Cover Image: Survive the Night

Survive the Night

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Member Reviews

I am a huge fan of Riley Sager's writing in general, but unfortunately Survive The Night wasn't for me.

The first half was excellent. I enjoyed all the built up tension, the interest around Charlie zoning out and all the mystery surrounding Josh. As usual, Riley's writing is engaging and had me hooked from the first page.

But where it lost some of it's wow factor for me was towards the end. When the events were explained, it seemed extremely farfetched and dramatic. And when we find out why, it lost me. 

Overall I'll continue to be a huge fan of Riley's and read all his future works, I was just left a little disappointed by this one.
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A great premise but…

This book had so much potential, but it somehow lost its way down the road. And now I’m not sure how to rate it because on one hand, I did enjoy it at times, but on the other hand, I also didn’t. Confusing much? Yeah, that's exactly how I feel about this book! So, let's just say it wasn’t my cup of tea but I’m sure other people will enjoy it.
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3.5/5 stars

I really enjoyed the last third of this book, the characters were interesting, and I liked the direction the story went in the end. There were so many twists and turns in this book that I didn't guess!
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I had seen a lot of mixed reviews about this one and I was sceptical going in. Someone had compared this book to No exit by Taylor Adams, so I thought I have to give this a try. I'm really glad I did.  Though this book was not as good as that one, it still held its own and it was pretty exciting to read. As the title this book is all about surviving one horrific night. 

It played out like a slasher movie/ serial killer movie. For the first half of the book, I kept thinking this guy reminds me of Ted Bundy. But the twists that came was really something. I did guess bits and pieces, but for the most part, I was surprised. It was pretty thrilling to read and kept my heart racing. The book is set in the 1990's and so no body really has cell phones.

The main character was Charlie who has been devastated by the death of her best friend/ room mate Maddie. Maddie was killed by the Campus Killer. Charlie really wants to leave the college as she feels guilty about Maddie's death and she is desperate to leave. So she decides to grab a ride home with a practical stranger. For the first half of the book, I was so mad at Charlie for being so naive and stupid. But the second half of the book was the saving grace. 

Overall, it was a great thriller which I read in one day. I would recommend this book to all thriller lovers.
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Unfortunately, I did not finish this book. It was quickly apparent that this is not something I would enjoy. Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.
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Jumping in with my first Riley Sager book. This book was a little slow to start off with but by god did it make up for it with that ending!
We follow Charlie, a movie obsessed colleague student with a twist. Honestly I thought Charlie was going to be one of those helpless horror movie characters who continue to make a situation worse but in the end manage to stay alive, but I was so wrong. Charlie is a strong willed female protagonist so I personally loved. 
I really enjoyed the fact this setting took place all in one night, building tension between the two while on their road trip…
It’s the ending that got me, I thought I had the ending pegged from the 3rd chapter, I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to be proven wrong
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I love Riley Sager but this one was a bust for me! I couldn't finish it however many times I tried to pick it back up. DNF!
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Survive The Night - Riley Sager 

3.5 ⭐️ out of 5

Another one of those books that kinda passed me by but constantly popping up on my social media streams with superlatives galore. I eventually gave in to the pressure of the readers community and reached out to @hodder on @netgalley who gifted me a copy. 

From the start I could see what all the fuss was about; the premise, in old 90s style slasher sees our protagonist, Charlie, looking for a ride home from college. Charlie has baggage though, and not just physical, her best friend Maddie was brutally murdered and there is a serial killer on the loose, aptly named the ‘campus killer’. Has Charlie inadvertently hitched a ride with the killer of her best friend?

The opening act moves at a fair pace with driver and passenger talking but what really slowed the book down is the constant reference back to the previously murdered girl; Charlie’s obsession with Maddy bordered psychological infatuation. 

What struck me about this novel is the decision making of our main character; why would she get in the car without taking the appropriate steps, why didn’t she run when she had a chance, why didn’t she take the offer of help when a character reached out to her? It was both frustrating and, well to be frank, insulting to females. 

