Written by Grady Hendrix | Published by Quirk Books
I was a huge fan of Grady Hendrix’s previous novel, Horrorstor, a ghost story set in an Ikea-like superstore. It took a genre and spun it on its head, changed things and made something fresh out of a well-trodden genre. I was very excited about his new book, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, and read it in a couple of days after being sent a copy by the man himself.
The story, in a nutshell, follows Abby and her best friend Gretchen. After a night experimenting with drugs, Gretchen goes missing in the woods neat their friends place, and when she turns up again, Abby begins to see that Gretchen, her long-time bestie, isn’t the same person she used to be. Abby seeks help from various people, but with Gretchen manipulating things, people see Abby as the liar and the one who is having a negative effect on everything. Things escalate and a once normal teenage world becomes dark and scary for all involved.
The way the book is presented is like a high-school yearbook. It is beautiful and helps to draw you in to the world and the story. Set in the 1980s with a backdrop of pop culture from that decade including the music, this is a mix of a high-school coming of age tale, a nostalgic look at a colourful decade and a creepy story of possession. Hendrix is such a talented writer that he can bring realistic and relatable characters to the page while also presenting comedic moments, sad ones and creepy atmosphere. There are moments of real tension, and moments where you feel like you’re watching an 80s teen movie. It’s just brilliant.
People who enjoyed Grady Hendrix’s previous book should really like this but it should also appeal to a wide range of readers. Fans of genres like horror, fantasy and sci-fi, as well as young adult and general fiction, should find something enjoyable about this book.
It was my most anticipated book of 2016 and I wasn’t disappointed. It was funny, creepy and fresh in concept, and I urge you to pick a copy up today.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism is out now from Quirk Books.