My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones is a retelling of The Boy Who Cried Wolf but this time it is The Girl Who Cried Slasher. This book is a huge homage to the Slasher movie genre and the final survival girl filled with history, facts, and opinions. Where Slasher movies are not known for there characterizations this novel is all about character; as it breakdowns the many layers of the main character Jade. Jade at first is seen as a Slasher obsessed trouble maker, rebelling from society, at the end of the story Jade is explained and grows and it is a truly beautiful thing. The ending was great and everything you want in a Slasher (high body count). The story is good but I did not like the way it was told. Jade has ADHD and at a moment notice will focus on something else usually a Slasher, ad then circle back 7 paragraphs later which I found extremely frustrating. I also found that this novel missed key descriptors he first scene it fills like the couple are in the car but they are not they’re by the car, I kept having to rewrite what was already in my head, time and time again. Jade is ignored so she will have dialogue that just sits there unanswered, for a while I thought is this all in the character head. Half way through the novel becomes more focused and allowed me to truly see it, but me and the writing style did not mesh even though I love the eventual full characterization of Jade I struggled and thought about not finishing, very happy I did not because of the excellent ending. Thank you Netgalley Gallery / Saga Press for letting me read and review this book. My Heart is a Chainsaw was published on August 31 2021.
The Plot: Jade is a half American Indian, 17 year-old who is Slasher film obsessed. After a suicide attempt at Indian Lake she is released from a hospital/treatment center, she is given the wrong phone one of a foreign person. she watches a video on the phone of a foreign couple getting massacred at Indian Lake by the pier she slashed her wrist at. Jade is convinced that this and the town is building a subdivision on the other side of the Indian Lake on what once was Indian land is a sign. That a slasher will take revenge on the town at an upcoming festival on the Lake where the film Jaws will be played. Jade tries to warn people that think she’s crazy. It is up to Jade to find the final girl of the story and train her up before the massacre.
What I Liked: The layers revealed about the character of Jade why she is broken, why she is slasher film obsessed, and why she believes she is the plucky side kick in the slasher. The ending is great blood filled. The education you get on Slasher films is the best part, and not just the popular ones but the obscure ones, as well. I liked the metaphors that related to the stealing of Indian land due to commercialism. I loved the title and how it is referenced in the book.
What I Disliked: This book at times was so hard to picture what was going on at the time that I contemplated not finishing. Character’s ignorring what Jade said was annoying and not even acknowledging that she spoke. A couple of the character overlooked a lot, the same character act friendly when Jade through a machete in her direction and is horrified of Jade’s Slasher theory and goes so far as calls the cops but the next time they see each other Jade has not stopped her theory and broke in and the character is like sleep over?
Recommendations: If you can’t tell this is a very uneven review on the one hand I love what was added to the slasher/horror genre a real character with real issues finding her own confidence in a horror like scenario, one the other hand this novel was really hard to follow with Jade getting distracted and circling back to speaking dialogue that was ignored. A lot of my horror blogger friends have raved about this novel calling it a game changer, which I acknowledge this novel goes to places and areas I did not think would get explored and was happy to see. I will hesitantly recommend this novel for it’s addition to the genre, bt will say this novel is not for everybody and if you were like me struggling to see this novel played out in your head it does not get any easier until over half way through. I rated My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones 3 out of 5 stars.