Survive The Night

Prepare thy pitchforks because I’m about to drop a hot take that’s going to absolutely demolish the morale of all the BOTM readers that follow me. The new Riley Sager book, Survive the Night? Kind of a disappoint. A mere 3 stars–no more, no less, and five books in, his use of the EXACT SAME TROPE to show the real “bad person” is getting ridiculous. The writing is FINE, as it always is, and there are some suspenseful moments, but even the big “twist” I found underwhelming, and the second big twist I saw coming from three miles away. Overall, a meh book. Maybe Sager should take a break and try a new tactic?

It’s 1991, and Charlie wants desperately to leave her college campus. So desperately that she takes the offer of a guy in a college hoodie at the ride board and joins him for a six or so hour drive from New Jersey to Ohio. But that guy is not who he seemed, and Charlie, who is running away with the murder of her best friend and roommate, quickly begins to wonder if maybe this guy–Josh–is the Campus Killer. Couple that with Charlie being off her meds, having “movies in her mind” and the confines of a car, and you’ve got a couple hundred pages that might be a good movie, but are just an alright book.

Some spoilers ahead…obviously.

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I was just really underwhelmed by this. The “scene” switches were funny for a second, then they were just reminders that like half this book takes place in a car. Sure, I understood why Charlie thought Josh was the Campus Killer, but no part of me thought it was that easy. Kind of like with No Exit, I assumed there was more to the story. Surprise: there was. The real “perp” was revealed in like the last 8% of the book, and I ONCE AGAIN was not surprised, because in EVERY SINGLE RILEY SAGER BOOK the “bad guy” is the one who the protagonist had sex with/was romantically involved with. Every single time. Like…wow. I don’t dislike Sager’s books usually–I really enjoyed Lock Every Door, but it’s just getting so ridiculously predictable nowadays. If you read more than one of his books–and he does encourage longtime followers–then you basically spoil yourself for the rest.

Anyway…here’s Wonderwall, or something. I’m sure this will be a BOTM pick, and I’m sure people will scream how terrified they were, but a lot of them will be just like me: underwhelmed.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. saree says:

    Impressive writing skill you got; had to read all your pages now

    Like

  2. Ahhhh, so bummed to hear this was a mediocre read at best. I appreciate the review and I’m going to adjust my expectations!

    Liked by 1 person

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