How to Survive Your Murder

Author: Danielle Valentine
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin Random House)
Date Published: August 30, 2022

My initial thoughts looking at the bloody spatters on the cover of How to Survive Your Murder were that it looked like a darkly interesting book, but not in my genre, so would I really enjoy it? Chainsaws in a cornfield freak me out because I’m still traumatized by the smell of gasoline and sound of the chainsaws at a Halloween event my sister forced me to attend. In the words of Jordan Peele, I almost said “nope” after reading an excerpt.

Well, I not only enjoyed it, I loved it! This YA book uses the horror movie trope of the Final Girl to take us on the journey of “what if”. What if Alice had followed her sister into the corn maze? What if she had had an opportunity to go on a date with bad boy, Wes? What really happened that night, a year ago?

It was like a bad accident – I couldn’t look away. And every time Alice said this is where she should be doing what the horror movies told her she should do, I was screaming “RUN!” My first foray into Final Girl homage prior to this was much more steeped in horror movie lore, so I appreciated the relatable humor and down-to-earth, realistic language that made me realize I’m missing out by not reading more YA books!

Thanks to Bookish First and Penguin Books for an advance reader’s copy.

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