Written by Grady Hendrix

Published by Quirk Books, July 11, 2017

My star rating: 4.5 stars


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?

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So, if you’ve visited my blog at all over the last couple weeks, you would know that I have been obsessed with this book since I first laid eyes on it. The cover drew me in more than any other book ever has! The colours, the graphics, the pictures – it screamed to my 80’s childhood! And I’m happy to report that the inside didn’t disappoint!! I flew through this so quickly – it was just so addicting!!

First of all, every chapter heading was the title of an 80’s song!! It was both incredible and a curse all at the same time! Every time I made it to a new chapter I had a new song running through my head. I finished this book a few days ago and the songs are still there!! There was also a ton of great 80’s references – E.T. (The Extra Terrible), Swatch watches, coke cans, roller skates, neon clothing, and so much more. I don’t know how to explain it, but the whole book just had this 80’s movie vibe.

The story begins at the beginning of Abby and Gretchen’s friendship and follows them into high school. After a night of experimentation with LSD and a skinny dipping mishap, Gretchen goes missing for a few hours. But when she comes back she’s not the same, and then the weirdness begins. I loved that this book used all the senses to explain what was happening to Gretchen. The way things looked, felt, smelled – it was all there and pulled you into the story so completely. Β There were a few times where I was getting bored and it felt a little like the story was dragging. There was a ton of detailed information being brought up to the reader and I kept thinking “Why is this here?” and “why do I need to know this?”. As it turned out, all of that information was for a reason! You knew that Gretchen wasn’t normal, and you knew that she was doing things to hurt others, but you didn’t really understand what she was fully capable of until it all blew up. It gave me the chills while at the same time it was all laid out like a cheesy 80’s movie….. God this book as a movie would be INCREDIBLE!!!!!

Relationships were a big part of this book. Obviously the friendship between Abby and Gretchen was a main focus. While all of this was happening, and no one believed Gretchen, Abby was always there by her side, listening and trying to help. There were also a few other friendships that played out through Gretchen’s “illness” and those were the most interesting. Each and every side character felt so real in their personalities and emotions. Each persons relationship with both Gretchen and Abby was multidimensional and we were given a full look at every angle. Teenagers can flip and flop who they like all depending on how it makes them look and how it benefits them. It was this teenage drama that kind of annoyed me at times, but then it all came together in the end. On top of the friendships there were also parental relationships… and let me tell you, Gretchen’s parents were the biggest A-Holes I’ve ever read about!!! If there was a way to murder fictional characters they wouldn’t have made it past the 50% mark!

I loved the suspense, the creepiness, the gore, the friendships, the vibe, the references – basically everything! The story was creepy and serious, but at the same time the situations were so over the top strange that it was humorous. But then, that’s how things were back in the 80’s! The only place I found fault was the pacing through the middle. I was a little bored at times but when I finished it those slow times came together nicely. I would LOVE to experience a reread of this one and put together all the little pieces I probably missed the first time!

If you’re a fan of horror/thriller, 80’s references, and are looking for a quick read, I HIGHLY recommend this one!!! I’m totally fangirl’ing over every aspect of this book right now!!!!!!

Until next time, happy reading!