My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel

My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel

by Grady Hendrix


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An unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist that blends teen angst, adolescent drama, unspeakable horrors, and a mix of ’80s pop songs into a pulse-pounding supernatural thriller

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594749766
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Publication date: 07/11/2017
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 70,999
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Grady Hendrix is a novelist and screenwriter based in New York City. He is the author of Horrorstör, My Best Friend’s ExorcismPaperbacks from Hell, and We Sold Our Souls, all of which received critical praise from outlets including NPR, the Washington Post, the Wall Street JournalLos Angeles Times, the A.V. Club, Paste, Buzzfeed, and more. He has contributed to PlayboyThe Village Voice, and Variety.

Read an Excerpt

The exorcist is dead.

Excerpted from "My Best Friend's Exorcism"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Grady Hendrix.
Excerpted by permission of Quirk Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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My Best Friend's Exorcism 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
Don't let the title fool you - yes, there is an exorcism but, more than that, this story is about a strong friendship that endures over seventy years and I enjoyed the hell out of this book. As the setting is in the 80's, when I was a teenager, the references to television shows, movies, fashion, and slang brought back memories - some fond, others horrifying. Each chapter name is taken from popular songs or lyrics from that time (Don't You Forget About Me, We Got The Beat, Sunday Bloody Sunday) and aptly describes the contents of that chapter - something I thought very clever. The author perfectly captures the angsty, hormone-riddled interactions between the high school students and their attitudes and reactions are entirely believable and genuine. Why anyone would want to relive those years is beyond me. More satirical than horror, this book contains humorous, repulsive, and even touching moments demonstrating the bond between Abby and Gretchen, but horror fans will also be satisfied with some creepy and chilling content. Readers who grew up in the 80's will especially enjoy this book, as well as those who prefer their horror on the lighter side. Thanks to Edelweiss for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I was drawn to this book because the cover made me feel nostalgic but I didn't expect a ton out of it. it was were predictable, but that didn't take away from the terrible bits. I love how strong the girls friendship was, and how vivid of a picture the author painted with. it was terrifying, but definitely a book I will read again!
StrangeBrewReviews 10 months ago
Alright, I'm a sucker for horror, and I'm an even bigger sucker for the 80s, so when I came across this book at my local library, I knew I had to read it. The book is far from perfect, I've watched exorcism movies that are more realistic than this story. Like I'm to believe that the girls living thousands of miles apart is going to commit car theft to see the other. Anyway, the start of the book confused me, it almost made it seem that Abby and Gretchen were no longer speaking, but spoiler alert, they remain life long friends, so that doesn't make much sense to me. The story seemed slow to get started, and then just kind of slapped you that the story had developed so quickly and it was over. Speaking of developing, none of the characters developed in any way, they were all kind of one dimensional. Even adult Abby and Gretchen were boring and had no personality. I had to look away during two parts of the story, one involved the dog, the other was very gross and I skipped ahead so I didn't have to read the part. Including the 80s playlist and songs in the book was a good choice, but I wish I understood more about the possession and why it happened. We can suspect an old building all we want but we don't know the story behind it, or what was done there. We're kind of blind as to why this happened. The book also ended very suddenly and unsatisfying. Kind of like this review. All in all, its an okay book. One I would consider reading again if I were bored. But I would have to be bored with no other book contenders.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Hold on to your seats while reading this. It is a wolf ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’m a big horror fan, and that being said there isn’t a hell of a lot that creeps me out anymore. That being said, there were definitely parts of this novel that made me want to keep the lights on. This novel also happens to be very well-written, which isn’t always the case with horror authors. Hendrix has a gift for writing detail, for capturing all the little things that make a story seem more real. 100% worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome,nostalgic with the right amount of horror!
IrregularReader More than 1 year ago
