Friday, July 10, 2015

*Spoiler Free Review* -- SURVIVE THE NIGHT by Danielle Vega.

*I received a free Advanced Reader's Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
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.

This book was on my Most Anticipated Books for the Rest of 2015 list because I was absolutely blown away by Danielle Vega’s debut novel The Merciless. I was pretty excited when I first read the synopsis for this book, because there is nothing I enjoy more than being scared out of my mind (unless it’s on a roller coaster, because heights are the worse, and if we were meant to be that far off the ground, humans would have wings). I cannot get enough slasher movies, especially the golden years of the nineties teen movies—and when I read the description for this,I was pretty sure that’s what I was in for.
But, just like with The Merciless, in Survive the Night Vega delivers everything with twists, turns, suspense, and just the right amount of smart ass remarks. Casey, our main character, is a teen fresh out of rehab for prescription pain pill abuse (this isn't really a spoiler, you find out within the first couple of pages), with an interesting taste in friends. Her main best friend takes her to an underground rave called Survive the Night (hence the name of the book), along with Casey's recent ex-boyfriend who she still likes. The humor certainly delivers, and I liked being in Casey's head. She denies the justification for her stint in rehab, and denies that she has a problem with drugs, and that (and some things that are done by her BFF) make her an unreliable narrator (which I LOVE).

Casey is the star of this book, and her BFF Shana, and ex Sam are big features, but there are a few other minor characters--Aya and Julie (who dies, as you can tell from the synopsis) are two of Shana and Casey's girlfriends. Casey, Aya, and Julie are the entourage to the hot mess that is Shana. Julie most memorable fact is that she dies (which you learn from the synopsis). Also along for the ride is Woody, a bandmate and friend of Sam. They all add their own element and part of the story. Of the minor characters Aya adds the most to the emotion of the story because the girl is pure panic embodied.

The characters are a great aspect, and are well-written, especially given the length of the book, and that it's a standalone, but their relationships are what sold me on this. Every girl out there has had a friend like Shana. A friend you follow, sometimes to your own destruction, and being inside Casey's head as she figures out that there is more to her than being Shana's friend definitely brought back some memories of toxic relationships for me.  

But my absolute favorite thing about this book was the atmosphere, the rave the teens attend (attend seems like a really formal word for a drug-fueled rave in an abandoned NYC subway tunnel, but whatevs) takes place in a dark, dank place that wouldn't realistically have cell phone reception, and wouldn't realistically be an easy place to get out of. This choice of location was perfection, well-written, and didn't just add to the story, for me it made the story.
Overall, this book was exciting, quick, fast-paced, and kept me on the edge of my seat because I didn't know what was coming next. It also had quite a few laugh out loud moments, character growth, and realistic character relationships.

I ended up giving it 5/5 STARS.
If you haven't picked this up yet, please do, if you like movies like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, you'll love it. If you've already read it, comment below and tell me what you thought? Have you read The Merciless? How would you compare the two?  Also, just a note about the construction and presentation of Vega's books. The Merciless is, legitimately, one of my favorite books on the nine bookshelves that fill my home because it's so interesting and original. The Merciless is a hot pink hardcover with no dust jacket, it's textured with an embossed pentagram on the front and "Forgive us, father, for we have sinned." on the back. The inside is just as amazing with black pages at the beginning that warn that it is for "mature audiences only." And this book is just as terrifically designed. I cannot help but fangirl about these books because of that element alone.
Check it out more HERE: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great read, I'll have to add it to the list. I'm looking for a good collection of books to read during our cycle tour next year, so I'm finding this website to be a great source of useful information. And I like that you give warnings when there are spoilers - really appreciate that! Thanks.