You might remember Grady Hendrix from such quirky horror novels as Horrorstor, in which retail employees fend off ghosts and torture devices in a big box store. In My Best Friend’s Exorcism, a night of drugs and skinny-dipping leads to demonic possession.
Abby and Gretchen have been friends since they were kids. But now that they’re in high school, something between them has shifted. Gretchen’s acting awfully weird, and despite everyone saying it’s just a teenage girl phase, Abby’s convinced it’s something much darker than that. And she’s willing to do anything to save her best friend.
This novel does a lot less with framing than Horrorstor, but the yearbook endpages are spot-on gold. And the exorcism scene toward the end is suitably disturbing and moving. Hendrix is great with blending creepiness, action, and humor, and it’s all used to very good effect here.
At its heart, this is the story of a friendship, and that core holds the novel together. You really care about Abby and Gretchen, and you want their friendship to succeed against all odds. Possession works incredibly well as a metaphor for adolescence, and while Hendrix doesn’t beat you over the head with it, that element plays a big part in the story.
If you like 80’s flicks and possession stories, give this one a try!