My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones focuses on a half Native Indian girl called Jade Daniels. Jade is an avid fanatic of horror slashers and uses it as a way to hide her own personal issues. This in turn causes her to perceive many things differently compared to others. After the bodies of two dead tourists wash up on the Indian Lake in Proofrock(Iowa), Jade believes that this is only the beginning. She begins to suspect that a violent killer will soon begin to kill many of the townsfolk of Proofrock. Jade begins to set a plan in her mind as to how things will pan out if a killer is in fact this real life slasher will pan out. Are these Jade’s delusions or is everything that is about to happen true? Well you’ll have to read the book to find out 🙇🏽♂️.
One of the most unique novels I’ve read, My Heart is a Chainsaw takes homage from some of the greatest horror/slashers movies in the world. Throughout the story Jade references many horror slashers from Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Friday the Thirteenth, and many more. This in turn creates an eerie and disturbing atmosphere that keeps you on the edge.
It was also really interesting to learn about her inner demons, her estranged mother, and her relationship with her abusive father. It makes you understand that watching and analysing horror movies is Jade’s coping mechanism allowing her to escape from the real world. Her knowledge of horror movies helps Jade train her friend Leah in to becoming the ultimate final girl as the climax gets closer and closer for the townsfolk.
As a narrator, Jade was extremely chaotic which made it difficult sometimes to keep up with what was going on in her head. But man was she an interesting character to say the least. She was such a lively character with an enormous personality. She’s also incredibly smart and her knowledge of horror slashers would make Wes Craven proud. Seeing her mind wander with regards to horror slashers in correlation with what was happening in the real world was phenomenal. The last few chapters towards the end were epic and had my heart racing! I felt so sorry for her however. She was treated so horribly by her father and a lot of the townsfolk often doubted her thinking she was crazy to suspect a murderer was in Proofrock. As the story goes on we see how much her mental state has been impacted by her father.
The secondary characters were also extremely interesting. All of them were incredibly fleshed out making you want to know more about them. A character called Letha for example begins to form a strong bond with Jade after realising there is more to Jade than what it seems. Hardy the town sheriff also tries to be a father figure to Jade. He attempts to get to the bottom of why Jade is acting th way she is and attempts to steer her in what he believes is the right direction.
I did have one issue however when it comes to this novel. My god was it a slow burn at times and chaotic. The pacing of the story was so slow at times that I almost gave up. But because I wanted to know what would happen and Jade being such a unique character I pushed through this issues.
Overall, I really enjoyed this and the intensity was through the roof. The writing style/narration is the most unique writing I’ve ever come across. Stephen Graham Jones is a phenomenal writer who really blew me away. Lovers of horror will absolutely adore this book I’m sure. The only knit pick I have is that you require a lot of patience and concentration when reading this book. One false slip of the mind and your brain will be like 😵
Thank you Anabel and Gallery Books/ Saga Press for sending me a copy of this really interesting and unique novel 😊.