Survive the Night reads like a B Horror Movie for teens that will leave you puzzled and forever cautious of drugs, raves, and the subway

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I wasn’t a fan of this book, and it felt like a bit of bait and switch by the end, but if you enjoy teen horror flicks, this might interest you.  It is not scary because it is ridiculous, but one part reminded me of a movie I saw as a kid – a group of teens get stuck on a floating dock in the middle of a lake because some oil slick looking thing eats anyone who tries to swim for shore.  I have no idea what the movie was or why I was allowed to watch it – I think my biological father is to blame for this ridiculously inappropriate viewing – but it certainly made an impression on me.  So, if you are into that kind of thing, here you go . . .

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Goodreads Summary

We’re all gonna die down here. . . .

Julie lies dead and disemboweled in a dank, black subway tunnel, red-eyed rats nibbling at her fingers. Her friends think she’s just off with some guy—no one could hear her getting torn apart over the sound of pulsing music.

In a tunnel nearby, Casey regrets coming to Survive the Night, the all-night underground rave in the New York City subway. Her best friend Shana talked her into it, even though Casey just got out of rehab. Alone and lost in the dark, creepy tunnels, Casey doesn’t think Survive the Night could get any worse . . .

. . . until she comes across Julie’s body, and the party turns deadly.

Desperate for help, Casey and her friends find themselves running through the putrid subway system, searching for a way out. But every manhole is sealed shut, and every noise echoes eerily in the dark, reminding them they’re not alone.

They’re being hunted.

Trapped underground with someone—or something—out to get them, Casey can’t help but listen to her friend’s terrified refrain: “We’re all gonna die down here. . . .” in this bone-chilling sophmore novel by the acclaimed author of The Merciless.

My Thoughts

This is a wholly unrealistic teen horror book, and if that isn’t what you are looking for, please move along.  This is a book you read for fun and escape.  It is reminiscent of the Christopher Pike teen scream books from the nineties, but it is a little heavier on its attempt to add depth to the story by developing conflicts around addiction, friendship, and love.  The truth is, though, that you are reading this for the thrills, or you probably will wish you weren’t reading it, so no depth really needed.  This attempt at depth is actually what slows the story down.  There is a large chunk of the book that was dedicated to establishing character and situation.  However, when the action does pick up, it is pretty decent horror sequence action.  One of the best things about this book is the reader’s uncertainty about whether or not the narrator is reliable.  I honestly couldn’t tell, right up till the very end.  It got a few laughs from me, some of them were probably even intentional, and I thought there was a good sense of ” this is a bad idea, guys” throughout.  There is an excellent final sequence that surprised me and definitely left me asking WT?  If this is what you are looking for, I think you will be moderately pleased.  If you are looking for a more realistic scare, this is probably just going to annoy you.  Language and situations are probably appropriate for high school, and though there is a variety of bad ideas and terrible behaviors in this book, most of those are punished in traditional horror movie fashion.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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