“We’re all going to die down here!”
Fresh out of rehab for oxycodone addiction, Casey and some of her friends attend an all-night rave called Survive the Night in the New York City subway, and find themselves fighting for their lives because drugs are not the only danger here–something is using the rave to attract victims, and some of them will not be coming back.
First, I have to give props to this cover which is one of my favorite covers of the year. I know, I know, it’s such a shallow thing to start with. But I think it has high cover appeal and teens will pull it off of shelves.
For those who are looking for a horror story, after the first 75 pages or so Survive the Night definitely delivers. People die right in front of everyone and there is blood and guts and if you like that type of thing it is all pretty cool. I like that type of thing and I thought it was pretty cool. For me, it was very reminiscent of Phantoms by Dean Koontz or Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Before you get all boy Karen those are some really old references, please keep in mind that Phantoms by Kean Koontz was my favorite book in 6th grade and it has always stayed with me. And I recently watched Relic on TV. There are other reasons why those titles come to mind but I can’t share them with you here because it wouldn’t be very nice of me to spoil you in that way.
If at the end you want to know what happened and why, this book is not for you. This book is all about the fun of old fashioned horror. There is something happening, you must escape said thing or die. The how or what or why of it is less important than the adrenaline rush of pursuit. Sometimes that’s what we want out of a book and Survive the Night delivers. Deadly peril in a tight space with an unknown assailant? Check, check and check.
There are a couple of other layers to the story that are interesting. Our main character, Julie, is dealing with some addiction and self denial issues. She has made and continues to make some crappy life and friendship choices. All of these are part of the reason that she is in the tunnel to begin with, so it makes sense that coming face to face with her mortality she ponders them every once in a while. It was interesting.
It is my humble opinion that the ending can be interpreted on two different levels, which is fascinating.
And for those who like a little romance, Julie has a tense relationship with an ex-boyfriend that she is totally crushing on and he happens to be with them in the tunnel this unfortunate night. Will they hook up? Will the make-up? Will the break up (again)? But most importantly, will they both survive the night?
Sometimes, a book is just fun. Yes, that’s right, horror can be fun. Teens will enjoy this.