Book Review: ‘Survive The Night: A Novel’ By Riley Sager

Review by Lauryn Angel

One of the things I look forward to every summer is the latest thriller from Riley Sager. This summer’s offering, Survive The Night, does not disappoint!

After the murder of her best friend, Charlie Jordan wants nothing more than to leave her lonely college dorm room and go home to her grandmother, who taught her how to channel her grief through watching movies. While her boyfriend wants her to wait until Thanksgiving break, so he can accompany her, she decides to take a ride from Josh Baxter – a complete stranger she met at the campus ride board. To add to her anxiety about riding with a stranger, Charlie is prone to realistic hallucinations, fueled by her movie-fed imagination.

Set in 1991, Survive The Night takes place over just six hours and mostly in Josh Baxter’s car. Although most of the novel is just Charlie and Josh, their conversation and mental fisticuffs are enough to keep the plot rolling between action scenes. As someone who was only a couple of years younger than Charlie in 1991, the music and movie references took me back to that time, when my friends and I would just get into the car and drive and talk.

But the book isn’t just a nostalgia trip. There are twists and turns, and due to her hallucinations, Charlie isn’t the most reliable narrator – she’s not sure she can trust her own perceptions of what’s going on. And Sager has several surprises in store for the reader.

Survive The Night literally takes just one night to read, as it’s quite the page-turner. Coming in at 4 out of 5 stars, it’s not my favorite Sager novel (that title goes to Home Before Dark), it’s still a great read for a lazy summer day.

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