The Final Girl Support Group | Grady Hendrix
Summary: There’s a trope commonly used in horror movies, specifically those fitting the slasher genre, called the ‘final girl’. This is an unassuming main character that eventually triumphs over her attacker, most likely causing their death. What if the final girl character became so common, they collected as group therapy? Place six final girls together in a room for counseling and watch the fireworks go. What happens when they start getting picked off… AGAIN?
Recommendation: Lynette is a great example of the unreliable narrator. She’s got issues on top of her issues. Anxiety, paranoia, a past with believable reasons for this alteration to her personality – the girl is getting help, professionally. But when things are happening to the final girls through violence and accident that no one seems capable of stopping, who will become the last final girl? Who is hunting the hunted?
Run, Rose, Run | by James Patterson and Dolly Parton
Summary: Take one run-away, give her a voice and the need to write lyrics, and set her on a path toward Nashville. Add a sprinkle of fairy godmother decked out in sparkles and you’ve got the magical transformation from victim to victor. What can’t AnnieLee triumph against? Hrm, maybe the past will catch up with her after all?
Recommendation: I hardly ever read Patterson – I listened to the audiobook because of the miraculous Dolly Parton’s involvement. Being quite candid, if you are hoping for a satisfying capture of or redemption by the bad guys, no such luck. This work focuses on the main character and her impossible network of supporting friends. Half fantasy, it’s full of colloquialisms and “plain talk” as well as descriptions of Nashville and the country singer life. Dolly plays (essentially) herself and the insight into her character is telling.
The Good Sister | Sally Hepworth
Summary: Growing up in this family is a roller coaster, especially once the sisters begin to mature. Rose and Fern are quite different from each other, both leaning into a codependent relationship allowing Rose to take care of Fern who can’t make smart decisions herself. With mom in the nursing home but improving in her communication skills, things are about to heat up. What secrets don’t both sisters already know and who’s keeping them from knowing?
Recommendation: I found myself surprised by a number of factors as I listened to the audiobook. I learned more about neurodivergence than I could have anticipated. I observed the successful navigation of sensory and communication issues (along with some unsuccessful attempts). I experienced great satisfaction in the relationship Fern develops with her boyfriend, another off-kilter character. I grew incensed with the abuses and mistreatments their family faced. It was a highly emotional experience.