Imagine if your best friend got lost in the woods one night after you and some other friends had tried acid for the first time. When you finally find her the next morning, she is totally not the same person. She’s shaky and jumpy and swears that someone keeps touching her. She stops sleeping and showering and eating and brushing her teeth. That’s scary, right? But what’s terrifying is the day she comes back to school apparently normal, and starts methodically ruining the lives of her friends. And you, as her best friend, are going to be her grand finale.
I loved how 80s inspired this novel was. Every chapter was named after an 80s pop song, and E.T. and Phil Collins were littered throughout the story. There were big hairdos and mixtapes and just all of the nostalgia. I might have been born at the tail end of the 80s, but it’s still the decade I feel the most connected to. I was raised on a diet of 80s music; Foreigner and Queen and Journey remain among my favorite bands. So I’m a sucker for 80s nostalgia.
Friendship was the central theme here. How much strain can a friendship handle before it breaks? How far would you go to save a friendship? The power of friendship is really the hero of this story, presented in the guise of Abby, our main protagonist. She will do whatever it takes to fix her friend, and the lengths she goes to in order to ensure her friend’s future are incredibly impressive.
The story was kind of a slow burn, taking you through a demonic possession step by step. The exorcism didn’t come into play until the last 50 or so pages. But once the exorcism get underway, things go south fast. There were other disgusting scenes earlier in the book, but the exorcism scene took the cake. It was vile. And it was awesome.
This book was billed as “if Tina Fey wrote ‘The Exorcist’,” and that comparison was exactly right. It was funny and scary and absolutely vile. It hit the same buttons for me as Stranger Things, which is one of my absolute favorite shows. If you’re looking for something scary that will make you laugh and also make you nauseous, this is definitely the book for you.