If you've followed my blog, you know I'm a fan of Grady Hendrix's writing. I reviewed The Southern Book Club Guide to Slaying V...

The Final Girl Support Group

If you've followed my blog, you know I'm a fan of Grady Hendrix's writing. I reviewed The Southern Book Club Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel and My Best Friends Exorcism (now a movie, that I heard was terrible, but I'll probably watch it anyway), now it's time to review The Final Girl Support Group: A Novel. Of the three novels, I liked this one the best!


The book tells the story of six "final girls", or women who live to tell the tale of confronting their slasher, that meet once a month in a support group. They've been together longer than ten years and each one has a different traumatizing experience. If you know horror movies, you'll relate their killers to 1970s and 1980s classic horror movies that we all know and love. The support group meets with a therapist, and in turn the therapist has used their sessions to author best-selling books. They each have processed their past differently, from one lady that has moved on and feels they are living in the past, to one that feels like the group is her only connection to people and the outside world. In any case, the final girls have a bond that no one else does, and without them realizing it, they have become a family.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I'm impressed at how Hendrix writes female characters. Their personalities greatly vary, but their interactions are wholly realistic and relatable.

The book is told from the voice of one of the final girls, Lynette. We see her living as a victim, paranoid and scared. One day, a member of the support group doesn't show up because she's been murdered. Now Lynette needs to find out who the killer is, and so does the reader! In gathering information, you peel away Lynette's story, and watch it slowly unravel. The heroines are flawed survivors, which makes the reader sympathetic to their experiences and eager to find out more. 

I won't tell you who did it, but it's a surprise, and just when you think you know, you don't! It's a thriller and as a reader you will feel like you have inside knowledge of a horror and gore slasher movie. Again, this book is also a reflection of society's obsession with serial killers and slasher movies and how much some people idolize them. That's a whole different kind of horror.

While I've never thought of myself as a “final girl”, there are days when I feel like it's me alone against the world, and I'm ready to do battle! The ladies in this book have a fighting spirit that makes them go on fighting when others would give up. They inspire me not to give up. They have battled, and won more than once. This book wraps up nicely, and I wanted to read it before next week, when Hendrix's next book How to Sell a Haunted House is released.


I went to a large book sale and came across a couple " The Cat Who... " mystery novels by Lillian Jackson Braun , and I just had t...

The Cat Who Books!

I went to a large book sale and came across a couple "The Cat Who..." mystery novels by Lillian Jackson Braun, and I just had to have them! (This may sound familiar because I mentioned them years ago in a blog Cat About Town: A Cat Cafe Mystery.) Right at that moment, a childhood memory had been unlocked! The books are mysteries about small town life, with characters you come to know and love. Yes, there are two reoccurring Siamese cats in them too ~ Koko and Yum Yum. There are 29 books in the series, but don't fret, they don't need to be read in order. Even though there's people dying and things blowing up, the books end on a happy, upbeat note. Honestly, they are always a feel-good read!

Andrew saw how much I was enjoying reading the few I picked up, so he went on a hunt for them. He gave me a bunch for Christmas to add to my ever-growing stash. "The Cat Who..." series have become my go-tos when I want "comfortable" books. They are like wearing a warm blanket with two cats purring on you. I highly recommend them.


Me in front of gram's house. Halloween about 1986ish.  (Note: Her melted wax scarecrow on the door. I'm happy to say I inherited all...

My Life is Chaos Part 4: Gram's House & Sjogrens Syndrome

Me in front of gram's house. Halloween about 1986ish. 

(Note: Her melted wax scarecrow on the door. I'm happy to say I inherited all of her holiday melted wax decorations.)

My parents got divorced when I was 5 years old. At that point, my mom and I moved in with my gram. I lived with gram until my mom got remarried, but that didn't happen until I was 14. My gram's house played a big role in my life. I grew up living there. It was a small house in the city of Buffalo ~ the Kaisertown area ~ where a bunch of Polish people migrated, it was off a main street across from a park. The house had been added on to several times, and I think it was built at the turn of the century. I was told it originally had an outhouse. The bedrooms could only fit a bed and one dresser, there was no basement, and the attic was an attic, filled with boxes and mainly used for storage. The house was heated by a furnace in the center of the dining room. I grew up thinking anyone that had a finished attic or basement was rich. When I dream of a house, it's usually gram's. 

Attic stairs with trap door.

Attic, now mostly empty.

I loved her oven, and if I could have taken it with me, I would have.

My gram lived there until the end. She died 14 years ago and the house went to my mom. My mom didn't want it, but she also didn't sell it. She couldn't bring herself to clean it out. Everything about it had sentimental value. I tried to help her move things out, but she'd end up crying, and I'd end up getting mad because we didn't make any progress. 

This past year, the roof on my gram's vacant house started leaking. I reiterated to my mom, “You NEED to sell this house.” She sold it and closed on it last month. All through November and December I was helping her clean it out. That took up a ton of my time, but I'm glad the burden of the house is gone for her.

Thank you for sticking with me through my tough times and following along. In addition to My Life is Chaos Parts 1, 2, and 3, I was exhausted like never before, and went to the doctor to get a bunch of tests done. I tested positive for Sjogrens Syndrome in December. It makes sense because a couple years ago my elbow swelled up to the point I couldn't bend it. Remember that fun time?! I was given Rheumatoid Arthritis meds, and the swelling went away. Sjogrens is an autoimmune disease. The most famous person to have it is Venus Willams. Mainly my symptoms are severe dry eye, fatigue, and arthritis. I know what you're thinking, “Julie Ann, you're a young babe, how can this be?!” I'm really 86, don't I look good? But seriously, let me give you some advice....don't get old.