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.
Quincy Carpenter is one of the final girls. She was the only one to survive a brutal and bloody massacre at Pine Cottage, which makes her the last woman standing: a final girl. Quincy doesn’t remember what happened that tragic night, much to the disbelief of police, reporters, even family.
Flashforward Ten Years: Quincy likes to believe she lives a normal life, and hates being defined as one of the three final girls. However, when one of the other final girls, Lisa, commits suicide, Quincy realises she can’t escape the title because the media, the past and the other remaining final girl, Samantha, won’t let her.
This forces Quincy to face her past and her demons, because everything is not as it seems. And with Quincy having no memory of the night at Pine Cottage, she doesn’t realise how much danger she’s really in – from others and from herself.
This is one of those books that’s been sitting on my bookshelf since the day of its publication. I remember, two (almost three) years ago, reading this book’s blurb and buying it without any hesitation. I honestly don’t know what’s taken me so long to read this. I’ve picked it up twice, but have ended up reading something else: ironically one of those two times was Sager’s next novel, The Last Time I Lied, which I loved and gave 5 stars.
I’m absolutely itching for Sager’s 2019 release of Lock Every Door; so to bide my patience – third time lucky – I’ve finally picked this up and committed myself to reading it!
Final girls did not disappoint. There was a small percentage of the book where I was frustrated with the pace, but honestly, other than this, the book was completely engulfing from the start of the mystery to the very end. The book is largely told in the present (ten years after Quincy’s survival), but there’s also flashbacks to the night at Pine Cottage, to unravel what actually happened.
Sager is exceptional at making a mind tick, attempting to predict plots or uncover characters motives. I was trying chapter upon chapter to figure out what the heck was going to happen, and what actually happened that night at Pine Cottage. I managed to partially predict the ending, but not the entirety of it. I love that <b>Sager explored the majority of his plot turns</b>, and I love that he gave an ending that just seemed to perfectly fit with the whole notion of the book.
The characters here aren’t the type to make a reader love or adore them; they’re characters that cause suspicion and irritation.
You want to yell at Quincy: “what the hell are you thinking!?”
Beyond Quincy, all of the central characters were effective in bolstering the plot of suspicion, mystery, deception and so on. My emotions were a continuous pendulum, trying to discern whether to trust or suspect the characters; I felt like my mind was turned inside out with my mental dissection of them.
Riley Sager does not disappoint; an absolutely amazing book that, simply put, just gives Sager more gusto to his name as being one of the best mystery/thriller authors on the go right now. Final girls is a combination of mystery, thriller and psychological thriller, that is definitely worth picking up. Overall, I read this within two days and I’m rating it 4.5 stars, due to how obsessed I was with the plot. I cannot wait for his upcoming book, Lock Every Door, coming July 2019.
Final Girls by Riley Sager
Publication: July 2017
Genre: mystery/thriller, suspense
Thanks for reading!