Abby has been friends with Gretchen since they were ten years old. Now high school students, they have traded in their ET posters and roller skates for the mall and parties in the woods. After one such escapade, however, Gretchen begins to act strangely. Very, very strangely. With the peculiarities mounting and the weirdness surrounding Gretchen becoming more and more disturbing, Abby must face the truth: Her friend is possessed, and Abby is the only one who can help her. Grady Hendrix is certainly one of the bright lights (if that phrase is appropriate) in modern horror fiction. His previous book, Horrorstör, was an intelligent, hilarious, and creepy haunted house tale. In My Best Friend’s Exorcism, we find out what would happen if The Heathers also featured demonic possession. Here, Hendrix has again left his unique imprint on the genre, taking us into a friendship sundered by satan and adolescence, which really are much the same thing. If you’re a horror genre fan, but have been looking for something a bit off the beaten path, something campy and fun while still maintaining creep factor, Grady Hendrix should definitely top your TBR.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mix one part Beaches, with a smidge of Heathers, stir in a generous helping of The Exorcist, then add a dash of Mean Girls and what you get is this incredibly enjoyable book. Funny and scary with an exorcism you are unlikely to forget, this book has it all. So go ahead and let Grady Hendrix possess you, only you wont WANT to make it stop.
KivoxEnder More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book so much that when I was done with it I didn't want to read anything else. I wanted to let the story sit with me and days later I was still thinking about it....realistically I was mostly thinking about the ending. This book hit me right in the feels and I cried so hard but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's not even the technical plot that makes this such a good book...even though it's very entertaining. It almost has a typical 80's horror movie vibe...but the way it's written hooked me. There's so much detail without it being overwhelming and boring. You can see every scene/piece of the story in your head due to how well it's written. There are so many awesome 80's references that brought back so many memories from my childhood. Although it is a horror story, deep down, it's truly a book about friendship...and that's what did it for me with this book. The combination was fantastic for me. Whenever I finish a book and I can't stop thinking about it and I immediately skip through it and start re-reading certain parts I can't give it anything less than a 5. I will definitely be reading this again in the future.
onemused More than 1 year ago
“My Best Friend’s Exorcism” was an intriguing book, which fits into the horror section. I wouldn’t really place it in YA, as it deals with some pretty intense issues. The best thing about the book is its appearance- it looks like a yearbook, complete with yearbook messages inside the covers and even some yearbook pages at the beginning and end of the book. The storyline itself was hard for me to get into. We start with Abby and Gretchen, who we know are best friends. The story goes back to when they first met/became BFFs and then tracks them through pre-adolescence into high school. The book is told from Abby’s perspective, and Abby was a hard character for me to like- she’s selfish and stuck-up, despite complaining about being poor all the time, she seems to have a pretty nice life (including an ET themed birthday party at the roller rink). She completely writes off her parents because they can’t buy her everything she wants. She’s pretty shallow, and it really shows. She pushes Gretchen away a lot and Gretchen really seems to have to earn her affection. I’m not convinced it’s worthwhile. When you don’t like the main character, it can make for a frustrating read, and that was primarily how I found this book. Gretchen has super-conservative/religious parents who don’t have a TV or let her watch anything but G-rated movies, and go so far as to beat her with a brush when she is singing along to Madonna. Despite knowing how intense Gretchen’s parents are, Abby lets her take the fall for her own actions, pushing the boundaries with Gretchen’s parents. This doesn’t really endear Abby to the reader. We get the feeling that there is some more intense abuse, but Gretchen’s family is wealthy and this is all that matters to Abby, so no further information needed. Things change when they (and some girls who are also suddenly their friends) decide to do LSD or acid. Gretchen doesn’t really want to, but ends up doing it anyway because peer pressure. In the midst of this is a disturbing anecdote about one of the girl’s brother who drugs and rapes girls and gets away with it because his father is a judge and puts pressure on them and their families, but you know, no big deal (I am being sarcastic here). I found the storyline to continue in this same manner with disturbing side stories not really explored, likely due to Abby (the character whose perspective we view) being so shallow/selfish. I am not sure if this was intentional, but I found it more disturbing than the main plot. Anyway, after Gretchen is pressured into doing drugs, she has a really bad trip and she is changed forever- which Abby comes to conclude is due to demonic possession, ergo the rest of the story/title. Overall, I found this book disturbing on a few levels, mostly the side abuse/rape which is mentioned like it’s not a big deal and in combination with the shallow/selfish main characters, it was hard to really get into the plot. The writing was engaging, but I think would have done better with different characters. I am sure this has an audience, but it was not me. Please note that I received this book through a goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.
