Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Review: My Best Friend's Exocism by Grady Hendrix

American horror writer Grady Hendrix takes every 80s stereotype and a whole lot of 80s pop music, puts it into a blender and comes out with one very brilliant novel that executes every cliche in a way that is both well written, slightly hilarious and very nostalgic.

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade, when Gretchen was the only kid to show up at Abby's ET themed roller skating birthday party. Since then, despite their differing economic circumstances (Gretchen's family keeps getting wealthier and Abby's family keeps getting poorer,) the pair have shared many things together. Including the first time that they try LSD at a sleepover. From that moment on, Gretchen begins acting strangely, but Abby is the only one who is able to see and understand what is going on. Gretchen has a demon inside of her and needs an exorcism, pronto. Meanwhile, as the town residents ignore Abby and her pleas (remember, she's from a poor family, so she's considered the bad one,) Gretchen doles out punishments to many of the townspeople that are as hilarious as they are sick and twisted. (It really is difficult to feel sorry for Margaret who drank all the tapeworms. As for Glee ... well it's hard not to giggle.) Can Abby save Gretchen before it's too late? 

And will anyone believe Abby.

This was a great read, packed with lots of nostalgia. Each chapter references a different 80s pop song and anyone who grew up in the latter part of the 20th century will recognise any number of pop culture references, from ET to the thrill of reading a Judy Blume novel. The VHS themed cover is an utterly brilliant and atmospheric touch. 

Highly recommended.