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My Heart Is A Chainsaw - 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 in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones.

Some girls just dont know how to die…

Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th in My Heart Is a Chainsaw , written by the author of The Only Good Indians Stephen Graham Jones, called a literary master by National Book Award winner Tananarive Due and one of our most talented living writers by Tommy Orange.

Alma Katsu calls My Heart Is a Chainsaw a homage to slasher films that also manages to defy and transcend genre. On the surface is a story of murder in small-town America. But beneath is its beating heart: a biting critique of American colonialism, Indigenous displacement, and gentrification, and a heartbreaking portrait of a broken young girl who uses horror movies to cope with the horror of her own life.

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.

Genre: Horror Rating: 3/5

Favourite Quotes:

"There's something solemn about being awake when everyone's asleep."

"We all become history at some point or another, right?"

"Without memory there can be no retribution."


There was so much to love about this book! Especially if you grew up with slasher films. There are so many references throughout the book which makes it a lot of fun. The opening scene with the two tourists out on the lake in the middle of the night was epic and set the tone perfectly for the rest of the book. The main character, a teenager named Jade, is a slasher film aficionado but her love of horror is also her safety blanket; her invisibility cloak. I really connected with this character and at times I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug her. She's convinced that the town is on the brink of its own slasher story, and when rich girl, Lena, moves to town, Jade's convinced she's found her Final Girl. And it's up to her to educate Lena on how to survive the ultimate slasher. There were some inconsistencies in the story line which I found a little confusing--or maybe I missed something? Towards the end, the plot became chaotic, but not always in a good way. It was hard to keep track of what was going on and who was doing what - it was a little messy and ended up feeling anticlimactic. In saying that I will definitely read the next book in this trilogy. I'm eager to see where the story goes from here!

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