19269684 More than 1 year ago
One of my Top 5 Reads of 2016 I wasn't sure how this book was going to run when I first received it. Many authors trick you; they make you think it's about one thing and it's really something else. Not too many people write on exorcisms today, but this story... this story was the real deal. It held me with talk of 80's songs and things I remember saying and doing back in 'The Day' and the story was just good. It was freaking good... My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix, was about a friendship that defied peer pressure, a little drugs, and bullying. It was also about your best friend's soul, doing it's best to hurt her and all those easily susceptible to his influences. Two friends, Gretchen and Abby, live in Charleston, SC and think the world is their oyster, till one night when they experiment with something that brought an evil so calamitous, so patient and guileful, it created a world of havoc without anyone but Abby and Gretchen knowing. This story started off with the groundwork for a friendship that made me laugh and relate! Especially when it came to skating. I wasn't a skater, but it was huge back in the 80's. The songs mentioned were ALL ME! Especially when it came to Corey Hart and Duran Duran - I still listen to them. And I knew the exact era of Duran Duran's Arena Lp! MBFE was so relatable, when the actual story began, I was blown away! I saw everything happening- knew it was coming, but the way it all played out made me feel so bad for each and every participant in the tale! It was tough and so much like I was a part of it! At the end, when everything was taking place, I was jogging around my park, cheering for everyone: "In the name of Phil Collins, you will not have this child of Genesis!" ... *For the full book review: **Book provided by Quirk Book Publishings, for an honest review.
Bookworm_Reviews More than 1 year ago
You can find all of my reviews as well as a bonus aesthetic photo for “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” at SPECS • 330 pages • Signed Hardcover • Established Author • Days To Read: 1 • Received: Goodreads Giveaways • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars This book is suspense city! It is a wonderful blend of action, suspense and dialogue, just the kind of book I like. I normally lean more towards YA novels about things like magic, powers, vampires, but this one was a surprising catch. Possession movies are my favorite, so I thought I would give this book a spin, and I am so glad I did. I have yet to give a book a 5/5 star rating on this blog, this is the first! Now I did receive it from Goodreads Giveaways, but I totally would have purchased it for myself if I had come across it. The cover artwork and snippet on the back had me hooked ( I think I might actually buy it for my cousin for Christmas). Our book starts the December of 4th grade, our main character Abby has just seen ET for the first time and is totally obsessed, she decides that her birthday coming up is going to be all ET themed at the local roller rink. She invites the entire fourth grade to come celebrate with her. The day comes....but none of her classmates do. She doesn't understand why none of her classmates wouldn't want to come skate and eat ET cake with her on her birthday, when the new girl Gretchen walks in. Abby doesn’t really know Gretchen, but she doesn’t want her there either, this new girl is watching Abby’s downfall. What does Gretchen get Abby for her birthday? A Children’s Bible, why would Abby want a Bible when everything in this party room is all ET, she wanted ET themed stuff for her birthday. After a rocky start and a few events that evening, Abby and Gretchen become best friends. Fast Forward 8 years and they still are attached at the waist, Abby, Gretchen, Margaret, and Glee are all best friends and entering their junior year at Albemarle Academy, a prestigious private school in Charleston, South Carolina. Abby has never fully quite fit in there, she is a scholarship student, meanwhile all of her classmates and friends have extremely wealthy families that can pay for the tuition. But Abby’s friends have never cared about how much money she has. Our first big event happens at Margaret's house, it is the 8-’s and the girls decide to experiment with acid. Nothing is really happening, but Gretchen being the wild child that she is, decided she wanted to skinny dip into the lake. Her top and shorts come off and she goes flying off the dock, but she doesn't realize its low tide and falls into the shallow water with a thud. The girls all go to find her but she is gone. All they can see in the moonlight is some of her tracks into the woods. As Abby is searching for Gretchen all through the night, she gets an uneasy feeling in the woods, like she isn’t alone, and is even chased out of the woods at one point because of how uncomfortable she feels. Abby isn't the girl that is going to stop looking for her friend. As dawn breaks, Abby stumbles across a broken and beaten down shed in the middle of the woods, and Gretchen; but Gretchen isn't the same. Something is different about Gretchen, what was in the woods? Did someone hurt her? Did she have a bad acid trip? The story unfolds after that night. Can Abby and Gretchen’s friendship survive whatever happened that night in the woods?
