My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

I love a good slasher movie. I grew up with cult slasher flicks – Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Halloween. And that made this book all the more enjoyable.

Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. When blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold.
Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges…a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: A girl whose feelings are too big for her body. My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The audiobook narrated by Cara Gee kept me hooked till the end. The protagonist, Jennifer “Jade” Daniels, is a slasher geek whose wishes for a real-life slasher to come to her town of Proofrock, Idaho come true. She’s the town reject who takes on the daunting task of informing and educating the final girl, the town newbie who finds it hard to take Jade’s warnings seriously. The story is filled with amazing characters – the town’s sheriff who keeps an eye out for Jade, the almost-retired History teacher who is definitely in Jade’s corner, Tab Daniels – Jade’s dad – a most hateable character.

I thought I had the ending firgured out. But I was pleasantly surprised at the final turn of events. The ending itself is powerful – just the kind of ending a final girl derserves. The whole book is a treat for horror/slasher fans. One of my 5-star reads of the year.

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