I suspected this was going to be light when I read the blurb on the back cover and looks were not deceiving. One chapter in, with the sunk cost fallacy at work, I charged forward into My Best Friend’s Exorcism hoping it might eventually throw some morbid humor into the mix of teen girls being nasty to one another. It never did. Which is a weakness as snide comments and horror alone cannot round out this flimsy story.
As a YA book it works and there are some paragraphs that will put a shiver down the spine of a younger reader. But it's not pitched as a YA book and there is not much going on here if you have seen more than one horror movie in your life. It is packaged as 80s nostalgia, the oppressive Reganism only working if you remember the Reagan years, with that type of relationship women only have with one another in literature and movies. Beyond that it’s a straight down the line demonic possession story.
With self-awareness the author drops references to The Exorcist into the dialogue, but it is The Exorcist with a pinch of 976-Evil and lot of Mean Girls. Just like the title says it this is a story of demonic possession and the exorcism of the Demon from a girl’s best friend. There is a geeky friendship in youth, a more sophisticated friendship as teens, and an exhausted friendship in the latter part of life.
I am not giving away anything by revealing they managed to yank the demonic presence out. What the Demon gets up to before the exorcism is evil, but this is a Netflix pitch between two covers so its evil with an eye on a small production budget.