TITLE: My Best Friend’s Exorcism
AUTHOR: Grady Hendrix
AGE RANGE: Young Adult
PUBLISHER: Quirk Books
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?
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.
Buddy read with Kay! ♥
“By the power of Phil Collins, I rebuke you!”
Sometimes, I read a book and I think to myself, “I can see how this wouldn’t work for everyone, but wow, does it work for me!” — and honestly, that seems to have been my experience with all of the Grady Hendrix books I’ve read so far. I can get why his stories might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but damn, his writing just hits the spot for me every time! I’d had this book on my TBR for years and never read it, so when Kay picked up a copy, I immediately asked if we could buddy read it and I’m so glad that we did.
“Corn dogs,” the exorcist said, “are all the proof I need that there is a God.”
Grady Hendrix’s writing is so entertaining to me. He has this way of weaving genuinely creepy scenes with lovable characters, pop culture references, and cheeky one-liners that always make me smile. While We Sold Our Souls is still my favorite book of his to date, this one came incredibly close to matching it because I had so much fun with these characters and the entire premise.
It’s April 1988 and the world belongs to them.
I loved how heartwarming Abby’s love for Gretchen was and I connected deeply with these characters (at one point, Kay and I were even discussing how amazed we were that Grady had nailed the teen girl personalities so well). The creepy scenes were spot-on, but most of all, I adored the friendship theme that played out through the entire book. At its core, this story is a love letter to those thick-as-thieves childhood friendships and the lengths we’ll go to for the people we care most about, and I found it so charming and wonderful. If you’re a horror fan who likes possession themes and lovable characters, I highly recommend picking this one up!
discussions of sexual assault, violence, pet death, attempted suicide, disordered eating, body horror, exorcisms, religious trauma, misogyny
— destiny ♥
Beautiful review, Destiny! Based on the quotes you included, I feel like Grady’s work may be for me too. Do you have any recs for where I should start first?
Thank you, lovely! ♥ I’ve read 3 books by him, and while my favorite is We Sold Our Souls, I’d recommend this one (MBFE) first. I think you’d really enjoy the pop culture references and the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, if that makes sense? Plus the girls-supporting-girls friendship vibes are immaculate~