by Ashley Dickson-Ellison (@teachingtheapocalypse)
Still in the mood for some spooky reads as the end of October approaches? Don't miss Stephen Graham Jones's newest book that just came out on August 31st, My Heart is a Chainsaw (Amazon | Bookshop.org). I was so excited to read this one after reading and absolutely loving Stephen Graham Jones's The Only Good Indians (which I talked about on episode 148!), and thanks to Netgalley, I was able to get an e-galley of this one in exchange for an honest review. This novel, which falls in the horror genre but is a pretty light read for its category, is a fascinating and self-reflective look at the iconic aspects of slashers from the golden age of slasher films.
The protagonist Jade is a bit of an expert when it comes to the details of slasher films, and she knows the ins and outs of the plot arcs as well as the archetypal characters in the slashers... and she realizes as she sees events unfolding around her in her small town of Proofrock that she might very well be living through a real life slasher. As bodies start showing up and as Jade identifies the "final girl" who will surely be the center of the events, Jade tries to convince others around her that they are experiencing a slasher and that she can guide them through it to try to minimize the loss of life.
Graham plays with fiction and reality in this one, and the incorporation of Jade's analytical papers to her history teacher exploring slashers (as she struggles to get the last credit she needs to graduate in the summer after her senior year) make this a particularly interesting read. The beginning really grabbed me, but then it took a while to get more momentum going, but ultimately I found this one to be an interesting and surprisingly fun with a focus on history, revenge, the carelessness that comes with extreme wealth, and the desire to right historical wrongs.
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