Book Review: My Heart is a Chainsaw

MY HEART IS A CHAINSAW | Stephen Graham Jones
(Indian Lake Trilogy #1)
08.31.2021 | Saga Press
Rating: 4/5 stars


Jade Daniels loves slasher movies. They comfort her from the realities of her life. She is an angry, half-Indian outcast living with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. Jade believes her quickly gentrifying rural lake town, Proofrock, is on its way to being the site of a real-life version of the horror movies she loves. As blood starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake it seems that the town is wrong and Jade’s fever dream ranting about a killer on the loose might just be true.

MY HEART IS A CHAINSAW is filled with horror movie nostalgia that will warm any cinephile’s heart. Jade’s knowledge of horror movies is an intricate part of who she is as a person and where her life is taking her. When events turn bleak in her hometown of Proofrock, her knowledge may also become the thing that might save her. Jade is a deeply layered character who took me a bit of time to bond with, but as Jones starts to reveal more about her, it’s hard not to care deeply for Jade. The town of Proofrock is filled with an interesting and often unlikable cast of secondary characters who help to make the story well rounded. 

I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for this book and I think ultimately that comes down to the intensity with which Jones fills this story with movie references. This book feels like an homage for the greats of the genre, but there are a lot of references that if you’re not a follower of horror movies you might find boring or pointless to the story. For me, they were perfect and what made me love this story. I can’t wait to see where the trilogy will go next!

50 States of Horror Challenge: Idaho

This book is available to buy from: Amazon Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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