Review | Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final GirlsFinal Girls by Riley Sager
Dutton | July 11, 2017

About the Book: Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.


What the hell do I even say about this insane book?? That was nuts! It was so nuts, but in a great way.

I never saw that ending coming!

Quincy, the main character, is a Final Girl. This is a term I’d never heard of until reading this book. A Final Girl is the lone survivor of a massacre in a movie. You know, like Sydney in Scream. The Final Girl. Quincy hated being a Final Girl. Lisa Milner, however, embraced it. She used it to help others, and secretly Quincy admired that. Her death rocked Quincy’s already shaky foundation.

Adding this new pain on top of Pine Cottage, I really needed to believe the damage done to Quincy because of the trauma. Thankfully, I did. I needed to believe the tragedy she lived through left her with emotional scars too. I so did.

Quincy was a mess.

The thing is, throughout the entire book I couldn’t quite bring myself to trust her. For reasons, she was an unreliable narrator. That immediately made her a suspect in my head. She was definitely top three, at least. I really cared about her; I just didn’t trust her. I’m pretty sure we aren’t really supposed to. I liked that. In most of the stories I read, you usually trust the main character is off limits. Their ‘untouchable’ so any time an author shakes that up, I’m excited.

Even with all my sleuthing, the ending of Final Girls shocked the shit out of me. It was fantastic! It was just the kind of thriller novel I’ve been looking for. It was intense all the way through, accumulating in a phenomenal reveal. Finally, it actually made me feel spooked. I’m not usually afraid when I read a “scary” book, but Final Girls made me want to look over my shoulder.

I’m officially on record saying Riley Sager rattled me.

Which is why I’m already digging out my next Sager book. I’m thinking, Lock Every Door?

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

4 Responses

  1. I really need to give this book a go again. Your review has me dying to pick it up.

    That’s funny – almost every Thriller I’ve read recently has an unreliable narrator. That’s one of the things I love about the genre.

    Great review!


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