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review 2017-10-25 21:00
Leave the lights on scary
The Everett Exorcism (World of Shadows) - Lincoln Cole

The thing about demons and the occult is no matter how skeptical you are, even if you believe that it's all a bunch of bunk, there's that niggling at the back of your mind that thinks what if... The Everett Exorcism, with its ever-building tension, plays on that niggling thought until you're terrified to turn the page, but at the same time, you can't stop. 

Lincoln Cole has given us a wonderfully written, creepy as creepy gets tale. With strange looks, perfectly timed words that at any other time could be completely innocuous, and even a disturbing doll, the tension builds as Father Paladina investigates a possible possession. What he finds in Everett goes beyond a single person possessed and had this reader turning on the lights to chase the shadows away. 

If this first book in the World of Shadows series is any indication of what's to come, I can't wait for the next terrifying addition. 

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review 2017-10-12 00:00
My Best Friend's Exorcism
My Best Friend's Exorcism - Grady Hendri... My Best Friend's Exorcism - Grady Hendrix *2 nights! Didn’t want to put it down!! Sooo good. Review when it’s not the witching hour.
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review 2016-08-07 20:01
MY BEST FRIEND'S EXORCISM Review
My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel - Grady Hendrix

Synopsis: A heartwarming story of friendship and demonic possession.

 

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.

 

*****

 

Folks, I loved this book. I really, really, really loved this book.

 

While reading My Best Friend's Exorcism I experienced something pretty rare — I felt myself being totally and completely enraptured in the story. If I'm lucky, that happens maybe once or twice a year . . . and it hadn't happened at all this year — until this book, that is. At times I got frustrated while reading simply because I couldn't take it in fast enough. I wanted more! more! more! and I wanted to gulp it all down at once. I finished this book in two sittings, and it would've been one if life had not briefly gotten in the way. Yeah, it's one of those books.

 

What makes this novel sing is the author's obvious affection for the decade in which the story is set — the eighties — and the careful attention to detail that brings the setting and characters to life. The story focuses on two high school sophomores, and what happens when one of them becomes possessed by a demon. The story works because Grady Hendrix takes time in building these characters up, letting their friendship grow — it feels authentic. These girls are people I knew in high school, and I'm sure any reader would recognize them as well. By the time the bad stuff starts to happen the reader will already feel a deep sense of connection to and affection for all the characters, making the build-up to the climax and the resolution all the more striking and pulse-quickening.

 

It must be noted that this story is not The Exorcist. Every time I hear of a book
about kids or young adults possessed by a demon or the devil, my mind immediately shifts to that '70s William Blatty horror novel . . . But this ain't that. Hendrix makes this tale all his own, and while it's not as frightening or scarring, I enjoyed it just as much . . . if not moreso. There are so many pale imitations of The Exorcist out there, but My Best Friend's Exorcism stands on its own, and manages to not only get out from under the shadow of that classic tale but avoid it completely — a remarkable feat in its own right. Major props to Hendrix for that.

 

In short: read this now. I haven't loved a book this much since Owen King's Double Feature, and that released in 2013. This is a can't-put-it-down thriller about possession, drenched in neon colors and '80s pop songs. It's one of the more vibrant and fresh stories I have had the privilege of experiencing in quite some time. Scary enough for the horror audience but not too frightening for the faint hearted, My Best Friend's Exorcism is a story almost anyone can enjoy. If you've finished watching Stranger Things and you are itching for more like it, this novel will be right up your alley. Five easy stars.

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text 2016-08-05 03:12
Reading progress update: I've read 109 out of 336 pages.
My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel - Grady Hendrix

I haven't been this enamored with a book in a very long time. I'm sad about having read a third of it already. 

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review 2016-06-06 02:27
Review: My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel - Grady Hendrix

For the nostalgia factor, this is a really fun read.  The author takes us through the friendship between Gretchen and Abby, beginning at a fifth grade roller skating party through to the present day, all framing the pivotal events (see the title) in their high school years.  And he gets it right.  He gets adolescent girl friendships right.  

 

Hendrix nails the 1980's nostalgia, up to and including some of the absurdity.  And I could love this book for that, but then there is the horror factor.  That, for me, is where it gets squidgy.  It wasn't over the top, but there was still enough that (even though I could see some of the humor in it) I was not comfortable with those aspects.  Even more so than his prior novel, Horrorstor.  And perhaps that is part of what the horror genre is supposed to do.  Make you uncomfortable and mess with your mind a little bit.

 

So, fun and nostalgia for the win, drugs and demonic possession for the - uh, no!  not going there.  But then there is the use of 1980's song titles as perfectly matched chapter titles, and I'm back to nostalgia.  I guess, in reviewing this book, I have to go with the slightly generic feeling summary of "I enjoyed the writing, but not all of the subject matter."  I don't see myself rereading this one, demons just aren't my thing. 3/5 stars 

 

 

This review was previously posted on my WordPress blog at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-19Q and refers to an Advance Readers Copy from Uncorrected Proofs received for free from the publisher.  I received this book through a SnapChat post, with no stated requirements for reviewing.  Here it is, however, with only my honest opinion. And honestly, I sometimes think that the things I don't like about a book in this genre are exactly what people who like horror probably enjoy about it.

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