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My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Posted by George Woods on

Abby is obsessed with E.T. and in fourth grade she has an E.T. themed roller disco birthday party. Obviously this is in 1982 and not 2020. Unfortunately, Abby isn’t a popular girl and everyone goes to Margarets house to ride horses instead. Then Gretchen shows up, the new kid who’s a bit weird and gives Abby a bible for her birthday and only came because Abby invited her first. This is the rocky story of how Abby and Gretchen become best friends. 

Skip forward to 1988 and the sixteen year old girls hanging out with their two other friends, Glee and Margaret. Margaret is mega rich and has this amazing house out by the lake so they decide, after drinking on a boat all day and taking some LSD that didn’t seem to work, that they would go skinny dipping. It’s midnight, the tide has gone out and they’re all tripping a little bit, this is the rocky story of how Gretchen becomes possessed by a demon. 


My Best Friends Exorcism is an amazing novel that is, like, so totally 80’s, gag me with a spoon! The best thing about that though is that it doesn’t rely on being set in the 80s to give it a unique point or depth, and the characters are still very relatable forty years later. It had all great things that we want in an 80s horror story; the music, the movies and even the hairspray brands that kept you in place. Grady Hendrix really did the research on this one and it shows.

There are also some amazing horror moments in there that had me freaked out. There is a scene involving tapeworms that actually had me feeling a little queasy, and the exorcism scene it’s self is like, grody to the max. Also, if you don’t like books where animals get hurt, be careful and don’t get too attached. 


The characters aren’t complex and I’m not sure whether that’s an issue or a choice. Obviously, this is themed after so many B-Horror 80’s movies where the characters are all just one thing; the mean girl, the smart girl, the fun girl etc. and this book has a lot of that going for it. The problem with the though is that I couldn’t tell you if I actually really liked any of the characters. They were all likeable in their own ways but they weren’t fleshed out enough for me to develop any real emotions about their lives and wellbeing. 


My Best Friends Exorcism is The Exorcist meets Heathers and anyone who has loved Stranger Things, Stephen Kings IT or any of the newer stuff set in the 80’s is going to really enjoy this book. Real horror buffs will enjoy this because it’s such a cheesy b-movie put in to a book it’ll make you want to rewatch all your favourite bad horror movies. 


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