Despite aforementioned flaws though I absolutely love the genre so I persevered, I mean no one ever watched a teen slasher for the deep and intense story lines and Oscar winning performances - you know what you’re signing up for when you purchase the cinema ticket. 

The third act is where the book really takes off, the action is palpable and the reader is kept guessing right to the very end. The characters are very well fleshed out and you can understand their motives; in fact they are all quite likeable even if un-relatable. 

This was an enjoyable read with a very satisfying conclusion and I would very much recommend.
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The reviews alone were enough to make me want to read this book. I love when there's a massive split in opinion and the book didn't disappoint in this regard. I've never been so frustrated with a book, and yet at the same time could NOT put it down!? It is extremely fast-paced and gripping. But also the protagonist is without a doubt the most annoying, ridiculous character I've read in a long time. 

The pros of the book are that it's set in 1991 and there's a lot of great movie and music references. I also do understand what Sager was trying to do here with his love of horror movies. The book is also split into 'scenes' which was a novelty at first but then grew irritating. 

I've read most of Sager's other books and enjoyed them a lot more. But I would say if you're intrigued by this one, pick it up. You'll hate yourself for it but also secretly enjoy yourself too.
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Wow my head is absolutely screwed after reading this book talk about messing with your mind !! The thing about this book is it’s hard to know just what is real and what isn’t, also for a main part of we also totally unreliable narrator that can see films in her mind well I really didn’t know what to believe.  
So there is twisted and then there is this damn book that’s impossible to describe but what I do know is it sure made for a compulsive read that I couldn’t put down.
I thought once I had it all figured out and oh no not a chance so I just gave that up and just read and read till I finished the book . 
Well I didn’t love this book but I did enjoy it, it was different and mind boggling at times but very well written, the characters were good and whilst the plot line seemed far fetched it ended up making sense so all in all a good 3.5 read rounded up to 4. 
My thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Came for the creepy vibes -stayed for Josh Baxter! haha. 

Survive the night was an amazing, creepy story. 
Sager has kept the setting and cast small and intimate in this book -with the majority of the story taking place in the car. 

Like in any good thriller, there were moments that had me yelling at Charlie. 
Like at the beginning of the book, and look I know that it was set back in 1991, but who gets in a car with a stranger after your best friend was just murdered. 
But, I digress. She was clearly still traumatised. 

I am not saying anymore because this really is a book best read when you do not know anything!
If you are after a fun, atmospheric read for the spooky season, I highly recommend this book! Or any of Sagers books really!
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I had heard very mixed reviews about Survive the Night, so I had tempered expectations for my first Riley Sager. I was however pleasantly surprised as I found it a thoroughly entertaining page-turner.

While it is certainly flawed, with Sager often indulging in over explanations of his characters’ actions, and occasionally relying on trite clichés, I found the story gripping and the twists surprising enough.

It might not go on to win the Pulitzer however I still found it a very enjoyable thriller and a perfect holiday read. 8/10
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fantastic read, Survive the Night by Riley Sager kept me intrigued until the end. first book i have read by Riley and won't be the last.
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Survive the Night? More like survive this book!!
It's 1991 and college student Charlie needs to get home fast, away from the college where he friend was murdered by the Campus Killer. She accepts a ride share from Josh, who she meets at a message board. While chatting on the road, Charlie starts to realise Josh has a lot of inaccuracies to his story. Charlie is beginning to think Josh is the Campus Killer. 

1⭐- Oh dear, where do I start🙈 Her friend was MURDERED and she accepts a 5 hour car ride from a random guy, like seriously 🙄 This book is strewn with nonsense and the end.......I felt like it was the screenplay for the most B of all B horrors, you know the ones that had a budget of a few K. It read to me like a book someone wrote so slasher style for the laugh. I certainly laughed by the time I finished it😅😬
A giant NO from me 👎but still, thanks to Netgalley and Hodderbooks for the ARC!
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Survive the night follows the story of Charlie, who travels with a stranger, Josh. She met Josh near a rider board. Charlie is beyond distraught. Reeling from the death of her best friend Maddy, Charlie is untethered and grief-stricken. She takes a break from her relationship with Robbie and thinks going back to her grandma Nana Norma will calm her. Josh is going back home to take care of his father.

