Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

 
Two months ago, Charlie's roommate, Maddy, was murdered by the Campus Killer. Charlie's been a mess ever since. And now she feels an overwhelming need to leave school and go home. ASAP. So she accepts a ride from Josh, a guy she meets at the campus ride board. He says he's headed to Ohio, too. And even though her boyfriend, Robbie, said he would drive her home that weekend, Charlie can't wait. So she gets in the car with a stranger. But they're only an hour into their drive when Charlie catches Josh in a lie. And she starts to wonder if Josh might actually be the Campus Killer. Only Charlie has hallucinations, movies that she sees in her head, and she's just gone off her meds. So are her fears about Josh true? Or are they the product of her own anxious imagination?

This book is billed as a thrilling cat-and-mouse game. I found it mostly frustrating. You spend the majority of the book inside Charlie's head, with all her self-doubts, her fears, and her 'mind movies'. Not only is she an unreliable narrator, but she's an incredible indecisive one, too. And because you only see Josh through her eyes, it's hard to know what to believe about him, or what game he's playing, if any. Is he a killer? Or is she just crazy?

After awhile, I found it hard to care. Mostly because I couldn't find anything to like about Charlie. Or Josh. And the plot just kept getting more absurd and implausible. Then, Sager throws in one last twist at the end that I just couldn't buy into; it was one twist too many and felt like an unfair, last minute surprise.

Needless to say, Survive the Night ended up being a very disappointing read for me. Which is sad because I've enjoyed reading all of Riley Sager's other books. But I guess they can't all be 4-star reads. Still, I did get to read this one with Melody, which is always fun. Be sure to check out her rant, I mean her review, of this one for another opinion. 

Happy Reading!

Other books by Riley Sager that I liked better than this one:

42 comments:

  1. Despite a disappointing read, at least we got to discuss and rant together via our chats, lol. Hopefully the next book for our buddy read will be better. :D

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    1. Fingers crossed! I sent you a list of titles to look over. Hopefully one of them will be better.

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  2. Oh, that's terribly frustrating. I need to find something to like about a character!

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    1. I need to be able to like at least one of the characters! Otherwise, what's the point?

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  3. Too bad this one didn't work for you. From what you say, though, it would be frustrating to most readers. It does kind of remind me of an old black & white movie from the forties or fifties that I watched a few years ago. A story like this one works really well on film, I think, because it's all over in about 90 minutes.

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    1. And I never expect as much from a movie as I do from a book.

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    1. Yeah...I think that's wise. You certainly won't be missing out on anything.

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  5. Okay, crossing this one off the list!

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    1. Yeah...I can't recommend this one. Too disappointing all the way around.

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  6. Oh no, that's disappointing. It's such a bummer when that happens. Hopefully the author's next book will be better.

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  7. Oh no that's disappointing. I've been wondering about Sager so I won't start with this one. And yes sometimes that last twist that is just out there is just too much...

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    1. Yeah, try one of Sager's other books first. I especially liked Home Before Dark and Lock Every Door. They're my two favorites.

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  8. You mean you've reviewed a book that I 'don't' need to rush out and buy? Oh.

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    1. I did that just for you, Cath! Merry Christmas. ;D

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  9. That does sound disappointing. I hope the next one is better!

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  10. i know this is awful to admit, but there are so many books like this, they just seem kind of boring the way they repeat the same plot elements over and over...

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    1. I know what you mean. I'm getting a little tired of books like this, too.

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  11. Yeah, I agree, although this one still kept me reading. It's definitely implausible and contrived in places. I've really enjoyed all the books I've read by Sager—this one is my least favorite.

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  12. I've enjoyed a few of Sager's stories in the past too, but I passed on this one because of the reactions I've seen. I'm not fan of an unreliable narrator either. I like to sort through reliable facts on my own.

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    1. Passing on this one was a good move on your part!

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  13. Oh no, I'm sorry this didn't work out for you -- it certainly had a great premise.

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    1. It does have a great premise! That's what made it even more disappointing.

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  14. I really like books with an unreliable narrator, but it has to be done right. Sounds like this book missed the mark. Sorry it was disappointing and frustrating for you.

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    1. As the book unfolded things got progressively more unbelievable and unrealistic. I just couldn't buy into it.

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  15. Sorry to hear you didn't like this one more.

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  16. I liked this one a bit more than you did, but Charlie did drive me nuts, and I found too many of the plot twists to be predictable.

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    1. Wasn't Charlie a frustrating character? And some of those plot twists just felt too unbelievable for me. Especially the one at the end with her boyfriend.

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    2. That was one of the most predictable plot twists, I thought.

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    3. That was the one that felt the most unrealistic to me. Like the author did it for no good reason other than to add one more twist at the end.

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  17. Sorry to hear this book didn't work out. It's an interesting premise but the author has to make us care about Charlie or Josh and it sounds like that didn't happen. Hopefully the next book will be better.

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    1. Sager's other books have been so good it was surprising that this one ended up being so bad. But what can you do?

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  18. Yeah living in the head of a character for too long can be tiresome! Sound like you were ready to chuck the book against the wall. Too bad. But was Josh the killer? Does he drive her off the road ...

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    1. Josh was not the killer, but shh...don't tell! ;D

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  19. Oh no, I had high hopes for this one! Well, like you said I guess they all can't be 4 star reads. Hopefully his next book will be a better thriller.

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    1. Yeah, I really didn't enjoy this one. If I were you, I'd wait for his next book for sure.

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