My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My heart is full. I’m so glad I took the time to reread this one before diving into Don’t Fear the Reaper. This time around, I am switching my rating to a full 5-stars.
I feel like I got to know Jade’s character more this time. The first time, I was so focused on the Slasher references, some of the texture of the story was lost on me. Not this time. I see you, Jade, and I hear you loud and clear.
I think my biggest take-away this time through was actually Jade’s relationship with Slashers. I have a better understanding now of what drew her to that genre, what compelled her to learn all she could and what keeps her mind constantly cycling through all she knows as life gets tough, or uncertain, around her.
In a way, it is a self-soothing act for her and that makes my heart ache for her character even more than it did before. Jade has not had an easy life.
With the precariousness of her life, her living situation and future, Jade is searching for something solid and true. She craves a structure that won’t let her down.
She finds all she is looking for in Slashers. Any student of the genre knows that to be true. It does follow a certain pattern and Jade draws from that to relate to events that are going on around her. It’s a coping mechanism in a way.
I feel like the first time I read this, I was so invested in all Jade had to say about the genre that I failed to focus as much on why she was saying it.
Reading this again allowed me to focus more on the substance behind all that in-your-face Slasher goodness.
I am so excited to move forward with the next book. Don’t Fear the Reaper is releasing this coming Tuesday, February, 7th!! You’ve got just enough time to read this one before that release, if you haven’t already. Time to get cracking!
**4.5-stars rounded up**
My Heart Is a Chainsaw is Stephen Graham Jones most recent and brilliant, love letter to the Slasher genre. It’s also one of my most anticipated books of the year. Happily, it did not disappoint.
I actually finished this on September 2nd. Subsequently, I wrote a full review, which if I do say so myself, was pretty darn good.
Then due to major stupidity on my part, my laptop got inadvertently shutdown and all of my efforts were erased.
Normally, I would try to find another person within striking distance to blame, but unfortunately, it was just me, my dog and a potentially haunted ceiling fan.
But I digress…let’s try it again:
Jade Daniels is a social outcast in her small, lakeside town of Proofrock, Idaho. A half-Indian girl, forced to live with her abusive father, Jade changes her hair color often and views the world through a prism of her vast knowledge of the Horror genre.
As her high school career comes to a close, there’s not much on the horizon for Jade. She works as a janitor for the local public school system, and it seems she may be doing so well into the future.
That in and of itself is fine. If she could just stay away from her Dad and his pervy friend, it would all be okay.
When mysterious events around town start mirroring the plot structure of her favorite genre, however, Jade knows it’s finally happening. Oddly, she’s excited by the prospect.
Proofrock has a real-life Slasher on their hands!
Therefore, she does what any logical Horror Aficionado would do and tracks down the most obvious choice for Final Girl, in this case, new girl, Letha Mondragon, so she may teach her the fine art of defeating a Slasher.
Sure, there’s likely to be a high body count, that’s a given. After all, it’s almost time for the annual 4th of July celebration and we all know Slashers cannot resist events like that, but the final girl should still be able to stop him. Eventually.
I’m always amazed by how much Jones can pack into a story. Each page feels like a Master Class in the Horror genre; full of references and the rules that make my heart soar.
In addition to that though, he always doses us full of hard-hitting real world issues as well. There are many layers here, as there are in other novels of his that I have read.
This story was so much fun to read. It’s intricate, gritty, bloody, gory, smart, sarcastic, biting and fierce. The writing is top-notch and it’s going to remain in my mind for a long time to come.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Saga Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am sure there are a lot of things I am forgetting to mention about this, but what can I say?
I’m silenced by greatness!
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