What a wild and crazy ride this book was! Equal parts, horror, humor, coming of age, and a nostalgic love letter to the 1980s. Looking back at that sentence it is clear that Hendrix was being a bit ambitious in scope, as this is a lot to balance, but he does so with ease. I don’t remember ever vacillating so quickly and constantly from laughter to terror, but the pendulum swings back and forth again and again over the course of this book. What starts out as a sweet story of friendship between Gretchen and Abby takes a quick turn when Gretchen changes, but this isn’t just standard teenage falling out. Something darker and insidious has taken hold and nothing and no one will ever be the same.
Hendrix’s website refers to it as “Beaches meets The Exorcist” and I couldn’t have said it myself. It is delightfully weird but also terribly gruesome. Not to mention so, so funny. Hendrix does a great job of capturing teenage friendships, the quick rise and fall of ranking in social hierarchy, and what it is to be a kid in an adult’s world.
And, we haven’t even talked about how the first/last pages of the book are made to look like a high school year book, Gretchen’s high school year book in fact. That really sets the tone. This is the kind of book that you fall into so completely, that when you look up from it, you are surprised to still be in your own time and place. I will be recommending this one to anyone with a twisted sense of humor who isn’t squeamish but who is looking for a great book.