DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
PUBLICATION: Quirk Books, May 17th, 2016
It's the 1980s and satanism is on the rise! (What a way to start a review, right?) Abby is an poor, unpopular elementary school girl who is befriended by a rich, upper-class girl, Gretchen. An instant friendship is formed that lasts all the way until high school. One night while partying with her classmates, they all decide to take LSD and Gretchen is never the same. Once the LSD wears off, everyone returns to normal except Gretchen.
Abby notices physical, emotional, and social changes with her almost instantly. A once bubbly, friendly, and outgoing girl, Gretchen has turned quiet, mean, and distant. Initially chalking this up to the LSD not quite wearing off, Abby starts to get more concerned once bad things start happening to her, Gretchen, and her friends - and Abby is getting blamed.
My first encounter with Hendrix's work was Horrorstor, a zombie-infested IKEA adventure. I liked this book but towards the end I felt that it was hard to keep up and discern exactly what was going on. (Don't get me wrong, it is still a great book worthy of picking up and reading). This was my initial reservation when I started his next work, My Best Friend's Exorcism.
I was very, very wrong.
I don't use the word "perfect" very often in a review but this book was perfect.
Character development? Perfect.
Everything about this book was simply flawless. An instant classic in the horror genre, this book simply should not be missed. My Best Friend's Exorcism is a dark, funny, grotesque story about friendship and the lengths one will go to preserve it. Hendrix not only captures the bond between Abby and Gretchen but he makes it seem so real and life-like. Again, perfect. Throughout the entire novel, I was completely clueless how things were going to end. Hendrix literally leaves it all in the air - will it have a good ending? will everyone die? will the bad guy (or in this case, girl) win? Because of this, you won't be able to turn the pages fast enough.
This novel will win awards - mark it down. In typical Hendrix fashion, the book starts off light-hearted and funny but slowly turns deeper, darker, and more sickeningly graphic. Walking the line between this and still being tasteful is tough, but Hendrix nails it. Perfect.
Set in the 1980s, Hendrix absolutely gets everything right. Even the chapter names are old 1980s song titles. Every detail about life in the 80s just adds to the story, most particularly the rise of satanism and the media attention that it got back then.
The ending is a home run. I won't give it away but not only is the main conflict resolved but Hendrix takes a more heartfelt approach to wrapping up his novel that doesn't come across as cheap, gaudy, or forced. Its as if he simply lets the characters write themselves. Of all the great praise I have for this book, which is quite a lot, the ending was my favorite. Hendrix pulls out all the stops and leaves readers staring at the last page for minutes just processing everything. Absolutely and utterly perfect.
Not only do I strongly recommend this book, I adamantly command you go buy this book and read it. And after reading it, you too will be speechless just like me. Make sure you read this novel when you have nothing else to do because from page one, this novel will literally possess you and you won't stop until its done.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.