Friday 13 November 2020

Book Review | My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Title: My Best Friend's Exorcism 
Author: Grady Hendrix • Author's Site 
Publication Date: 17th May 2016 by Quirk Books
Format: Owned Physical Copy
Target Audience: Young  Adult
Genre: Horror  



Trigger Warnings: Attempted suicide, child abuse (physical, on page), references to sexual assault, drug use.  



The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act...different. She's moody. She's irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she's nearby. Abby's investigation leads her to some startling discoveries--and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?



My Thoughts


“By the power of Phil Collins, I rebuke you!” 

This was my most anticipated read of October and boy, did it not disappoint. As soon as I saw people talking about this book in, I think it was late 2018/early 2019, I knew I had to get my hands on it purely because I am completely infatuated with everything 80's. Plus, look at that cover! Look how amazing it is, I love the design so much!
This is a YA horror/paranormal book that is set in the late 80's and follows two childhood best friends, Abby and Gretchen. After they try acid for the first time, that's when things start to get weird. Abby notices changes in Gretchen's behaviour that can only be explained by one thing; Gretchen has been possessed by the devil. Abby makes it her mission to drive this demon from her friend at any cost.
I'll admit it took me a while to get into the writing and the plot but after a couple of chapters I was completely sucked in. The events that happen in this book are so wacky and completely ridiculous so I can understand why it won't be to everyone's taste but it's exactly the kind of weird that I like. 
The friendship between Abby and Gretchen is the main focal point and it's truly a great friendship. I loved that we got to see their relationship develop from kids to teenagers. It was incredibly relatable, they bond over obscure interests (E.T., Phil Collins and shit parents!) and you truly felt the depth of their bond. I never once doubted their friendship or thought they wouldn't go to the ends of the earth for each other.
It's jam packed with 80's references as you'd expect and I was living for it! I wasn't even born until 1996 but something about the 80's is just so appealing to me. The colours and the music and the films, it's just everything that I love. The chapter titles were 80's songs, roller skating was still a massive deal and big, big hair was in! The dialogue and atmosphere, it all felt genuine to the decade. Hendrix also did a great job of portraying the teenage angst of high school, the obsession of wanting to fit in and the petty bitchiness that emerges in friendship groups.         
I don't want to talk too much about the horror side because, spoilers, but I will say it's executed and paced really well. It's mixed in with the other adolescent drama and neither side felt overpowering. The conclusion worked so well and it was a rare book that I loved the ending of.           
This is just such a fun book, it's humerous and relatable and kinda gross at times. I'm already itching to pick up another of Grady Hendrix's books so I'll just leave you with this little message...


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