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MY HEART IS A CHAINSAW by Stephen Graham Jones Kirkus Star


by Stephen Graham Jones

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-9821-3763-2
Publisher: Saga/Simon & Schuster

A Catcher in the Rye meets Friday the 13th in the latest slasher novel from thriller aficionado Jones.

Jade Daniels is the local weird girl in her small town of Proofrock, Idaho. After a suicide attempt cements her status as a pariah, Jade retreats into her encyclopedic knowledge of the slasher genre as a way to make sense of her troubled world. Jones presents a deep character study that explores all the typical terrain of both an angst-y teen coming-of-age story and a campy slasher film, but with a protagonist so invested in her slasher world that it takes on a fresh presentation, not to mention a fair bit of humor. Rather than doing two things poorly, Jones is able to leverage the strengths of each genre to complement the other. Jade’s capacity to examine her own trauma, heartache, and desire to belong is repeatedly fashioned through the slasher lens with surprisingly satisfying results. When local events begin to more and more resemble the conventions of her particular obsession, Jade finds herself in a unique position to witness the story unfold in real time. Despite the inclusion of some coming-of-age story stereotypes, like the absent mother and deadbeat father, Jade’s earnestness grounds the novel with a clear protagonist and stakes. Jones’ invocation and subversion of slasher tropes and traditions are delivered masterfully in this love letter to the genre, where newcomer and entrenched fan alike will feel rewarded. In no small way, Jones demonstrates the heights to which the slasher genre can aspire.

A magnum opus that has the power to send readers scrambling for more.