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My Best Friend's Exorcism (2016)

by Grady Hendrix

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,4809210,785 (3.96)36
1988. Charleston, South Carolina. 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?… (more)
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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
I really wanted to like this but it was so boring and nothing to write home about, kind of confused why it’s so popular since it’s a run of the mill girl friendship book. I didn’t even have to read 50 percent to know what’ll happen, I’ve had close female friendships too so instead of reading I lived it. Makes a boring book.
  Summer345456 | Jan 25, 2023 |
I loved Horrorstor, the debut novel from Grady Hendrix, so when I learned that he was coming out with his second book I was excited and eager to read it. I remember the first time I saw the cover for My Best Friend's Exorcism, it blew me away and my interest in Grady's second book got even bigger. I recieved the book in the mail from Grady himself and it has taken me a couple of days to read it, and I savoured each page.

The story follows Abby and Gretchen, two best friends who are driving the corridors and roads of the 1980s high school life. They swap mix-tapes, they play games, they talk about which of their friends they like the most, and they make lists together. They do what any normal 1980s kid did. Then, along with two of their other friends, they party a little too hard and things get out of hand, and that is when things change and Gretchen begins to show that she isn't the same person she used to be. Abby's life begins a downward spiral as she looks for answers in a place where no one is willing to listen.

I loved this book. The setting was fantastic and the mentions of 80s music, film and culture was a lot of fun, and the characters were given time to grow, something I always like in fiction. I cared about these people, especially Abby and Gretchen, as we witnessed their light and dark times and everything in between.

Grady Hendrix is a fantastic author. Horrorstor was a book that blew me away with its atmosphere and it's originality. It took a genre and bent it and changed it and made something fresh from it, and Grady has done that again here. Taking a story of teenage life as well as a horror tale of demonic possession and blending them into a cross between The Exorcist and 80s John Hughes flicks, it is funny, sad, creepy and entertaining from the first page until the last.

I recommend this, for sure, and now I sit and await the next book from Grady Hendrix. 5/5 ( )
  Chris.Cummings | Dec 29, 2022 |
I was expecting this to scare me as much as the other two Hendrix books I read, but I thought it was more gross and sad. It had its moments, but I missed that sudden drop into horror I experienced with Horrorstör and Southern Book Club. I felt like I was missing something with the opening bit about the exorcist too.
I did like the Eighties nostalgia, and Hendrix hit the cultural notes perfectly. I loved Abby’s loyalty and tenacity, and I was moved by the ending. Not what I thought I was getting, but a decent story. Looking forward to reading his new one. ( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
It’s the 80’s. Abby is the outcast of her class, facing a very young person dilemma: a much more popular girl is having a party on the same day as her roller-skating party, and the other girl’s party has HORSES. Only one girl shows up for Abby—Gretchen, who she barely knows, and who, to Abby’s horror, hasn’t even SEEN E.T.!

Doesn’t sound like much of a story, does it? But the familiar problem of kids attending the “right” social function is the genesis for Grady Hendrix’s story of two reluctant best friends.

Abby is the scholarship kid at an affluent private school where Gretchen, who comes from a polite family of means, has status. I know, again, not a “new” idea, but it works so well when things begin to “go wrong” with Gretchen and the family needs to place blame.

As the story progresses, a teenage sleepover turns into a manhunt when Gretchen goes missing overnight in the woods and comes back “different.” A marked physical deterioration and otherworldly events begin as Gretchen devolves into someone Abby no longer recognizes; a troublemaker who can only be doing Satan’s work. Enter the buff exorcist.

The first third of this book hooked me! It’s a campy throwback to my 80’s childhood, which might well be lost on someone too young to appreciate the nostalgia. The author does an incredible job building a solid and believable initial connection between Abby and Gretchen, which loses something in the second and third acts.

Overall, this is a fun read that I’d hesitate to call “young adult.” It’s more “If you’re an adult who grew up in the 80’s.” Even the chapter titles are throwbacks. There are some powerful horror scenes and a lot of character nuance that makes this a stand-out book that really is like “Beaches” meets “the Exorcist,” but the story wore on me. Dragged on in places and went to someplace that, in itself, makes me want to chop a star off my rating. Animal cruelty is never okay with me, even in horror. If I take away that scene (and every mention thereafter), this is a 3.5 star read all day, rounded up to a four because it’s too good—too unique—to be a 3. I have Horrorstor and The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires and, as long as no other animals are cruelly dispatched, I expect to enjoy them.

( )
  bfrisch | Dec 9, 2022 |
This book is crazy. I love all the 80s references. The story is really fun. Two friends that see the good and bad in one another. Throw the devil in there to mess with their friendship and you have a book that takes you on a crazy ride. ( )
  LVStrongPuff | Nov 30, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grady Hendrixprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fleming, HughCover illustrationsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horner, DoogieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Amanda,
Who knows the reasons why.*

*But if she doesn't, I would suggest she have her attorney consult both protective orders filed against her, the criminal complaint which outlines these reasons in great detail, and maybe also her conscience because disclosing the whereabouts of the bodies will finally bring some kind of closure for my family.
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The exorcist is dead.
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1988. Charleston, South Carolina. 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?

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Average: (3.96)
0.5
1 4
1.5
2 15
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3 78
3.5 17
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4.5 17
5 102

 

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