Published by Quirk Books on May 17th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Horror
Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act…different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?
I received a copy of this novel for review from the publisher, this does not influence my thoughts on the book or this review.
When I heard that Grady Hendrix had another novel coming out, I knew I had to read it. I loved Horrorstor, despite not reading horror often, and I knew I would love My Best Friend’s Exorcism.
Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since the fourth grade, and they do everything together. One summer night, they decide to take some LSD. On a high, Gretchen disappears naked into the woods and reemerges hours later different, broken somehow. Soon, Gretchen’s condition worsens over the next couple days. Abby tries to help but is unsure how to. My Best Friend’s Exorcism tells the story of friendship and one teen girl’s dealings with a spirit.
While the novel is about an exorcism, it is also about friendship and the way friendships are tested in high school. It is listed by some as YA, but because of the 3rd person POV and tone of the novel, I do see it as appealing more heavily to adult readers.
Abby and Gretchen’s friendship felt very real. A lot of the novel was spent in establishing their friendship, which I really enjoyed. I will say that I was expecting the novel to be more fast-paced but it took a while for the exorcism to actually happen, and for the characters to realize what was happening. It was a bit frustrating because Abby didn’t know what was happening to Gretchen, but the readers did (because of the title).
Overall, My Best Friend’s Exorcism was a captivating horror novel. I recommend it ff you’re looking for something as creepy as it is interesting.
Trigger warnings: homophobic and offensive language. Sexual assault/mentions of rape.