Friday Book Whimsy: Survive the Night

It is such a great idea for a plot. A young college film student gets a ride from a stranger as she makes her way home, and realizes that her driver might very well be the serial killer about whom everyone has been warned. If she can survive the night, she will be safe.

Unfortunately, Riley Sager’s novel Survive the Night falls short — way short — of being an edge of your seat, chew your nails to the nub novel.

College student Charlie Jordan is reeling from the death of her roommate at the hands of a serial killer who has murdered a number of women at her college. She feels responsible for her friend’s death, and is so distraught that she leaves school before the end of the semester. Unfortunately, she is completely narcissistic and her obsession with movies is almost ridiculous.

Looking for a ride home, she agrees to drive with a stranger named Josh Baxter (maybe or maybe not), with whom she connects on a ride share board. It isn’t long into their drive before Charlie starts catching Josh in lies and she begins suspecting him of being the man who killed her roommate and other college women.

This has so much creepy potential, but the plot is ruined by the self-absorbed Charlie, who continues to feel sorry for herself and take responsibility for her friend’s death though her reasoning is ridiculous. Charlie has opportunity after opportunity to escape, but doesn’t. It happens so often that it became nearly comical. Her excuse for not escaping is that she has a mental illness that causes her to think she is in a movie on occasion. She can’t tell when she is imagining and when it is real. So she keeps getting back into the car and telling police officers that everything is swell.

There is a twist at the end of the book that caught me by surprise and could have been interesting if it hadn’t been so unrealistic.

I really had a hard time liking the book. I don’t like to pan novels because I know that people put their hearts and souls into writing them. Unfortunately, Survive the Night was a waste of time and paper.

Here is a link to the book.