Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Best Friend's Exorcism” as Want to Read:
My Best Friend's Exorcism
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

My Best Friend's Exorcism

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  25,694 ratings  ·  4,550 reviews
1988. Charleston, South Carolina. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. . But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act… different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby.

Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries - and
Paperback, 332 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Quirk
More Details... Edit Details
Featured Notes & Highlights

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Best Friend's Exorcism, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Bambi Quim I agree. I also adored this novel, but it feels more like "general lit" than "YA lit." While the protagonists are primarily teens for the majority of …moreI agree. I also adored this novel, but it feels more like "general lit" than "YA lit." While the protagonists are primarily teens for the majority of the novel, the subject matter feels like it is aimed more for an older audience, anyway. This book feels like '80s nostalgia, which reaches for an older audience and/or a younger audience that really likes to watch old '80s movies (which was definitely me in high school, but I'm not sure if that was normal even then, let alone now).(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,694 ratings  ·  4,550 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of My Best Friend's Exorcism
Wil Wheaton
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
It's very very very good, but falls just short of being great and I can't say exactly why.
I loved the characters and the metaphor of possession (which is not just a metaphor in this story). I loved the references to 1988, and how seamlessly they were dropped into the narrative.

It's a supernatural horror story, and the third act drives that home without mercy, but at its core, this is a story about friendship, and I'm glad I read it. I think it would make a great 6 episode series.
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Well hell, the end of this book made me cry a little bit! I didn't see that coming!

I loved the front and back pages of this book. I took a couple of pictures so you guys could see. It's awesome, like a yearbook =)

I loved Abby and Gretchen's friendship. It lasted the test of time.

I think something in the book might have went over my head but I'm just going to pretend it didn't.

I loved, loved, loved the 80's music references and other stuff. It makes me think of the good ole days. Well, mostly
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

a reverse-mullet review: GIF-party in the front, long tendrils of ruminating “business” in the back.

in short, this book is


"DBNQ," and largely because “we got the beat” is used as a plot point in this book and “heaven is a place on earth” is used in that episode,

so it's six degrees of belinda carlisle

and then you throw in some



i need to use the rest of this space to untangle some thoughts and reactions i have about this book. you can come with me or you can go on your merry way to read
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Updating review on 9/20/19
I read a one-star review basically calling the author out for "queerbaiting" in this book by using the phrase "Love ya dearly but not queerly." I have to say that the 1980s were so homophobic and ignorant. Especially with language and phrases. It has taken a long time for me to stop saying, "That's gay" for something I think is lame and it doesn't have anything to do with me being homophobic and everything to do with the culture I grew up in. We also said "retarded" syn
This book was so much fun. This is my second book from Grady Hendrix and I just love his writing so much. This book screams 80's horror movie vibes and I love that about it. We follow this young teenage girl and her best friend begins acting super strange, and then we find out her best friend is possessed. This book is strange and gory and it has one of the most disturbing scenes I've read in a book since The Troop which is pretty surprising and hardcore for a YA book. There's also a Spotify pla ...more
Dan Schwent
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 2018-books
Abby and Gretchen were best friends until they dropped acid at a party. Now, Gretchen's been acting strangely, letting her appearance going to shit, and Abby's worried. But Gretchen will soon give her something to really worry about...

After the nirvana that was Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction, I had to give Grady Hendrix's fiction a shot.

Set during the satanic panic of the 1980s, My Best Friend's Exorcism is the story of the friendship between two girls
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ll admit that I first picked up Grady Hendrix’ 2016 novel My Best Friend’s Exorcism because of the title and the cover art, but his personable writing and fresh ideas kept me reading until the end.

This is about what you would think: a snarky and fun pseudo spoof of an exorcist themed horror / black comedy. BUT – author Hendrix makes this work because he tells the story with personality and better than average characterization and dialogue. The reader gets to know characters like Abby and Gretc
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, a-z-challenge
4.5 STARS!!
My Best Friend’s Exorcism was great! This was a wonderful tale about friendship and staying connected through it all, even involving demon possession.

Does it seem like a hokey idea, maybe? But it wasn't because it's written so well by Grady Hendrix that it just works. The creepy moments with the demon were well done. The book had moments of grossness that was fantastic. I was never terrified while reading this but I was definitely entertained!

The transformation of Gretchen made me fee
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steeped in 80's nostalgia, I thought this book was a blast!

It was never really scary, and I'm not sure that it was meant to be. My instincts tell me this book was written as an homage to the 80's and the silly fun that the horror genre provided at that time. Sure, there were crazy Satanism scares, Geraldo and diet fads but there were also great music videos, Blockbuster stores and a horror book boom to beat all booms. A lot of them were just like this...about young people, influenced by culture
Jul 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid story, a quick read - didn’t care for the exorcism portion of the story, but that was really my only quarrel with the book. Knew all of the cultural references, brought back some memories. Overall, enjoyed it.
Johann (jobis89)
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"She and Gretchen spent hours ranking their friendships, trying to determine who was a best friend and who was an everyday friend, debating whether anyone could have two best friends at the same time."

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, but things change when they start high school. After getting lost and spending a night in the woods, Gretchen becomes slightly... different. Abby knows that something is wrong, coming to the conclusion that her best friend must be possesse
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Abby and Gretchen have been friends ever since Abby’s 10th birthday party. Let’s just talk about that party for a minute. Who in their right mind would (1) plan their party after someone has already sent out invitations for another party? Margaret, that’s who . . . .

And (2) who would attend some lame ass horse party when they could do this instead . . . .

Apparently everyone #sadface. But seriously, what was with the stereotyp
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life

I had really high hopes for this book. Like really high. I was a bit disappointed in the end. I wasn't a bad story but it didn't even come close to living up to my expectations. When I first saw this book, I knew that I would have to read it. Demonic possession with heavy dose of 80's references were enough to really grab the attention of this old lady. Unfortunately, despite the wonderful premise I found the book rather underwhelming.

Abby and
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-horror
I saw this book on the list by Goodreads for new authors. I thought "Why not?" I was at a point in my reading career where I was choosing authors that were familiar for lack of willingness to take a risk with my time, and I hadn't had the best of luck getting outside the box. I'm glad I picked this up.
The beginning of the book was a long introduction to the characters, and if not for the author's wit, it would've made me sleepy. It did give me a clear picture of the characters, rounding them nic
"What an excellent day for an exorcism."
~The Exorcist (1973)
This is an okay book. Fair. Acceptable. But it takes too long to really get humming (I'm all in for foreplay, but Hendrix really pushes the limits to impatience here). More than three-quarters of the novel is essentially an angsty teen, coming-of-age high school drama about a group of girls and their growing pains with each other and with the world around them. It could very well be Gossip Girl or One Tree Hill -- except that one
Janie C.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed the way this story pulled me in for a good portion of the book, I was disappointed by the lack of clarity in the parts that involved the supernatural. The majority of the narrative was about the strength of a friendship, though it was a one-sided relationship for a painful amount of the time. Youthful naivety, social status and hurtful betrayals kept the story flowing. When the horror elements first appeared, they were enticing and creepy. However, by the end, I was disappointed ...more
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, I guess I should start out with the negatives. There were a few, but that is expected with any book. I really thought that the book was slow in parts and some of the situations didn't really have a sense of danger. I was really expecting a thorough account of the demonic possession, but the story that I did get was still entertaining. Gretchen's parents really ticked me off and... well... actually all of the adult figures in this book ticked me off. They offer no help and just push peo
Maria (Big City Bookworm)

“I love you, Gretchen Lang. You are my reflection and my shadow and I will not let you go. We are bound together forever and ever! Until Halley’s Comet comes around again. I love you dearly and I love you queerly and no demon is bigger than this!”

The moment I saw My Best Friend’s Exorcism in the flesh, I knew I wanted it. It’s formatted to look like a high school yearbook, which is honestly such a cool concept. The bright colours on top of the 80s feel of the photographs really sets the tone fo
Lucy Langford

This was campy and 80’s and fun. This also had a great exploration of going to the ends of the earth for female friendship and the importance/value of it.

This definitely read like an 80’s cheesy horror movie which was great! I am however, usually put off books with a high school setting (which this had) and I do prefer my horror reads to be chilling, disturbing and unnerving- which this wasn’t (and doesn’t aim to be).
Ashley Daviau
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book, I bought it purely because the title really caught my attention. And I'm so glad it did because I think this may be one of my favourite reads this year! I just loved everything about it, it had me completely sucked in from start to finish!

Some parts were quite funny and actually had me chuckling out loud, something that I definitely wasn't expecting from this book! And then on the other hand, some parts where thoroughly disturbing and raised th
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this story. It was a bit slow but it was atmospheric. It’s about 2 best friends Abby and Gretchen who live In Charleston who at a friends house on Labor Day after being on the creek all day in a boat decide to take acid and Gretchen goes missing that night only to be found naked the next morning and drastically changed . You can guess what happens hence the title . It was a fun throwback in 80s style horror flicks.
OMG I LOVED this book! The narrator, Emily Woo Zeller, was so awesome! She nailed it a billion times. The story is great and never dull. The characters and their relationships are realistic and believable. The horror in this book is so much more than a possession. (view spoiler)
Bentley ★
See this review and more like it on!

This was such a unique blend of 80s movie nostalgia, comedy and horror movie tropes. Grady Hendrix's My Best Friend's Exorcism is nothing if not a wonderful ode to all that made horror of the late 80s and early 90s so great.

From the chapter titles that are all 80s song titles, to the pages rife with pop culture references from the 1980s, this book is a wonderful tribute to all that made that era so memorable. I was unfortunately bor
Krystin Rachel
Book Blog | Bookstagram

Opening Hook: Don’t take acid in the woods.
Main Character: The power of Christ compels her.
Plot Twisty-ness: E.T. attending an exorcism.


I own Horrorstör by this author, but I haven’t read it yet. I only bought it for the cover, and format, without any idea of what the book was about or if I liked the author. And honestly, I wanted to read My Best Friend’s Exorcism for the same reason. This is 100% a “#bookstagram made me do it” read. The alternat
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Grady Hendrix is an author who first came to my attention a couple years ago when I picked up his book Horrorstör, a fun and creepy and slightly eccentric horror novel about a haunting at a big box furniture store. The book really stuck in my mind, so my interest was immediately piqued when I found out about the humorously titled My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Knowing more now than I did before about Hendrix’s style though, I
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure what possessed me to pick this one up. (Hahaha)

I hated the cover (everybody loves it) and it looked to be kind of a YA thang which I also hate. (Mostly) And yes, I hated “both” covers, although the newer VHS style cover was a bit better. I also heard it was 80’s pop culture heavy, which I also should have hated. So why then, oh why, did I pick it up?

I’ll tell you why…


No that’s not why. Although that is a good enough reason.

I picked it up because Grady’s “Paperbacks From H
Krista Regester
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 - This book will give you a creepy 80’s vibe that you won’t be able to easily forget. It’s unique, quirky, frightening but delightful and shows you that friendship is more important than you think.
Peter Monn
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so much more than I️ ever expected. An icon of 80’s pop culture references while equally gruesome and disturbing. My full review will be up on my booktube channel at ...more
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Packed to the brim with ‘80s nostalgia, each chapter is even titled as a different song from that era, I can only describe this as ”666teen Candles”.

”My Best Friend’s Exorcism” is very reminiscent of those ‘80s chick-flicks, but with a dose of possession and creepiness thrown in. It also highlights how that time was a lot less PC with language and phrases used, and how they are really not okay to use today, but it was a reflection of the time.
It’s quoted as being like “if Tina Fey had written T
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Clown in a Cornfield
  • Mexican Gothic
  • Home Before Dark
  • The Only Good Indians
  • Survivor Song
  • The Troop
  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things
  • Night of the Mannequins
  • A Head Full of Ghosts
  • The Saturday Night Ghost Club
  • The Shadows
  • The Twisted Ones
  • Sour Candy
  • The Cabin at the End of the World
  • The Sun Down Motel
  • Catherine House
  • Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre
  • If It Bleeds
See similar books…
Want a look at my newest book, The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires? Then enter now for an ARC giveaway. You could get your blood-soaked paws on one of these books before anyone else on your block!

Grady Hendrix is the author of the novels Horrorstör, about a haunted IKEA, and My Best Friend's Exorcism, which is like Beaches meets The Exorcist, only it's set in the Eighties.

He's also

Articles featuring this book

April is the most hopeful of months, promising warm days and sunshine just around the corner. The weather is a little unpredictable, sure, but...
94 likes · 36 comments
“I love you, Gretchen Lang. You are my reflection and my shadow and I will not let you go. We are bound together forever and ever! Until Halley’s Comet comes around again. I love you dearly and I love you queerly and no demon is bigger than this!” 29 likes
“By the power of Phil Collins, I rebuke you!” she said. “By the power of Phil Collins, who knows that you coming back to me is against all odds, in his name I command you to leave this servant of Genesis alone.” 15 likes
More quotes…