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Context Literature / FinalGirls

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2[[caption-width-right:350:Surviving is not living.]]
4''“The first great thriller of 2017 is here: Final Girls, by Riley Sager. If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like this.”''
7''Final Girls'' by Riley Sager is a 2017 {{Horror}} {{Thriller}} novel. It is a {{Deconstruction}} of slasher movies that follows up on the long-term effects of surviving a massacre like so many young women in horror movies do.
9Ten years ago, Quincy Carpenter was a college student who survived a real life horror movie when an escaped mental patient murdered her best friends while she was on a camping trip. A nervous wreck who runs a baking vlog, she struggles to maintain a StepfordSmiler facade. Her only friends are boyfriend Jeff and police officer Coop. She is one of the three "Final Girls" that have survived similar experiences with psychotic killers -- beautiful, tragic, and newsworthy.
11When Lisa, the only one Quincy had any contact with, suddenly commits suicide, Quincy finds herself contacted by the other Final Girl. Samantha attempts to force herself into Quincy's life and pressure her into unleashing her long repressed violent side. She also asks uncomfortable questions that force Quincy to confront her amnesia about the night that made her famous.
13What ''did'' happen that night?
17* ActionGirl: Averted. While the women are labeled such, they were closer to ActionSurvivor types. Quincy is neither [[spoiler: as she was never in any danger due to the killer's crush.]]
18* AffablyEvil: Joe Hannen seems an ordinary shy boy that can't possibly have been a serial killer. [[spoiler: He turns out not to have been.]]
19* BerserkButton: Quincy has a very well buried one: being threatened by men.
20* BigBadDuumvirate: [[spoiler: Tina Brody and Coop turn out to be this, though Coop is far more dangerous.]]
21* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Quincy has killed Coop but the other two Final Girls are dead. Tina also faces up to two years of jail time for the various crimes she committed trying to prove Joe's innocence. Jeff breaks up with Quincy when he finds out she cheated on him with Coop. On the other hand, Quincy will carry on Lisa's role as a teacher of Final Girls.]]
22* {{Deconstruction}}: The book shows that any woman who survives an encounter with a murderous psychopath who kills all your friends is going to be a nervous wreck for the rest of their life, not a badass ActionGirl.
23* DramaticIrony: [[spoiler: Sam/Tina believes that Quincy is the Pinewood Cottage murderer and not her best friend Joe, who she was a patient at an asylum with. She's wrong and almost pays for it with her life.]]
24* FinalGirl: The central conceit is that the media tactlessly applies this appellation to three beautiful survivors of three separate in-universe massacres by serial killers. The attention only makes their lives worse and exacerbates their mental trauma. It turns out no one wants to treated like they survived a real life horror movie.
25* GoneHorriblyRight: Sam[[spoiler:/Tina]]'s attempt to go trolling for muggers [[spoiler: gets an addict beaten into a coma by Quincy.]]
26* IfItBleedsItLeads: The reason Quincy is a celebrity is due to the fact her survival of a camp ground massacre makes national headlines.
27* InsaneEqualsViolent: Played with in multiple ways. [[spoiler: Joe turns out to have been a harmless mental patient who did nothing wrong. Coop, however, is a murderous serial killer. Sam was wrongly sent to an asylum for the insane. Quincy is violent when her PTSD is triggered.]]
28* ManipulativeBastard: [[spoiler: Coop. He successfully seduces each of the "Final Girls", maintains the facade as Quincy's most trusted ally, even manufacturing fake death threat mail to her to drive her back to him when she starts pulling away. He does all of this while being a serial killer who's pattern hasn't been identified by law enforcement.]]
29* MaskOfSanity: [[spoiler: Coop. He maintains the demeanor of a caring cop who will always be there for Quincy after saving her from the massacre at Pinewood Cottage. In reality he is a serial killer]]
30* MissingWhiteWomanSyndrome: Part of the reason why Quincy and the other Final Girls are so famous. They looked like conventionally pretty horror movie protagonists. [[spoiler: It's implied Tina is irritated with them because of this due to the fact she survived a similar horrific experience but got no attention at all.]]
31* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Quincy suffers a minor breakdown [[spoiler: after beating a junkie into a coma.]]
32* OurSlashersAreDifferent: Slashers are (apparently) just normal human serial killers. It's just that the media has sensationalized a specific group of them in order to promote the concept of three female [[SoleSurvivor Final Girls.]] Played with as the killers largely acted like movie villains during their murders rather than real life serial killers.
33* ProperlyParanoid: Jeff doesn't like Sam from the beginning and believes she's here to shake Quincy down for money. [[spoiler: He's wrong as she's here to kidnap Quincy in order to get her to confess to the Pinewood Cottage murders.]]
34* RapeAsDrama: [[spoiler: Tina used to be raped by her father until she killed him in self-defense, only to be disowned by her mother.]]
35* SerialKiller: Joe and the other serial killers who made the Final Girls famous. [[spoiler: Joe is innocent. It was Coop all along.]]
36* SexIsEvilAndIAmHorny:
37** Quincy is uncertain about having sex with her boyfriend on the camping trip. Their one attempt goes badly. [[spoiler: So she ends up sleeping with mental patient Joe instead.]]
38** Turns out to actually be a thing that Quincy suffers from in life as she's irritated with caring, sensitive partners and prefers to have a dominating sleazy one.
39** [[spoiler: Coop]] has this view of women. [[spoiler: He kills, or tries to kill, each of the Final Girls after sex.]]
40* ShellShockedVeteran: Quincy suffers PTSD that she keeps under control with Xanax and avoiding triggers.
41* SlasherMovie: A literary version of one, or at least their aftermath. The Final Girls are a media sensation created by cynical publishers because their victims are pretty and their stories have a similarity to horror movie leads.
42* StepfordSmiler: Quincy does her best to put on a facade of a happy, sweet, and bland young woman. It has done little to help her PTSD.
43* VillainousCrush: [[spoiler: Coop is revealed to have had one on Quincy the entire time, which is why he spared her life.]]
44* WorstAid: Sam[[spoiler:/Tina]] deliberately tries to provoke Quincy's PTSD.