Quincy Carpenter is the lone survivor of a massive massacre. Ten years ago she went away with a group of friends to Pine Cottage, a cabin in the woods to celebrate the birthday of a friend. She is the only one who came home alive. Everyone that weekend was murdered; Quincy was attacked as well, but survived her ordeal only to not remember what happened. She remembers arriving at the cabin with her friends, she remembers events leading up to the night of the murders, and she remembers being saved by a police officer as she ran through the woods covered by blood. The police investigating the murders don’t believe her when she does not recall the attack. How could everyone be murdered viciously and she survived with non-life threatening stab wounds?
Now the press has dubbed her a “final girl” She is not the only one with this title. Two other women who have survived vicious attacks have also been dubbed “final girls” by the media. The press and society are interested in how these women survived. The press wants to know everything about their attacks and what these “final girls” had to do in order to survive.
Quincy has made a life for herself since her ordeal. She lives with her boyfriend; she has a baking blog and gets through her day with the help of her Xanax prescription. She has also maintained a relationship with Coop, the police officer who saved her all those years ago. Even after ten years, she still can’t remember the massacre that occurred at the cabin.
Then she receives word that one of the other “final girls”, Lisa is dead, and the other final girl (Sam) shows up on her doorstep. Suddenly Quincy’s life is turned upside down and she starts engaging in activities that are out of the norm for her. Sam wants Quincy to remember what happened the night she was attacked. She tells her that knowing will set her free, but will it? Do you really want to remember your worst nightmare? Will knowing set your free or will it make things worse?
Soon Quincy begins to have her doubts about her new “friend” Sam, about the night her friends were murdered. She learns more details about Lisa’s death which make her even more concerned about Sam, her own recent behaviors and that horrible night all of those years ago. Suddenly the nice comfortable life she has built for herself begins to unravel.
Based on the description and all of the reviews that I had seen, I was so sure that I would fall in love with this book.
I didn’t hate this book but I didn’t really like it either. This was one of those books that I really didn’t connect with any of the characters and by the time the big twists started happening, I just didn’t care what happened. The characters are all unsympathetic and while I didn’t mind the narrator being unreliable, I also didn’t care much about her and could not stand her. She’s so frustratingly irritating and cringingly moronic that I found her to be completely unrealistic. While I found myself interested in learning what massacre each girl was involved in, other than Quincy’s, these were told and explained very quickly in no more than a couple paragraphs. Quincy’s is a bit more involved because of the memory issue. The book does alternate between timelines going back and forth between present day and 10 years in the past at Pine Cottage. Unfortunately, the events are on the slow moving side. The story started off quite interesting, but lost steam about a third of the way in, until it picked up again the final fifty pages. The writing is solid and the mood tense, but I can definitely think of better books than this one more deserving of the attention it has received. If you’re looking to fulfil a need for a slasher read, this won’t quite do the trick. It takes a while to get to the killings.
The book was a bit different than I expected. Since the description mentions a horror movie-scale massacre, I expected the book to be pretty gruesome. I wanted gruesome because I am weird like that. There are a few more bloody scenes but not like I had thought it would be. In the end of the day, I didn’t hate this book, it just wasn’t really for me.
I am not going to be recommending this book but I do think that a lot of readers will like it a lot more than I did. There were a few twists that I wouldn’t have ever been able to guess and the premise was pretty interesting. This is the first book by Riley Sager that I have read and I would be open to trying his work again in the future.
High expectations probably harmed my reading. And some reveals fall on the predictable side. I really wanted to love this. That didn’t happen.
Overall, my feelings are pretty indifferent on this one. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t memorable. I did, however, stay up way too late wanting to finish it so it definitely has that readability thing you want from a thriller.
My Rating : 3/5