Welcome to another Bedtime Book Review in which I put down my kindle and pick up a good old paperback/hardback in a bid to get my tbr pile under control. You can read my last bedtime book review of Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell here.
Title:My Best Friends Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Date Published:11th July 2017
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? Like an unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist, My Best Friend s Exorcism blends teen angst, adolescent drama, unspeakable horrors, and a mix of 80s pop songs into a pulse-pounding supernatural thriller.
The story starts with Abby finding out the exorcist is dead, which takes her back to the terrible events in the summer of 1988 when her best friend Gretchen was possessed by a demon.
Now I kept seeing this novel on Instagram and what attracted me to it was the absolutely gorgeous cover! It’s so eye catching and also it has that air of nostalgia as it looks like an old VHS tape (if you’re reading this and don’t know what a VHS tape is, please google it and stop making me feel so old!!!)
This book is pure eighties teenage nostalgia. I have to be honest there were quite a lot of slang that I didn’t quite get because I’m not a) American and b) old enough to remember 1988 properly but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the novel.
The main theme of the story is about friendship. We see Abby and Gretchen’s friendship from the very beginning, when she was the only one to turn up to Abby’s tenth birthday. The friendship continues into high school until the fateful night they decide to try drugs. Gretchen tries to skinny dip but it all goes wrong ending up with her getting lost. They find her the next day but there is something wrong with her. She stops looking after herself, self harming. Nobody stands by her except Abby even though Gretchen is utterly horrible to her.
There’s quite a few unlikable characters in the book but I did really like Abby. She’s sweet loyal yet a little naive and I did feel like shaking her and saying ‘no don’t do that!’ while I was reading.
While I didn’t find the book that scary, it takes a lot to scare me these days, but there were some pretty stomach churning moments. I’m just going to say worms and bugs and leave it there.
My only disappointment was it wasn’t really explained how Gretchen became possessed, that was something I felt could have been expanded upon a little more.
Overall My Best Friend’s Exorcism is not for the faint of heart but I think will appeal to anyone who enjoys those old eighties teen movies.
About The Author:
Grady Hendrix is an American author, journalist, public speaker, and screenwriter known for his best-selling 2014 novel Horrorstör. Hendrix lives in Manhattan and was one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival.
Next up on Bedtime Book Reviews: Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon.