Survive the Night, a review by Sherry

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Survive the Night
Riley Sager

322 pages
Published by Dutton
June 29, 2021

Amazon | Goodreads

So far this summer I’ve been disappointed with the highly anticipated blockbuster type thrillers I’ve read, so I was wondering why I was reading yet another one, but I was pleasantly surprised

The unique twist to the plot is that the main character is a film studies major and there is a running theme of old movies throughout the book.  I love old movies and love how the author is able to tie these old classics into the story he wove.  I will say I’m not sure everyone will connect with the choice by the author if they haven’t seen or appreciated any of the referenced movies. North by Northwest. Shadow of a Doubt. 

Charlie is a student at Olyphant University and has decided to leave school after her roommate is murdered. It’s 1991 and she needs a ride home, so the solution is the school ride board, where she agrees to a ride with a stranger.  I know your senses are already a tingle right?  While the book never references 80s horror movies, it reminds me of screaming don’t do it, while watching Halloween or Friday the 13th. There are many moments throughout the book where you’ll question Charlie’s decisions, but I never thought it was too much.   I like that to explain Charlie’s questionable decision making and her reliability in general, she has a past that is fraught with grief and regrets, that are slowly revealed during the book.  

I’m also a fan of the time period of the novel.  I loved the references to music and other small details.  And by choosing the previous century, it pains me to write that, it is pre cell phones, when you really were out of contact at times. I don’t want to go into too much detail and risk spoiling one of the twists and turns.  But I’ll say I saw a few of them coming long before the revelations and still liked the book.  And there were a few that made me go whoa. 

While I’ve seen mixed reviews on this one, I think anyone that liked Sager’s earlier work, The Final Girls and The Last Time I Lied, will enjoy this novel.

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