Alongside, a serial killer on the loose who is on a killing spree. The campus is on high alert and, the college advised the students to walk back to their dorms in a group.

With disturbing thoughts and confusion, she gets up in the car with Josh. But once inside the car, she has an eerie feeling. A stranger in the car, and a serial killer on the campus, Charlie hardly has any options and nowhere to go.

The book starts with an exploding prologue and, the way it’s written will pull the reader into the book like iron to a magnet.

The story starts with Charlie’s perspective. She is struggling and sad that she has to leave her boyfriend, yet her pain and grief override her other feelings. When she was young, the police informed her grandma that her parents were killed in a car accident while she was eavesdropping. In the movies, she found her reality more tolerable. Every real-life event has a corresponding scene from the movies she watched as a kid. But Maddy’s death has put her in a different headspace. She could not clear her head from the sadness and, she feels responsible for her death. Maddy and Charlie’s personalities were poles apart but, her friendship with Maddy kept her grounded and loved.

The choice of movies people made around her made it easy for her to talk to them.

Once in the car, Josh comes into the picture. He is elusive, but one cannot pinpoint anything in particular.

It takes a bit of time to get to move across Charlie’s rants, but once readers cross that section, the book picks up the pace.

The book plays out the scenes of one night set in the early 90s while reminding the readers of the classic crime movies genre. The author subtly highlights the technological issues of the period.
It has a mention of a lot of movies of Hitchcock movies without giving out the spoilers. The author creates a lot of tension throughout the book. As a reader, you will sit at the edge of your seat.

We usually see movie adaptations of books but, this book is the other way. The uniqueness of the book comes from its storytelling right from the 1st page. I have not read books that have such a writing style. It keeps the reader hooked and, to say the ending will surprise the reader is an understatement. 

The finale is fabulous, and it will leave the reader either with a smile on their face or a surprising look. No matter which looks you get on your face, you will re-read the last few pages.

Survive the night is not just a mystery thriller from a fabulous author but, it is also an homage to the Hitchcockian movie genre.

My rating for the book is 4.5 stars. 

Thank you, NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton, for the copy of the ebook in exchange for my honest review.
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2.5 Stars

After her best friend/roommate is murdered by a college serial killer dubbed the "Campus Killer”, a depressed Charlie wants to leave Olyphant University in the middle of the semester. In the process of posting her flyer to a board in search for a ride back to Ohio, Charlie meets a stranger, Josh, who just so happens to be going to Ohio – of course, nothing weird about a man about 10 years older in a college shirt being at the rideshare board too!

Charlie agrees, packs her belongings, says goodbye to her boyfriend, and jumps in the car with Josh. Charlie immediately begins to suspect that Josh is not who he says he is so she begins plotting her escape. The second half of the book is where things speed up and some action actually happens. There are several plot twists that I didn’t see coming - mainly because I spent the first half of the novel screeching at my kindle because of the main character’s utter stupidity!! She has multiple chances to escape but never does. Sager’s reasoning behind this is by making Charlie an unreliable narrator who, upon a trigger, plays events in her mind as if they are movies (she loves movies) and gets confused between real life and these zoned-out moments.
However, each scene is depicted by its camera location: INT (interior) or EXT (exterior) so I think that this story could have been made better if it was produced as a movie.

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton, and NetGalley for an ARC copy in return for an honest review.
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5 STARS!

“You’re that girl, right?”
“I am,” she says. “I’m that girl. The one who let her roommate get murdered.”

Holy hell, this book is going to go down as one of my top reads of 2021. I guess, for some reason, that’s an unpopular opinion because most of the feedback I saw on this book was negative, and I’m really sitting here scratching my head. I thought it was fantastic, had 1 billion twists and turns, and kept me guessing and completely entertained the whole time.

Charlie has had one heck of a semester, and she wants to go home. Her best friend was murdered earlier in the semester and she is stricken with grief over it. She's a ghost of herself. So, she finds a ride home on the campus ride board from a fellow student... or so she thinks.

