Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism appeals to the nostalgia of those born around or before the 80’s. The music, the hair the clothes. For that, it was a fun read, but plotwise? Meh.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism suffers from much the same as Grady Hendrix’s previous novel Horrorstor. It was all bark and no bite. The plot lacked substance and development. The relationship between the teenage girls and their friendship was interesting to read about, but ultimately not a lot happened, and what did happen was just a bit silly.
There were moments that could have been quite psychologically poignant, but just ultimately didn’t deliver, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism had none of the truly terrifying moments that we had in Horrorstor. It doesn’t seem fair to compare the two books as the style and plot is vastly different, however as they both exist within the scope of the same genre one could be forgiven that we should have felt a few chills along the way.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism gives very little away. We are left wondering whether the events of the novel were supernatural or simple psychological. This could have been done far more effectively, however. There are moments the point to psychological damage and the possibility of abuse, and yet none of these things are never fully explored. There is the suggestion that changes in certain characters’ behaviour are sparked by truly traumatic events in their lives, but again, this is never fully explored. This could have been such a bittersweet novel of friendship conquering terrible abuse, but instead, we had a rather shallow horror story that somehow fell flat.
I enjoyed reading, and I flew through it relatively quickly My Best Friend’s Exorcism, but it was a distraction more than anything. I would have liked a bit more depth to the narrative and the characters, and more than anything a bit more horror. The whole novel just left me feeling a little underwhelmed.