BOOK REVIEW - FINAL GIRLS, RILEY SAGER
The concept of FINAL GIRLS is a very compelling one. Perhaps its completely new one, or perhaps it’s a variation on an old theme of wondering who will survive the carnage in a horror film – there is always one. Quincy and Samantha are two people who experienced trauma, but have developed very different ways in coping what has forever changed them. The ebb and flow of tension is dictated by Quincy's navigation around those parts of herself that have been masked in order to appear “normal” and it is a cleverly crafted balance.
FINAL GIRLS is a essentially a battle of the facades between the two survivors and the tension lies in seeing who it is that will be the stronger. A little sadness is woven in there too in that Quincy has endured so much and can’t quite get her mind around what it is to move on (much like the media can’t leave it alone, and that there are always going to be people out there who are obsessed with this sort of thing). It is a nail biting read to the end as we wait to see who will come through, and whether Quincy can marry up the parts of her memories that belong in nightmares with the horrific events that actually took place at Pine Cottage.
Life for Quincy is divided into two parts. Before Pine Cottage, and after Pine Cottage. Quincy's memory is fuzzy on the precise events that led to the death of all her friends on their mini holiday, but she has never been allowed to forget what it is that she will became in her survival; a Final Girl. The only one to stagger out of the forest that day, blood soaked and being chased by a knife wielding killer, was Quincy. The media continues to be obsessed with Quincy and two other “Final Girls”; Samantha Boyd and Lisa Milner – even though it has been years since their separate horrors. All three girls made it out of massacres when their school mates and friends did not. They were not untouched, but they made it through alive.
Moving away from the horrific legacy of being a Final Girl is not easy and Quincy is devastated to learn of the death of Lisa. Lisa had put her best efforts into forging on past the nightmares and was leading a productive and worthwhile life. The press latches onto Lisa's passing and unexpectedly it is the reclusive Samantha Boyd, who braves the media circus in order to reach Quincy. Samantha can't say where she's been hiding out all these years, but she wants Quincy to confront her memories of that night in Pine Cottage. Whether Quincy likes it, or not.