This entire book spans the events of one WILD evening.

I buddy read this with an equally picky friend of mine and she loved it too, just as much as I did!

I will say, this was my first read by this author so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. But it will certainly not be my last.

Riley Sager, you have a new fan!

If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller with tons of twists and turns that is highly entertaining, look no further. Fantastic book!

“That’s the tricky thing about movies. They can be wonderful and beautiful and amazing. But they’re not like life, which is wonderful, beautiful, and amazing in a different way.”

Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton Books for my e-ARC which I received in exchange for an honest review.
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If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be 'cinematic'. Everything about it relates to films - the plot, the structure, the chapter titles, the references... even the characters are movie buffs. Compared to the author's other books that I've read, it wasn't one of the best, however. The content is more like Final Girls than Lock Every Door or Home Before Dark, which is fine with me, but the writing style seemed a bit lazy and the plot was surprisingly thin.

The story is set in 1991 and mainly follows Charlie, a student who is grieving for her best friend Maddy, the victim of an unknown serial killer. Going against all common sense and despite the fearful atmosphere on campus, Charlie accepts a 6-hour lift home from a stranger, Josh, whom she doesn't trust. The question is whether her instinct is right and how she can 'survive the night', to refer to the title. Matters are complicated by her mental health condition - she has hallucinations, 'movies in the mind', which are a result of the trauma of Maddy's death. She doesn't always know what's real.

I found the story to be quite pacy, as it takes place over just a few hours. Charlie's hallucinations are central to the plot but it's unacceptable now to exploit mental health for the sake of thrills I think. Oddly, some of the issues I had with the book, such as the thriller clichés, were explained and even absolved by the twist ending, which was a clever device. I didn't really enjoy the journey, though. I'm going to be cautious about reading Riley Sager's next book; I hope it's more sophisticated than this one.

[This review will be published on my blog on 1st December 2021]
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If truth be told, Riley Sager and me aren't the best of friends. I've read all of his books and I've only loved a couple, and the others have all been decidedly average for me, and unfortunately, that's where this book sits as well.

The only reason for the 3-star rating, as opposed to a 2-star rating, is because I did really enjoy the first half of this novel. I loved the scenes in the car when the 2 characters started out on their drive. There was this constant feeling of dread, of something being not quite right. The slow build up of tension was great, together with the spooky atmosphere. I loved all that. The book had so many great possibilities at that stage. But then, alas, things went downhill from there. Once the characters left the diner, everything went pear-shaped for me.

The main character in this book just makes such poor decisions, but that actually wasn't what bothered me the most (because thrillers do tend to breed characters that make strange decisions). The thing that really got under my skin was how bizarre the whole story became. Just so unlikely. And characters whipping in out of nowhere and acting in bizarre ways. Things that would never happen in real life. Okay, again, I suppose thrillers do by their very nature lean towards the unrealistic, but I don't know exactly what it was about this book that seemed to make the bizarre happenings more bizarre than normal. And as for the big reveal at the end...oh please! Again, just so out of left field. I don't know. Something just bothered me about it all.

The main character was okay, and she didn't bother me as much as she's bothered some others. Yeah, her decision making was dodgy, and the weird movies in her head were also a bit too much, but I was just mwah about her. Overall, the book didn't have any specifically memorable characters. There were very few characters in this book, which didn't bother me and it did make for an easy read, but none of them were specifically developed.

So in summary, I didn't feel like I wasted my time with this one, and the first half definitely entertained me, but the story as a whole fell flat. There was so much potential with this one, but I didn't love where it went. So, it was okay, but not great. It's not one that I'll remember in weeks to come.
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2.5/5  rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I had such high expectations for this book but it was a huge disappointment. I had so many WTF reactions throughout but I ploughed on to the end, I ended up skimming parts after 85% of the book because I wanted to know who the killer was. The main protagonist Charlie I did not like/care about as I found her very dumb and she ends up doing things that are stupid even though she knows she shouldn’t be doing. The concept was interesting although the book falls flat for me.
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