)

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  2. Glad you enjoyed this one. I didn't care for it much but I think it's because I disliked all the characters so much. Also, the slow parts really bogged me down. Lots of people are loving it though.

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    1. Oh yes, I totally understand those feelings! The characters were quite awful!!

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  3. I am glad you enjoyed this one overall, Erica. I don't mind slow building thrillers or unlikeable characters (at least not some of the time) as long as they are well-developed, which it sounds like they are here. I think I would like this one.

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    1. Definitely! I'd love to hear what you think about this when you get the chance to read it :)

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  4. Ah this looks so amazing!!! And I admit I actually love unlikeable characters in thrillers (I adored the ones in The Girl on the Train!)

    Lovely review :) Thanks for introducing me to this thriller!

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words


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    1. :-D Of course!! I hope you absolutely love it!

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  5. I am glad that you had better luck with this one than I did. I was bored for most of the book and like you, didn't care for the characters. I do think it is going to be a popular read.

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    1. Yeah, I can definitely see why many people didn't like it with the slowness and the unlikable characters!

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  6. Ooh I like that premise! And the suspense too- I've been loving thrillers lately. And I love it when I can't see the twists coming! Glad it was so good in spite of the issues. I'm reading Friend Request which is about a woman who gets a Facebook friend requestfrom someone who died. Freaky! I'm liking it so far. It's a little slow too but I think the twist is slowly building?

    I'll have to get this one.

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    1. I've been on a thriller kick as well! I just finished Here And Gone last night, and that one was incredible! I cannot wait to see what you think of Friend Request when you finish it! :)

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  7. I love thrillers and this one definitely sounds interesting! Thank you for sharing such a balanced review! :)

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    1. Of course! :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I love thrillers that keep you guessing! The unlikable characters gives me pause as who am I supposed to root for? Thanks for the heads up about the slow parts, as I'll know to just skim ahead.

    Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

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  9. Oh this sounds like a good one, will need to keep an eye out for it, thanks for reviewing & sharing

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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    1. Definitely!! :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. I've got this on audiobook on hold for myself at the library. Great review! :)

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    1. I can't wait to see what you think! :)

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  11. Yes I am glad and happy you really like this book. I did hear mix reviews about it, but now I am really intrigued too check this book out myself after reading your review. And see if I like it or not. Thank you so much for the awesome review and post Erica.

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    1. Definitely! I think as long as you go into it knowing it can be a bit slow and that the characters are unlikable, you'll have pretty good luck! :)

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