*Thank you to Hodder for the eARC*
Survive the Night follows university student Charlie as, in an attempt to get away from the grief and anguish of losing her best friend, she accepts a carshare away from their university with a handsome stranger. Charlie is losing grip on reality though, and the longer she’s in the car, the more convinced she becomes that Josh, her driver, isn’t what he seems. It becomes clear that her only option is to mentally study all of the movie history that she’s learned from horror to get through their six hour drive and survive until morning, or until she can find help.
I don’t read a lot of thrillers so I don’t have a huge amount to compare this to, but this was definitely one of the best I’ve read this year. It was fast-paced enough to get me out of my reading slump and, from the very beginning, completely unputdownable. Charlie’s deteriorating grip on reality made her an incredibly unreliable narrator and it was so interesting to try and guess all the way through whether she was in danger, what kind of danger she was in, and what reckless thing she would attempt in order to get out of it. What made it even more entertaining for me is that the entire book takes place over a day or so, so it really felt like I was on their journey with them, with every second accounted for, without the book becoming slow at all.
This book was twisty and definitely went in a lot of directions I wasn’t expecting so, even though some of the major plot twists were very guessable, the amount that weren’t balanced these out incredibly well. There were some parts that were easy to foresee and some characters that were too suspicious to ignore even when I think we were supposed to, but I didn’t find that this slowed the pace at all. It was easy to keep track of what was happening too, and all the twists all made sense as well, which was a pleasant change to a lot of confusing and jumpy thrillers that I’ve read in the past.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I definitely liked the first half slightly more than the second, with the incredible amount of suspense that the author built from the get-go, but the whole book was a gripping, edge-of-your-seat read that I’m sure will become a new favourite for fans of Riley Sager’s other books and fans of the psychological suspense genre in general.