Author: Riley Sager
Length: 12.5 hours
Narrator: Erin Bennett, Hillary Huber
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Original Publication Date: 2017
Genre(s): Mystery, Suspense, Fiction
Everyone knows about Pine Cottage and the horrors that occurred there over ten years ago. But Quincy Carpenter is the only person alive who was actually there. She is the sole survivor of the Pine Cottage Murders—a final girl, as the media calls her, along with Lisa and Sam, two other sole survivors of their own tragedies. Quincy has tried to move on in the years since her friends were all murdered: she has a nice apartment, a caring boyfriend, and a successful baking blog. But when one final girl winds up dead, and the other turns up on Quincy’s doorstep, Quincy’s past threatens to re-surface, and her carefully structured world starts to crumble.
I started taking notice of Riley Sager when his most recent book was a Book of the Month choice. My co-worker would always talk to me about her options for the upcoming month, and I decided to look into Sager’s other books. Final Girls, his debut, appealed to me the most, and I instantly placed a hold on it. I was really excited to read it, until I actually started reading it.
Final Girls is told in first-person from Quincy’s point of view. The novel alternates between past—the night of the Pine Cottage murders—and the present. As you probably can assume, the chapters about Pine Cottage are the most interesting and thrilling. Unfortunately, they are the shortest and fewest of chapters. Present-day is utterly boring, even when Lisa dies and Sam turns up in Quincy’s life. I know the point of the present-day chapters is to slowly try to solve the mysteries going on and all, but I just couldn’t bring myself care. Maybe because I disliked all the characters so much.
Quincy, Sam, Coop, Jeff… They all sucked. Especially Quincy, our narrator. She survived such a traumatizing event, you’d think she would be a little more cautious and smart later in life. But you’d be wrong if you thought that. Quincy is stupid and reckless, and gets herself into so many messes. She uses her trauma as an excuse for bad behavior a bit, and I hate that. She really didn’t have any redeeming qualities, except maybe being a great baker. I’ll tell you one thing: this book really made me want to bake.
As I trudged on and on, my frustration only grew. Eventually, with only 1/4 of the book left, even the present-day chapters were interesting and tense, and the Pine Cottage ones actually gave me heart palpitations. Unfortunately, I was so sick of the book at this point that I just wanted it to end. I just wanted to find out everything and be done with it.
The end of the book was indeed a thriller, but the rest of it was too slow and boring to hook me. I need to be interested from the beginning, and I wasn’t. I will say the author does well with twists, even though I guessed early on the biggest twist at the very end. I wasn’t 100% sure, but I was 50% sure. I’m not sure I’ll read any of Sager’s other books, but I might if you can convince me the entire thing is worth it, rather than just the ending.
–“I love them and all, but some families aren’t meant to be around each other.”