Thriller Thursday Reviews: Survive the Night & Mother May I


Hi everyone!  It’s Sharon, back with another edition of Thriller Thursday. This week I am sharing my thoughts on Riley Sager’s new book, Survive The Night and Joshilyn Jackson’s new book, Mother May I. Riley Sager is a favorite author of mine, and Joshilyn Jackson is a new author for me. I loved both of these books and I am excited to share my thoughts on them.


Thriller Thursday Reviews: Survive the Night & Mother May ISurvive the Night Goodreads

Author: Riley Sager

Publication Date: June 29, 2021

Publisher: Dutton Books

I have been a fan of Riley Sager since I read his first thriller Final Girls so I was very excited to read his latest book Survive the Night, and I am happy to report this book did not disappoint.

When Charlie Jordan was sixteen she lost both of her parents in a car accident. It was at their funeral that something snapped in Charlie’s brain and she started seeing movies in her mind. Not movies that have been on the big screen, but the real life situations that are happening, only Charlie’s brain makes it into a movie. Everything is more vivid and the people she sees or the actions that she sees happening are not what is actually going on. These movies come when Charlie is afraid or stressed. Fast forward four years and Charlie is now in college. But a couple months ago her roommate was murdered by a serial killer called “The Campus Killer” and Charlie feels responsible because she left her alone that night. Unable to deal with all that is going on Charlie decides to go home to visit her grandmother. At the campus ride-share board she meets Josh and agrees to ride with him. But it doesn’t take long for Charlie to start doubting Josh and suspects he could be the campus killer. And so begins the game of cat and mouse as Charlie tries to figure out if Josh really is dangerous or is it just her movie filled mind.

The story takes place during the 6 hour drive, and I really liked how Sager titled each chapter almost script like, “Ext- Grand Am 10:00pm, Int- Grand Am 11:00pm, Int- Rest stop 12:00 am etc.” And even though the book is only told through a few hours, Sager also does a great job of fleshing out the characters and scenery.  We got a lot of backstories on both Charlie and Josh in the short time we know them and I really liked both characters. Okay I kept going back and forth on Josh lol.

I loved how Charlie was such an unreliable character. I didn’t know if things were really happening or if they were just movies in her mind. I also had a lot of sympathy for her, she has been through a lot between her parents dying and then her roommate’s murder, so she was a very vulnerable character. But I also loved how when push came to shove she became one badass woman.

I cannot say much about what transpired during Charlie and Josh’s drive to make Charlie suspect that Josh was a killer, but I will say I did not see a couple of the twists that took place. I was all over the place on what I thought was going to happen, on whether Josh was a good guy or a bad guy and if what I was reading was true or Charlie’s movies.

If you are a fan of Riley Sager or if you like books that keep you guessing, I definitely recommend checking out Survive the Night.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.   4 ½ stars


Thriller Thursday Reviews: Survive the Night & Mother May IMother May I Goodreads

Author: Joshilyn Jackson

Publication Date: April 6, 2021

Publisher: William Morrow

I have come across other books by Joshilyn Jackson that looked interesting but have never picked any of them up to read. Well I am glad I did not let Mother May I pass by because this book was awesome. I was on the edge of my seat and my heart was beating so fast the whole time I was reading.

Bree Cabbat has the perfect life. She is happily married to Trey, a corporate lawyer, and they have 2 teenage daughters and a 10 week old son, Robert. But Bree’s perfect life is about to come crashing down.  One morning she wakes up and is startled to see a gray haired old lady, all dressed in black looking in her bedroom window. She shakes it off as a trick of the light, but then she sees this lady again in the parking lot of her daughters’ school. When she was watching her oldest daughter’s school play rehearsal with her son Robert in his car seat, she turned her back on him for just a few minutes and when she looked back he was gone. Next to his bottle was a note saying “If you ever want to see your baby again, go home. Tell no one. Do not call the police. Be at your house by 5:15PM or he is gone for good.” Bree assumes Robert was abducted for a ransom, but when the old woman who took Robert calls, Bree learns his abduction is for revenge and this woman needs Bree to perform a task.

I cannot say anything about what the revenge was for or what task Bree had to perform as that is the whole plot of the story and would spoil things. But I will say once Bree performs this task it becomes a race against time to find baby Robert. And Bree and the old lady who took him play a game of cat and mouse.

Bree enlists the help of Marshall, the widow of Bree’s best friend who is an ex police officer, to help her work to try and figure out who this lady is and where she may have taken Robert and why. And it is the why that is about to make Bree’s perfect marriage and life come crumbling down. I will say the more we learn of this old lady and the reasons for her actions, I did find myself having some sympathy for her. That is not to say I thought what she was doing was right. There is no reason to put a child in jeopardy and if she wanted revenge then go to the source and leave the child alone.

I really liked how  Bree went into massive mama bear mode and would do anything to get her son back. She was an incredibly strong woman who just wanted to make sure her children were safe at any cost.

Mother May I is an adrenaline rush book that does not let up until the very end.  I am glad I chose this as my first Joshilyn Jackson read and I look forward to reading more of her books.  4 stars

20 replies
  1. verushka
    verushka says:

    What an intriguing premise – and now I am dying to know the reasons for the old woman kidnappingg Robert, and the tasks she sets Bree!

    • Sharon
      Sharon says:

      🙂 I had my brain going to all different scenarios and none of them were right LOL

  2. Jonetta (Ejaygirl) | Blue Mood Café
    Jonetta (Ejaygirl) | Blue Mood Café says:

    I just got that Sager book and am happy to see your high rating.

    I recently listened to Never Have I Ever and became an instant Joshilyn fan. Definitely will listen to this one, too (she narrates her own books as she’s a former actress and is great!).

    • Sharon
      Sharon says:

      I hope you enjoy them. Never Have I Ever is the book that kept popping up in my view and now I definitely want to read it. Oh Wow, May have to get the Audio, Didn’t know she narrates her own books. 🙂

    • Sharon
      Sharon says:

      What?! LOL I hope you enjoy it. He is a great writer, I highly recommend all his books.

    • Sharon
      Sharon says:

      I know right. I hated to put it down, but needed to calm myself a bit every so often LOL

  3. Lark
    Lark says:

    I’m a fan of Riley Sager, too, so I’m very glad to hear that this latest book of his does not disappoint!

  4. Susan (Bloggin' 'bout Books)
    Susan (Bloggin' 'bout Books) says:

    I’m a big Sager fan as well. I’m on the waiting list for SURVIVE THE NIGHT at the library. We’ll see how long it takes me to actually be able to read it!

    I also love Joshilyn Jackson, although it’s her Southern women’s fiction/family dramas that I like most. Jackson has a unique voice that really comes through in those books. For me, NEVER HAVE I EVER wasn’t the same – it felt like it could have been written by any thriller writer. I haven’t read MOTHER MAY I yet, but I will at some point. Glad it kept you on the edge of your seat.


    • Sharon
      Sharon says:

      I hope you don’t have to wait to long for Survive The Night. I definitely want to check out Joshilyn Jackson’s other books.

  5. Suzanne
    Suzanne says:

    I can’t wait to read the Riley Sager book. I’ve seen a couple of mixed reviews for it, but yours has convinced me that it should be a great read for me.

    • Sharon
      Sharon says:

      So do I. I try and expand the genres that I read and I do, but my to read list is usually 90% thrillers LOL

    • Sharon
      Sharon says:

      Oh I hope you enjoy it. I think it would be a good first (of many) thriller read 🙂

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