My Best Friend's Exorcism
June 2016 Indie Next List
— Angelo Santini (E), McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI
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The year is 1988. 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?
Praise For My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel…
“Take The Exorcist, add some hair spray and wine coolers, and enroll it in high school in 1988 — that’ll give you My Best Friend’s Exorcism...Campy. Heartfelt. Horrifying.”—Minnesota Public Radio
“Clever, heartfelt, and get-under-your-skin unnerving.”—Fangoria
“A touching story of high school friendship and, well, demonic possession.”—Bloody Disgusting
“Terrific...Sharply written...[My Best Friend’s Exorcism] makes a convincing case for [Hendrix’s] powers as a sharp observer of human behavior, filtered through a fun genre conceit that doesn’t skimp on the spooky—or the bodily fluids.”—The A.V. Club
“Think Mean Girls with demonic possession, set in 1988 Charleston. It’s funny, it’s heart-wrenching, it’s even a little spiritual, in a very strange way.”—Southern Living magazine
“The perfect mix of '80s nostalgia and scares.”—POPSUGAR
“This book packs all the magic of a summer horror flick.”—Bustle
“The rare exorcism book that will make you cry, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is both a truly scary tale and a loving tribute to high school friendship.”—Hypable
“If you’re looking for a good summer book, something for the beach or the back porch that won’t insult your intelligence, one that’s tense and sometimes scary and sometimes funny, with characters you may even come to like and admire as they come of age, keep My Best Friend’s Exorcism in mind.”—SFFWorld
More praise for Grady Hendrix:
“Pure, demented delight.”—The New York Times Book Review, on Paperbacks from Hell
“Horrorstör delivers a crisp terror-tale...[and] Hendrix strikes a nice balance between comedy and horror.”—The Washington Post, on Horrorstör
“Hendrix’s darkest novel yet will leave readers begging for an encore.”—Booklist, starred review, on We Sold Our Souls
“A true appreciation of the genre.”—Los Angeles Times, on Paperbacks from Hell
“An inventive, hilarious haunted house tale.”—Bustle, on Horrorstör
“A good, creepy, music-tinged thriller.”—CNET, on We Sold Our Souls
Quirk Books, 9781594748622, 336pp.
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
About the Author
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. Hendrix took inspiration from his high school experience to inform My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Were there any aspects of the book that you recognize from your own high school experience?
2. The book takes place during the Cold War and era of “satanic panic” when there was a sense that the United States was vulnerable to just about any type of evil. How do you think this historical backdrop affects the behavior of the characters?
3. Music is at the center of Abby and Gretchen’s friendship. What ’80s song do you relate most with?
4. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a large part of Abby’s life. In what other ways does ’80s pop culture inform Abby and Gretchen’s friendship?
5. We’re introduced to the friendship between the four girls—Abby, Gretchen, Margaret, and Glee—fairly early on in the novel. What were your first impressions of the clique?
6. The girls’ decision to drop acid is a turning point in the novel. How do you think this rite of passage affects the girls’ relationships?
7. Abby and Gretchen come from different sides of the tracks. How do you think this affects their relationship as they grow up?
8. Gretchen, while under the influence of the devil, does a lot of terrible things. Which do you think is the worst?
9. Abby is a devoted friend. How far would you go if your best friend was possessed by the devil?