My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2016) – Grady Hendrix

Where do I even start with this book? I enjoyed this one so much.

We were in the local Chapters, and I was immediately caught by the cover. It’s designed to look like a 1980s horror movie on VHS. And the story embraces everything you loved about the 80s – the shows, the music, the fashions. It also puts me right back into high school.

Sold.

Touted as a cross between Beaches and The Exorcist, the story follows the friendship of two girls, Abby and Gretchen. From the moment they actually have a conversation at a roller skating rink, their relationship is cemented, and we join them through their high school career.

We share in their secrets, their moments, and treasure the time we are a part of.

There is humour everywhere through the story, but it’s not only a nostalgic comedy there is a truly horrific story underneath it. Gretchen, after an interesting night which sees some drug use and skinny-dipping, suffers something truly terrifying.

Abby, eager to help her friend, notices that something is wrong but even she’s not sure what it is. That doesn’t stop the horror from building, it’s so sharply woven into the heart of the story that you find yourself totally caught up in it.

While being a tale of friendship and growing up, not to mention the trials of high school, it also plays like an 80s horror movie, and a lot of the time walks the line where you can question whether something is supernatural or not.

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But Gretchen’s pleas to Abby are heartbreaking as you realise it’s all real.

I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say this is a great summer read, alternately gut-bustingly funny (I got some odd looks on the transit when I laughed out loud) and terrifying… I may never want a milkshake ever again.

Hendrix balances the story perfectly, infusing so much of the 80s you have to wonder if he is still stuck there.

It’s a fine line to walk cinematically to make a horror-comedy, but to do it in a book, and make it work, that’s an incredible achievement, and this one does it wonderfully. It’s a quick easy read, all of the chapters are titles of 80s songs which make for a great playlist on spotify as well as directly relating to the chapter itself.

If you grew up in the 80s, if you like horror movies, if you ever had a best friend you would do anything for, this book is definitely for you, and as soon as I finished it, I was determined to go out and pick up Hendrix’s other book, Horrorstor.

I can’t recommend this one enough, and I would insist you read it immediately, so that way we can talk about it! Pick it up, and let’s talk!

Grady-Hendrix

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