A heartwarming story of friendship and demonic possession.
The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since the 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?
Like an unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist, My Best Friend's Exorcism blends teen angst, adolescent drama, unspeakable horrors, and a mix of '80s pop songs into a pulse-pounding supernatural thriller.
©2016 Grady Hendrix (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I picked this up as a Daily Deal and didn't have any expectations going in, but I loved it. I listened to it in two days--as close to non-stop as sleep and work permitted.
I'm not sure why, exactly--maybe because the friendship between Abbie and Gretchen felt so authentic? Hendrix writes fully-fleshed characters with real flaws and zits, gives you enough time to get to know them and like them, and then begins the crazy stuff, a lot of which is gross, and some of which is legitimately scary.
One thing that I found hard to take, though--there is an incident of animal cruelty. You'll see it coming. If that's something that bothers you as much as it does me, you can easily avoid it by fast-forwarding for a few minutes.
Writer, jargon slayer, patron saint of slumber parties.
I listened to this book in two sittings during a long road trip with my friend, and we kept busting out laughing or saying "ewww" or making faces throughout. It's one of the more entertaining stories I've listened to, both due to the way Grady Hendrix handles the topic (I mean, 80's "It" girls where one of them gets possessed? Come on!!) AND because the narration is more of a performance than someone reading to you.
My Best Friend's Exorcism strikes a good balance between horror, humor and friend-drama. It truly is "Beaches meets The Exorcist," as the synopsis states. Emily Woo Zeller puts a lot of emotion into the dialogue and as a narrator she has amazing comedic timing. I honestly think I would have missed some of the humor and playfulness in this book if I had bought the paper version (which I almost did)
I don't think I could ever do that, but I did listen to it in two sittings, which is a first. It's just so entertaining.
If you prefer audiobooks with straight narration, I would pass on this one because the performance elements are so strong. But if you do pass and you were curious about this story, then DEFINITELY read the paper version!
Another reviewer mentioned that some lines of dialogue are very quiet and you have to turn up the volume to hear. We had to do the same thing but it wasn't a bother in the car. (This is an audio production thing, not the voice actor.) Turn it back down once the quiet part is over, because when the characters are loud, Emily is loud. As it should be :)
Lastly, I gave the story four stars instead of five for a couple reasons. It's written from Abby's point of view, and because of that we don't get to see things that happen to and around Gretchen (the girl who is possessed) unless Abby is present. There are some things I wanted to "see" firsthand in the story that either we never get to know, or we find out secondhand when Abby finds out. Also, I didn't always believe the way the different parents acted. But overall I loved it!
Because I believe that demonic possession can happen, I wasn't excited about getting to know the characters and seeing the downfall of Gretchen. My favorite part, however, would have to be the sick and twisted things that "Gretchen" does to her friends. I'm not going to spoil, so please read! They are incredibly SHOCKING!
Same question, but I'll put up something else. I loved how this experience (reading the book) was a combination of something horrific and the love and cherished friendship between Abbie and Gretchen. It made the possession part much less horrific.
Zeller is stellar! Okay, that was so cheesy and I'm sorry for putting it that way; however, I haven't listened to many books where a narrator has had so much emotion put into it. I would compare her to Emma Galvin (The Poison Princess series, Divergent, and more). They both have youthful voices full of emotion and expression. There's no way I would've had that just reading the book. (Oh, and you know when a female narrator does the voice of a male character and you're like "Really? That is the dumbest fake masculine voice I've ever heard!"--Absolutely none of that! She didn't try to hard to make her voice sound like it was something that it wasn't.
I don't ever do this. It is, however, one of the books where I was watching television, and thinking, 'I could be listening to My Best Friend's Exorcism!' At which point, I would stop watching TV and listen to the book.
I don't know anything about Grady Hendrix and I haven't read her other book(s). (At least, I believe the author is female). However, I suggest this book to anyone who 1. Grew up in the 80's (full of references to that decade of music, film, etc.) 2. Is a girl or boy with a best friend you'd do anything for 3. Loves a story that makes you sink to the depths of despair without falling into the pit of despair. 4. I don't know, just read it! It's worth it!
Story was okay. More like a commercial for the bands and brands of the '80's with a story thrown in. My biggest issue was the narrator. Her voice so soft on parts I had to turn my speakers up to heat her, only to be blasted by her shrill scream seconds later.
I got this for the daily deal. It wound up being a great purchase.
Being a practicing Christian and having been raised in church, I was really skeptical about buying this as stories about demon possessions scare the hell out of me. However, I wanted to try something different; I was pleasantly surprised. The 80's it-girl narrative, a really authentic friendship, irresponsibly high school students and a paranormal threat more powerful than anything anyone could image all in one story? Seems like it could go really cliché but it wasn't. Abby and Gretchen's friendship was so really and sincere from start to finish. Their dedication to one and other brought tears to my eyes. The author made them so real and loveable. So when we see Gretchen start to spiral out of control, I felt like I was losing a close personal friend. The final chapters made me so emotionally conflicted. I was scared enough to want to rip out; but so invested I wanted to jump in and start praying with Abby. Which could only mean that it was a Great story.
Emily Woo Zeller had a great voice. Her delivery was perfect; she really committed to the emotional content. I really felt the high school 80's girl attitude wafting though my speakers
After listening to this fluffy, sweet, and totally fun book, I felt obligated to buy a copy for my best friend of 20 years and inscribe it "you're my one person." Funny and fast-paced and everything you want in a ya novel. Made me laugh and cry and have all the feels. I'm happy I stumbled across this writer. Can't wait to read more.
The story was a humongous flashback for me! Not only did I love the story, but it was a reminder of my own.
The exorcism when Abby shouted out, "In the name of Phil Collins, you will not have this child of Genesis..."
I know that it's the story that brought the mega-experience, but Zeller's voices and exclamations made the story just that much bigger!
Be prepared possess your Inner-80's!
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: http://tinyurl.com/glwjuun
**Book provided by Quirk Book Publishings, for an honest review.
Narrator of this book was terrible. Almost annoying. Better off reading yourself. First time I have purchased a bad audio book. I have enjoyed listening to my other purchases. Great voices. Story on this book was pretty childish. Was not a book I wanted to come back to. Forced myself to get through because you can't return it.
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