Review: My Heart is a Chainsaw

my heart is a chainsaw stephen graham jones

My Heart is a Chainsaw centers on Jade Daniels, a half-native american outcast with an abusive father and an absent mother. She finds comfort in an unsual source: horror films, especially slasher ones. Jade narrates the story of the town of Proofrock as if it were one of those movies. But when people actually start dying in the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls the reader inside her encyclopedic knowledge of murders and her predictions were right all along. As Jade drags us into this nightmare, we get to know the true side of her: a sensible who has suffered and desperately wants a home. A girl whose heart is like a chainsaw.

I have conflicting thoughts as I’m writing this review. First off, I LOVED the slasher theme here and all the references to slasher movies. I’ve seen several of the ones the author mentioned throughout the story, and the comparisons and connections were on point.

Our main character, Jade, is peculiar. At first, it was hard for me to empathize with her until I got to know her better in later chapters. Her behaviors are odd, and even though she is obsessed with everything slasher-related, her intentions are good. She has a dark sense of humor, very sarcastic, but I actually found some parts funny, which is so weird because it’s the last type of book I thought I’d find myself laughing out loud. Her voice felt vivid.

Plot-wise, I found it hard to follow at the beginning. Some chapters felt too long with descriptions that didn’t add much to the context. Also, I get that Jade is a lone wolf, but I wish there would’ve been more dialogue.

The end was a cliffhanger. In most slasher films everything is explained at the end while the surviving characters are safe and sound. This slasher book, however, doesn’t follow the same rules. The events are never truly explained, we can only make assumptions based on what Jade sees or wishes to think. I liked the very last scene, but I felt the overall story lacked closure.

“Some girls just don’t know how to die.”

Stephen Graham Jones, My Heart is a Chainsaw

Rating: 3.5 / 5