Friday, July 2, 2021

The Graduation by Christopher Pike


FINALLY! After three books of build-up, I finally get the closure I've desperately been seeking. The Final Friends trilogy has a pretty unique formula in that the first book is an introduction to a murder mystery with more and more build-up and character development until you get to book three and realize what's really going on.

It's been a while since I read through a series like this in chronological order in a short burst like this. It's strangely invigorating, like chugging shots or running a marathon. I couldn't really put it down. Even though it's trashy as all get-out, I loved how gritty it was and how much time was spent on developing the characters. A lot of these YA pulps feel pretty stock but it's clear that Pike spent time and care making sure all of the details lined up and showing how everyone was connected.

Regarding the solution to the murder-- I loved the parlor mystery ending and even though I'm not sure how I feel about some of those twists, I think the author made it work. THE GRADUATION is the darkest book yet in the series with some pretty graphic depictions of self-harm and gore, and a lot of sexual content. More so than I can remember seeing in one of these YA paperbacks for teens. It was shocking, to say the least!

Anyone who digs Point Horror and Z-Fave, and other vintage YA imprints will probably enjoy this trilogy.

4 out of 5 stars

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