BooksWithBrooke More than 1 year ago
3.5 interesting little stars. I did find this to be an enjoyable read for the most part, but the Slave Day for spirit week threw me off. I know there are many odd ball days in many different schools, but I didn't like this. If I sound sensitive, I can't apologize. It really didn't sit well with me.
Reading_With_Cupcakes More than 1 year ago
I am always trying to find a good horror book. I don't know why...I can never really seem to find one...but I figured I would give My Best Friend's Exorcism a try. Well now. Once again, I was disappointed. Maybe I should stop reading horror. I am just almost never satisfied. It is starting to get very discouraging. Hold on. I am getting way ahead of myself now. More on this in a little bit. The main characters in My Best Friend's Exorcism are Abby and Gretchen, though the story is pretty much told from Abby's perspective. I don't want to go into too much detail on what this book is about, but essentially Gretchen starts acting very strange and not like herself at all and the only one who seems to notice is Abby. Okay. I don't know if I can get much more vague than that huh? Oh well. Anyways, this story is not really a horror even though it says it is. I would say it is much more a story about friendship than anything. And I think that is why this book fell a little short for me. I was expecting a horror story, but really what I got was a lot of talk about pimples and other teenage girl stuff. There was one scene though that really got to me though. Grady Hendrix could write one really stellar horror story if he really wanted frighten the pants off of his readers. Interestingly enough, while I was reading this...I felt as though my face was super greasy. Side effect of good writing and a lot of talk about pimples. Also, this book is totally set in the 80s. If you are not an 80s fan you may want to skip this one. There happens to be so many references you will not be happy. But...if you love the 80s you are going to be very happy! A lot of the references are song ones, but there are other things as well. Oh and fun side note for the 80s music references....the publisher Quirk Books totally has a play list that has all of the songs listed and a few others on Spotify. You really should check it out. I listen to that play list ALL THE TIME. However, despite being disappointed in the horror aspect of My Best Friend's Exorcism, I will be reading more of Grady Hendrix's books. I found him to be an excellent writer with quite an imagination and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future. This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. Find more of my reviews here:
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
I had really high hopes for this book. Like really high. I was a bit disappointed in the end. I wasn't a bad story but it didn't even come close to living up to my expectations. When I first saw this book, I knew that I would have to read it. Demonic possession with heavy dose of 80's references were enough to really grab the attention of this old lady. Unfortunately, despite the wonderful premise I found the book rather underwhelming. Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since grade school. Things go wrong at a high school party when the girls were doing a few drugs. Gretchen gets lost in the woods and is gone for a night and her personality starts to changes. She becomes very mean especially to her friend, Abby. Abby knows that something is wrong but she can't seem to get anyone to listen to her in order to get her friend the help that she needs. I love the 80's. I was a teen in the late 80's and I really was looking forward to a story set in this time period. Unfortunately, the 80's references in this book became a little too much for me. It felt a little forced in some ways and I think it actually ended up being a bit distracting. The characters felt a little flat to me. I never felt any kind of connection to Abby or Gretchen. I also thought that the story dragged at points. There were some really exciting moments but nothing truly scary as I had hoped to find. In the end, this story just never really grabbed me and was just okay. I do think that a lot of readers will enjoy this one a lot. This is the first book by Grady Hendrix that I have read and I would be willing to read his work again in the future. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Quirk Books via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.