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Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Gear up for some serious gore in Danielle Vega’s Survive the Night.

Someone Saved My Life Tonight

BOOK REPORT for Survive the Night by Danielle Vega

Cover Story: Disco Inferno
BFF Charm: Let Me Love You
Swoonworthy Scale: 3
Talky Talk: Stephen King
Bonus/Anti Bonus Factor: Goretastic
Relationship Status: Call for a Good Time

Cover Story: Disco Inferno

Sure - I like this cover. It’s atmospheric - totally looks like a brick wall you’d pass as you’re leaving the subway, one that’s covered in graffiti and old posters.* And most importantly, it’s eye catching, with all that neon and glitter.

*That’s how New York City works, right? Posters and graffiti? I have no idea what I’m talking about - I live in Alabama, I’m just basing this on Escape From New York and Ghostbusters.

The Deal:

Fresh out of rehab for a pill addiction after major knee surgery, Casey’s determined to stay on the straight and narrow - until she gets scooped up by the old crowd. Shana, Julie and Aya just want to have a good time, and that means that somehow, Casey finds herself at a secret, all-night underground rave in NYC - surrounded by drugs and alcohol, of course. Adorable ex-boyfriend Sam hanging around and complicating things doesn’t help the situation, and soon Casey has to resist falling into old habits.

But when she stumbles on the horribly mangled body of one of her friends - far down in another abandoned subway tunnel, where no one could hear screaming over the music of the party - Casey knows she’s not going to have any fun tonight. In fact, it’s starting to look like she might never have any fun again.

BFF Charm: Let Me Love You

You know how in bad horror flicks, the characters are almost always unlikable, selfish little jerks? And that’s why it’s ok (well, not ok, but you know what I mean) when Jason or Freddie or whoever kills them - you’re not upset, because you didn’t really care about them that much anyway. Well folks, that is not the case with Casey Myrtle. Girl has made some bad decisions in the past - who hasn’t? - but she’s working hard to turn her life around. Whether it’s the scheming machinations of a toxic friend or the horrendous attacks of a mystery serial killer, she just can’t catch a break. Casey stays strong, but she’s also a fabulously real character, with plenty of flaws and emotional reactions. 

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

Well, this one is hard, because complicated.

On the one hand, Sam, The Ex, is pretty awesome in some ways. He’s cute, he’s smart, he’s in a band, and he really did try hard to do the right thing for Casey when she was dealing with her addiction. And, believe or not, there are some genuinely steamy (albeit brief) moments in the subway tunnels.

ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE IS CRAZYPANTS SCARY STUFF HAPPENING. And y’all know I can’t do the swoon when I’m scared for my life. CAN’T.

Talky Talk: Stephen King

Right off the bat (and all the way through), this book reminded me of some of my favorite classic Stephen King novels - so I was super happy to see that on the back flap, the author credits her parents reading Stephen King passages to her for bedtime stories as a  major writing influence. And it shows - in more ways than one. The action NE. VER. STOPS., and the anticipation is almost painful. Being trapped in a subway tunnel with some kind of horrific, mauling serial killer (esp. after you’ve been partying all night and are SO ready to go home) is fully realized into my newest nightmare scenario. The best part, though, is that this is not just a book about a girl dealing with scary murder stuff. Just like The Shining (or Eddie Dean in The Dark Tower series) this is a book about a person who is struggling with both addiction and toxic relationships. The flashbacks and realizations are some of the most powerful parts of this book, and it ends up being a pretty awesome piece of writing. IMHO.

Bonus/Anti Bonus Factor: Goretastic

I want to be super clear here, in case some of you haven’t read any Stephen King (you should!): this book is very gory. It’s definitely not gore for the sake of gore - but it depicts violence very realistically (and with great detail). For me, this is a bonus factor - the extreme realism gave this book an urgency of action that was thrilling. For someone else? Well, consider this your trigger warning: there will be horrible, violent stuff happening to characters you care about.

Casting Call:

Olivia Cooke as Casey

Ansel Elgort as Sam

Relationship Status:  Call for a Good Time

Well, book, I can’t say I’d do it all again - like, I seriously don’t think my heart could stand it - but you were one majorly wild (and exhausting, terrifying, exhilarating) ride. I may not call again, but I definitely won’t forget our time together.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free copy from Razorbill. I received neither money nor a bag of Ghiradelli Caramel-Filled Chocolate Squares for this review, even though that would have been nice. Survive the Night is available now.

Savannah Kitchens's photo About the Author: Savannah Kitchens is doing the Lord’s work spreading YA lit to the masses as the head (and only member - but who’s really counting?) of the YA department at her library near Birmingham, Alabama. When she’s not disappointing her parents, she’s bottle drinking wine and playing board games with her husband.