Gretchen's plan to destroy Abby finally comes to light as Abby is framed for something she did not do. Desperate for some way to fix her friend before it's too late, Abby goes to the Exorcist. Together they drug and kidnap Gretchen, but the exorcism doesn't go as planned, and Abby will have to pull out all the stops to save her friend.
What I Liked:
- Abby's Harrowing: I really liked how the exorcism turned into a personal challenge for Abby. The build up to that moment of realization and then how Abby finally approached it was very beautiful. Though I am sure that Abby exorcising Gretchen with 80s pop lyrics could be read as extremely kitschy, I thought it was actually executed very well. This appears to be Grady Hendrix's strong suit, taking something kitsch and cliche and making it work and seem more sincere.
- Exorcist turn Savior: The way that Christian comes through for the girls was awesome. Watching him try to be an exorcist made me feel more sorry for him than it did angry at him. He definitely approached it the wrong way and I think he was selfish and immature, but he definitely redeems himself by saving Abby's neck. I was relieved that he didn't have to end up spending too much time in jail either. Abby's reunion with him after she had grown up was also a really strong moment, and gave the story quite a bit of closure.
- A Beautiful Friendship: I LOVED how we got to see that Abby and Gretchen's friendship survived. I was worried with the introduction that something would have happened that separated them for good, but I am relieved that that isn't how the story played out. I think the scene where Gretchen steals her parents car and reunites with Abby was one of the best in the entire novel, and really shows how their friendship grows and yet stays the same.
What I Didn't Like:
- Poor dog, Max: I know that his death was necessary for the plot and for its affect on both Gretchen and Abby, and its one of the largest consequences that Gretchen has to live with after her exorcism, but man. That scene was heart breaking. Poor, beautiful cinnamon roll, too good for this world, too pure.
- It ends...: I know, duh. But still, even though we got quite a bit of information after the story ends (more than a lot of writers would have given) I still wanted more...
Quote of the Week
"'I love you,' Abby shouted into the storm. 'I love you, Gretchen lang. You are my reflection and my shadow and I will not let you go. We are bound together forever and ever! Until Halley's Comet comes around again. I love you dearly and I love you queerly and no demon is bigger than this! I throw my pebble and its name is Gretchen Lang and in the name of our love, BEGONE!!!'" (p. 309)
"'You keep rescuing me and I don't know why,' Gretchen said. 'But every day I tell myself my life must be worth something because you keep saving it. They can't keep us apart. I don't care what happens. You never stopped trying to save me. I love you, Abby. You're my best friend, and my mirror, and my reflection, and you are me, and you are everything I love and everything I hate, and I will never give up on you,'" (p. 320).
- What did you think of the ending? What did you totally call? What came as a shock?
- Final thoughts on Christian (The exorcist)?
- In the last paragraph of the novel, we get to read a truly beautiful moment between Abby and Gretchen. What do you think of their friendship as the story leaves it? How do you think it is both different and similar to their friendship at the beginning of the story? In what ways are they stronger now?
- We talked a lot throughout the novel about kitsch/camp and the cliche, and how it is approached in the book. Do you think that Hendrix did a good job of approaching these, at times, silly aspects? Did it ever seem to heavy handed or ridiculous to you, or are you in love with all things eighties?