Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hang On, It's A Doozie!

If I had been a "troubled" teen rather than a nerdy band geek back in high school, I might think My Best Friend's Exorcism was an actual flashback. Hendrix sets this novel firmly in the 1980's, and although I graduated a few years before Abby & Gretchen, all the cultural references from music to television and movies hit me full-on. What a ride!

I admit it. I really enjoyed this book! The characters were well developed and so easy to empathize with. Hendrix fully captures the angst of female teens and the strange dance that is friendships among them. He clearly evokes that teenage sense that no adults are listening or capable of understanding or sympathizing with what is going on in their lives.

And lets be frank: what is going on in Abby and Gretchen's lives is quite a lot more than normal teen issues! I've read a couple reviews that were disappointed by the lack of details on the demon possession. That, I think, is the point. Sometimes being possessed is a matter of small changes that end up, down the road, in very dark places. Beguiling. Starting to change the people around them in small ways. Cajoling. It's not all turning green, head spinning around 360 degrees and spewing pea soup like Linda Blair. I appreciated how only Gretchen's BEST friend could see the small things that were adding up to something BIG.

If you like YA paranormal stories or YA horror, you are going to enjoy My Best Friend's Exorcism. My thanks to the publisher, Quirk Books, for the ARC I received in exchange for this honest review.

From the Publisher . . .

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act . . . different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

About the Author . . .

Grady Hendrix is a writer and journalist and one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival. A former film critic for the New York Sun, Grady has written for Slate, the Village Voice, Time Out New York, Playboy, and Variety.

Also by Grady Hendrix: Horrorstor

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds—clearly, someone or something is up to no good. To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift—and they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new twenty-firstcentury economy.

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