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.
Once I'd picked this one up, there was no way for me to put it down.
I actually explained the premise to my boyfriend halfway through and he guessed the ending then and there, but I thought he was wrong and remained in suspense through the novel. There were many possible ways it could have gone that all were plausible and I loved how this kept me guessing. I did not trust a single character.
The book starts off with Quincy baking and the constant theme of flour and eggs simply adds to the mystique of the topic. It’s horrifying to think of someone with such simple pleasures going through something so horrible, and it’s all the more intriguing to discover the cracks in her shell and the way she’s still dealing with her traumatic past.
The way that the "Final Girls" interacted with that particular label made the story all the more fascinating. The three were nothing like each other and I enjoyed learning about their personalities and their backgrounds.
There were horrifying scenes that had me wincing that I really enjoyed—they definitely brought me into the story and made me suffer alongside Quincy.
One arbitrary reference to race in this book really bothered me—it was incredibly needless and pulled me out of the book completely. I’m not sure what the reasoning behind that choice was, as other than that, the book was perfectly lovely.
I do highly recommend this as a thriller that will keep you in suspense.