The one with… stupid main character (sorry, not sorry): Survive the Night by Riley Sager @PRHGlobal #partner #horror #thriller #bookreview

Survive the Night by Riley Sager book cover US edition 2021

GIFTED / Hi guys! Today I am talking about a book that I read along with my girls in our book club. These days I am mostly focused on buddy reads, as I feel like I get more from the book when I discuss it with others. My favourite buddy in crime is Amanda from ChocolatePages, we read many books together this year, and I hope we’ll continue with it. Survive the Night was the August pick in the book club we are both members of.

This book was published on 29th June 2021 and it has 324 pages. I want to say thank you to Penguin Random House Global for sending me an e-galley of this novel (in an exchange for an honest review).

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About the book:

FROM GOODREADS /

It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father. Or so he says. Like the Hitchcock heroine she’s named after, Charlie has her doubts. There’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t seem to want Charlie to see inside the car’s trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there’s nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing–survive the night.

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Review:

So… this was a shitshow full of mad people. And I don’t mean it in a good way.

Let me start this review on a positive note.
As Riley Sager is a best selling author, I expected to like his writing style, and although I wasn’t a fan of all the things he has written in this particular novel, I do admit that his words are easy to follow and the book reads easy and fast.
To give you and example how fast it reads, I will just say that it was our August pick for our book club and instead of planned 7, it took us only 4 days to finish.

The premise was promising, but with all the negative reviews appearing I didn’t have too high expectations.
However, I did expect to be fascinated with Josh’s character (because of one BookTube review) but that didn’t happen.
Also, in one of my Goodreads friend’s review I read that Charlie is one of the stupidest characters ever written, and after I finished Survive the Night, I 100% understand why my friend feels that way. I also agree with her, to some point.
It is hard to root for someone who acts so against their well being.
If I am being honest, one part of me even wanted for her not to survive the night.

As for the big relevation I wasn’t surprised at all, as the author gave us only few characters in the whole story, there weren’t much choices to chose our suspect from.

Last thing I want to mention is how I am not happy with the way mental illness was handled.
We never got the answer what Charlie’s diagnosis were, the author almost approached it as some kind of superpower, at some parts it felt like it was used just to mess with our mind and one chapter closer to the end reminded me of the way mental illness was handled in the history, when ppl in mental hospitals were put under electricity hamlets to be cured.
That chapter left bad taste in my mouth.

In the end I will just say that I am still eager to read Riley’s book called Lock Every Door, and this one I will just pretend it wasn’t written by him.

2 hearts

2 Comments

  1. You rounded this review up very well. I was also disappointed in this book. I hadn’t heard of the Author before but after reading some reviews and discussing it within our book group, I understood how hyped the Author is. It’s a shame about this book, but like you I would give the other books a try to hope for a better read. Regardless of the low rating, I did enjoy the book chat.
    Amanda.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Me too. Maybe we could buddy read Lock Every Door at some point. I wanted to suggest that book in our group few months ago but I confused it with a book called Turn off the Key. if I had monkey that hides it’s face emoticon now I would use it.

    Like

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