Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since elementary school and into high school. Then, during their sophomore year, after a strange night in the woods with friends, Gretchen starts acting weird and bad things start happening. Abby suspects that her friend is being possessed. Abby pleads for help from anyone who will listen by it soon becomes clear that she’ll have to save Gretchen on her own.
This book is wild. I loved that each chapter is the title of an 80s song. Music level: superior. The development of friendship at the beginning was great, as well. I really felt the bond between Gretchen and Abby as something special.
As the story moves further along, the story does get wilder and wilder. To the point where, suddenly I felt as if I had fallen unsuspectingly into a horror movie. Which, when I think about it, is a testament to Grady Hendrix’s storytelling skill. I was lead into a false sense of security. Everything felt cozy and fun until it felt like the complete opposite.
I won’t get into any details, but by the end i felt completely shocked at how horrifying the story was – I should have expected this. I mean, it’s clearly a horror book! I guess I just didn’t expect for it to get as intense as it did. Horror is not my thing, I have realized. But I can still appreciate this book for it’s excellent false sense of security at the beginning and the way it expertly dropped surprise after surprise until I couldn’t quite tell if it would ever end.
Heads up: several scenes involve themes of racism, eating disorders, and a few other things that were very uncomfy. I understand that this was a depiction of this era and location (the 80s in the south), and that those uncomfortable things also were intentional as a way of intensifying the sense of anxiety in the book.
Ending this review on a happy note: I absolutely love the book cover!
Rating: 📻 📻 📻 / 5 radios.