Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield begins more than a hundred years ago at an inn along the River Thames. There, a mysterious child arrives dead and leaves alive. When three separate families claim her, the novel takes us through past and present to determine who she is. Read this when you are in the mood for an enchanting story that blurs the lines between reality and magic. It is Beartown by Fredrik Backman meets A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Best paired with a midnight feast of soup and cheese and apple pie with thick cream poured over it.
Quincy Carpenter is a successful baking blogger who lives in a wonderful apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her caring public defender boyfriend. She is also a Final Girl, one of three sole survivors of Freddy Krueger-esque massacres.
When one Final Girl is found dead in her bathtub and the second one shows up on Quincy’s doorstep, the story is launched.
Stephen King calls Final Girls by Riley Sager “the first great thriller of 2017.” Here’s what we thought:
Final Girls is a fun book! It reminded me of the movie Scream and it had me guessing all the way until the end. Quincy appears to have the perfect life ten years after her ordeal, but under the surface she is a hot mess fueled by Xanax, petty crime, some major memory gaps, and grape soda. The book isn't very realistic, but that is what made it so entertaining.
Final Girls is a horror movie-themed page turner, one with an engaging premise and a few sharp turns that help you overlook the nonexistent character development and bad writing. If you want an amusing diversion with a benign amount of blood and terror, Final Girls will do the job. But if you’re looking for more, keep on looking.
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To learn more about our thoughts on Final Girls, see below for our answers to a questionnaire inspired by Inside the Actor’s Studio with James Lipton. While we disagreed on everything from favorite characters to the place in the book we’d most want to visit, we both loved the baked goods and blog aspect of the book.