My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix Book Review
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My Best Friend's Exorcism Book Review
Abby and Gretchen are best friends, and no matter what they stick together. Even if one of them becomes possessed. During an experimental party with friends Gretchen goes missing, and when she’s found something isn’t quite right. Little by little the girl Abby’s best friend dissolves into a nervous unkempt person. And when people start being hurt around her, Abby knows something has to give. But no one is listening. Friends, teachers, parents, even priests push aside the strange behavior. It’s up to Abby to free Gretchen from the demon possessing her body.
Grady Hendrix knows exactly how to set a scene. There is no denying My Best Friend’s Exorcism takes place in the 80s. From the pop culture references to the conservative ideals the adults are teaching the children. When Abby does her best to help Gretchen, no adults want to believe her. Each excuse they come up with is a stark reminder of the timeframe the story takes place in. Readers will be taken aback by what now seems like strange ideas adults had about their children. Throughout the novel there are also old school flyers and newspaper articles that cement the behaviors readers are witnessing.
But despite the opposition Abby faces, she does her best to help Gretchen. And Grady Hendrix keeps Abby’s actions age appropriate. He paints a solid picture of a kid who just wants to help her friend and has no idea how to do so. She turns to the adults for help, knowing they should be the best chance at helping Gretchen. Each new excuse the adults craft becomes one more step away from hope for Abby. An overwhelming sense of dread and panic develops for both Abby and the reader as events continue to escalate.
With each turn of the page, the tone of the story grows in intensity. When the tipping point finally comes for Abby, her salvation occurs in a rather odd character. One who’s actions and attitude don’t mesh well with the tones of the story. While it may have been a way to lighten the burden on reader’s emotions, the Exorcist breaks up the tension a bit too much. With long monologuing dialogue and ditzy behavior, the moment seems to shatter and stumble a bit before regaining traction.
However, Abby’s quest to save Gretchen is filled with unsettling and creepy imagery. My Best Friend's Exorcism is perfect for those who enjoy 80s horror novels. And while there may have been moments that interrupted the story pacing, once it got back on track it really took off. If you're a reader who enjoys possession based horror, this is the story for you.
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