My Best Friend's Exorcism

Quirk. May 2016. 332p. ISBN 9781594748622. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781594748639. HORROR
In 1982, Abby met Gretchen at her bomb of a birthday party, and they have been best friends ever since. Now high school sophomores, they spend their time as most 16-year-olds do in Charleston, SC: listening to music and sneaking smokes and Bud Lite. After a night of lame acid and skinny-dipping turns horrible, Gretchen begins to act differently—very differently. Mood swings may be common for teenage girls, but Abby fears Gretchen's condition is much more than that. Abby can't get anyone to believe that there is anything wrong with Gretchen, so she digs into what could have altered her friend's personality. When the truth comes to light, it is greater than teen angst, peer pressure, or popularity—it is the work of the devil.
VERDICT Hendrix (Horrorstör) brings his blend of dark humor and horror back in this perfect balance of teenage dread and supernatural thrills. Readers who lived through high school in the 1980s may dredge up old memories of big hair and stirrup pants, which will be frightening in itself. [Five-city tour; previewed in "Editors' Spring Picks," LJ 2/15/16.]
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