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Final Girls by Riley Sager
Reviewed by Jami McDonald

While attending college, Quincy Carpenter became the sole survivor in a mass killing spree that left her five best friends dead. Ten years have passed, Quincy is now recognized as one of three famous “final girls” (a term popularized by certain types of horror movies that commonly end with only one lead female character having survived). Despite her traumatic experience, Quincy seems to be doing well for herself in the opening of the book. She is involved in a healthy relationship with her boyfriend and runs a successful blog about creative baking techniques. Things take a dramatic turn, however, when Lisa, another “final girl” who survived an equally disturbing experience, dies in an apparent suicide. Lisa’s death forces Quincy to reexamine her own tragic past, leading to a very exciting ending in this fast-paced thriller.

Told in segments that focus on either Quincy’s present life or the night that her five friends were murdered, Finals Girls is a novel that will appeal to fans of John Carpenter and Wes Craven films.

Available at TCPL: Book | Large Print

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Posted by jwilkes on

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Reviewed by Lynne Bartlett

This haunting story is told by a fourteen-year-old girl, Madeline, who lives in the Minnesota woods in a sparsely populated lake area. She is, perhaps out of longing, greatly attached to the world of nature that surrounds her, which makes up for a minimalist approach to attachment that her parents take at home.

The reader gets to join Madeline (she prefers to be called Linda) during a particularly important summer in her life, but the story sometimes shifts back in time, giving background; and forward in time, giving future context. It all unfolds with great suspense about how things are going to turn out for Linda.

During this summer she begins a friendship with a new neighbor across the lake – a woman and her 4-year-old son. She becomes the babysitter for the boy and seems almost part of the family. But when the father, an astronomer, comes to join the family, there seems to be something not quite right.

Madeline is a striking character – Fridlund, the author, has done an amazing job of having Madeline tell her story. She is a character I won’t soon forget, and I find myself hoping for a better future for her even now that the story is over.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Posted by jwilkes on

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Reviewed by Jade Crabtree

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been called a perfect work of unnerving terror.

Hill House has stood for eighty years, the last twenty of them empty. It has long said to be haunted, but is there truth to the rumors? Are some houses just bad? Can a house itself be mentally unstable?

In The Haunting of Hill House four people spend time in the mansion trying to see if they can find proof of the supernatural. Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting,” is the leader of the group; Theodora an aloof woman with some psychic abilities; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman who has spent her adult life caring for her invalid mother and has encountered poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Posted by jwilkes on

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Reviewed by Gloria Goins


Susie Salmon has died and passed on to a heaven she never knew existed. This very surreal, personal “sanctuary” isn’t as blissful as expected, though. Susie struggles with combative emotions as she watches the life she so suddenly and tragically departed from. At the age of fourteen, Susie was raped and murdered by her very own neighbor, George Harvey, and must cope with the idea of him getting away with it. Simultaneously, Susie’s desperately grieving family conducts an investigation to gain closure and justice for the loss of their loving sister and daughter. As the novel progresses, clues pointing toward Harvey’ guilt become more prevalent, but the question always remains: Will he pay for his heinous crime? Alice Sebold’s psychologically riveting story about a young girl’s murder truly displays the notion that a person’s life proceeds even after death, but does justice always prevail? The Lovely Bones is a delightfully challenging read for all ages alike.

Available at TCPL: Book | Overdrive eBook | Overdrive Audiobook

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Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay

Reviewed by Cassie Ogle


Stand By Me, Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and 16th Century Folk Lore rolled into one to tell the story of a mother’s worst nightmare; a child goes missing. Elizabeth gets the dreaded call in the middle of the night that her son did not return from the woods with his friends. As days pass and the search continues, mysterious notes begin appearing that seem to be from the missing Tommy. The more Elizabeth learns about her teenage son’s life, the less things make sense to her and the rest of the family. Why was Tommy in the woods in the middle of the night? Why did his friends make it back home but he didn’t? Who is the strange man that Tommy writes about? This books dances on the edge of supernatural and harsh reality in a brilliantly creepy way.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Posted by jwilkes on

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

Reviewed by Tammy Powers

Beside Myself Book Cover

Beside Myself is a fiction novel revolving around identical twin girls, Helen and Ellie. Helen is the favorite twin, loved by all. Ellie is always in trouble, friendless, and despised by her sister. One day the bored sisters decide to switch clothes and hair styles to try to trick people. The trick works too well and once Ellie sees how different her life could be, she refuses to switch back. Helen’s identity, friends, clothes, etc… now belong to Ellie. No one will believe Helen about the switch and she withdraws into herself. The result is mental illness and criminal behavior. Over time she starts to question whether the switch ever happened. Twenty-five years later, her sister is involved in a car accident and is in a coma. Suddenly Helen has to confront the past and the consequences of the switch.

This is an excellent book. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys suspense and psychological drama. This is a debut novel by the author and is being compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. I agree with those reviews and hope the author writes another novel soon.

Available at TCPL: Book

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