Review | My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for

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. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies. But 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: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. 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: 4 out of 5.

I know that pretty much anything by Stephen Graham Jones is going to be a winner for me, but this one really blew me away. This book truly is an appreciation and love letter of all things slasher, really capturing the genre in and of itself while also featuring a main character who is obsessed with it. While reading you can’t really tell if Jade is a reliable or unreliable narrator, partly due to how deep her obsession with slashers goes. A lot of the book is spent wondering if she’s just imagining things or if they are really happening the way she is perceiving them.

Stephen Graham Jones’ writing style is perfectly showcased here as you’re left second guessing everything. Whether or not Jade is telling the truth (or what she’s hiding under her gruff and sarcastic front), who the killer is and just what is going on in the town overall. All the different twists that culminated at the end were mind blowing and for the most part unexpected. If you’re looking for a thriller that is an ode to slashers and constantly keeps you on your toes, this is one you should pick up.

Happy reading!

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