That feeling you get from exploring a good story. A bookish podcast discussing and reviewing books and films as I journey through my ever growing TBR backlog and watchlist.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

I know it sounds crazy when I’m about to discuss a book about a possession/exorcism, but if there is one word that I can think of to describe what Grady Hendrix has given us in this book… it’s FUN!

My Best Friend's Exorcism
Title: My Best Friend's Exorcism
Published: 05/17/2016
Categories: ,
When a summer party goes horribly wrong, best friends Gretchen and Abby find themselves facing a true test of their friendship. It's the late 80's and Phil Collins, Madonna, and Swatch Watches are all the rage. But can the power of Phil Collins and their best friend bond save them as they do battle with the devil?

Right from the start we are introduced to our two main characters, Gretchen and Abby, a classic pairing of weird new girl to the school and weird girl that isn’t rich like everyone else at school. It’s an E.T. themed party at a roller-rink for Abby’s birthday, a party in which no one but Gretchen shows up to, that begins their friendship. And it’s that friendship that will be tested by a demon that, years later at a summer party with their other friends, makes his presence known and threatens to tear apart all they hold dear.

Naturally, the story features quite a few characters since it takes place as Gretchen and Abby move through high school, but they are the main stars of this story without a doubt. Once they hit their teen years they are joined by 2 other girls and the “trope-a-licious” quartet serve as the leading ladies of this story.

What makes this story so much fun, even though the horror elements with the possession are extremely well done without being TOO over the top, is that Hendrix transports us back to a time in the late 80’s that anyone that grew up in that time will instantly recognize. It’s a perfect nostalgia trip that never feels heavy handed or forced.

If there is one knock against this story, it’s that it IS super predictable.

You aren’t going to be left wondering where things are headed or what’s going to happen. But as with so many horror films from the 80’s and 90’s, that just doesn’t matter all that much and is little more than an observation versus a problem.

Some stories are able to fully embrace the journey vs the destination vibes, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism falls squarely into that camp. Yes you will know where it’s all headed relatively quickly. No you won’t mind one bit because Hendrix’s writing is a superb balance of 80’s nostalgia, possession horror, pop culture references, and the bond between best friends vibes.

The story, as I said off the top, is just so much FUN.

It’s engaging, fast paced, just scary enough to feel tense yet not uncomfortably so, and absolutely full of that classic nostalgia from the late 80’s/early 90’s. You’ll get a little of the campy feeling at times, common in so many of the slasher/horror films of the time and honestly, it just makes this book sing.

I mean really, when a high school teen needs to prove the power of her faith and her friendship to defeat the devil and save her best friend against all odds, what better way to prove it than through the lyrics of Phil Collins?

Think of this story as a mashup of Mean Girls meets Stranger Things meets MTV meets nearly every 80’s sitcom you can remember, complete with big hair and plenty of singing into hairbrushes and curling irons. If it weren’t for the very predictable nature of the story, it would have been an easy five star read from me, and even with that I highly recommend this story to anyone wanting a fun, nostalgic trip down horror lane.

I really enjoyed this one.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix gets 4 out of 5 stars

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