counter create hit Five Total Strangers - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Five Total Strangers

Availability: Ready to download

A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster. When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly co A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster. When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly college kids who were on her initial flight. As the drive progresses and weather conditions become more treacherous, Mira realizes that the four other passengers she's stuck in the car with don't actually know one another. Soon, they're not just dealing with heavy snowfall and ice-slick roads, but the fact that somebody will stop at nothing to ensure their trip ends in a deadly disaster.


Compare
Ads Banner

A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster. When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly co A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster. When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly college kids who were on her initial flight. As the drive progresses and weather conditions become more treacherous, Mira realizes that the four other passengers she's stuck in the car with don't actually know one another. Soon, they're not just dealing with heavy snowfall and ice-slick roads, but the fact that somebody will stop at nothing to ensure their trip ends in a deadly disaster.

30 review for Five Total Strangers

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dita has the 'rona!

    "What can I do to help?" I ask. Brecken shrugs. "I don't know. Stand over there and look pretty or something." "Is it 1972 in your mind?" Harper asks. I never read YA but this sounded SO good that I broke every rule to get a copy! Five strangers stuck at the airport in a storm rent a car together to try and make it to their respective homes by Christmas. What can go wrong in a blizzard when one of them is a sociopath? And isn't a stranger? Thank you to Natalie D. Richards, Sourcebooks and Edelweiss f "What can I do to help?" I ask. Brecken shrugs. "I don't know. Stand over there and look pretty or something." "Is it 1972 in your mind?" Harper asks. I never read YA but this sounded SO good that I broke every rule to get a copy! Five strangers stuck at the airport in a storm rent a car together to try and make it to their respective homes by Christmas. What can go wrong in a blizzard when one of them is a sociopath? And isn't a stranger? Thank you to Natalie D. Richards, Sourcebooks and Edelweiss for giving me this DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kelli Wilson

    Failed to astonish me but a few 4-star moments to lean on! This book is about five young adults stranded at the airport as all flights are cancelled due to snowy weather. All five have never met and are complete strangers. They randomly meet, find out they are all headed in the same direction and decide to rent a car to make the six hour trip. We find out early that one of them has been stalking the main character. But who is the stalker? That you have to finish reading to find out. Things start Failed to astonish me but a few 4-star moments to lean on! This book is about five young adults stranded at the airport as all flights are cancelled due to snowy weather. All five have never met and are complete strangers. They randomly meet, find out they are all headed in the same direction and decide to rent a car to make the six hour trip. We find out early that one of them has been stalking the main character. But who is the stalker? That you have to finish reading to find out. Things start to go wrong pretty fast. They encounter a huge snow storm, things are constantly going missing and everyone starts pointing fingers. Overall this had a relatively decent pace. However, I found myself pushing through a few bouts of boredom.  There was a handful of scenes that picked up and really got my heart racing, but unfortunately these were in the minority.  I feel like this author has a lot of promise and I would definitely consider reading another book of hers. *Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire via Edelweiss & NetGalley for providing the digital review copy!

  3. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **3.5-stars rounded up** Mira lives in California with her Dad, while her mother lives in Pittsburgh. Now that it's Christmas time, Mira is making her way to the East Coast for the holiday. Last year, her Aunt, her Mom's sister and closest friend, passed away. Her Mom really struggled with the loss. Mira is concerned about her mother's mental health as she tries to cope around the holiday. So, when her connecting flight from New York to Pittsburgh gets canceled due to inclement weather, Mira needs **3.5-stars rounded up** Mira lives in California with her Dad, while her mother lives in Pittsburgh. Now that it's Christmas time, Mira is making her way to the East Coast for the holiday. Last year, her Aunt, her Mom's sister and closest friend, passed away. Her Mom really struggled with the loss. Mira is concerned about her mother's mental health as she tries to cope around the holiday. So, when her connecting flight from New York to Pittsburgh gets canceled due to inclement weather, Mira needs to find another way to get home as quickly as she can. Luckily, the girl she was sitting next to on the plane, Harper, is renting a car, along with three of her college friends, Brecken, Josh and Kayla. There is room and they are heading in the same direction, so Harper offers Mira a ride. It would sure beat any of the other options, like sleeping at the airport on Christmas Eve. Mira accepts, but has her reservations. She doesn't know these people at all. As they hit the road, the weather gets progressively worse. They see a lot of accidents and even have a few close calls themselves. As you can imagine, the stress level in the car begins to ratchet up. They're at each other's throats and it's not pretty. Anything that could possibly go wrong, does. Conditions get to the point where they are barely able to drive at all. They make a few pit stops and yep, you guessed it, those don't go well either! I had fun with this one, y'all. Richards did a great job of bringing your typical Teen Scream to the page. The cast of characters played well off of one another and it definitely kept me guessing. There's some uncertainty as to what people's motives are and I enjoyed that element a lot. The suspense continues to build throughout the story. Items start to disappear from the car and it feels threatening rather than accidental. Although there were some plot holes, and I wasn't sold on the ending, I did have fun with it. I think if you don't take it too seriously, it's quite an enjoyable read. Thank you so much to the publisher, SourceBooks Fire, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. Blizzard Scares are some of my favorite scares, so I am definitely happy that I had the opportunity to read this one. It's perfect for this time of year!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Normally I’m a little tough grader when it comes to YA thrillers and after seeing some unpopular reviews I was afraid of being bad guy with a acidic taste in my mouth after reading something illogical and not entertainingly crazy enough for my picky taste! But thanks to literature Gods, I couldn’t be so wrong because I was already hooked and felt like watching a fast paced, breath taking, captivating, low budget Blumhouse teenage thriller movie which is 6.5 IMDb and %70 rotten tomatoes rated, mo Normally I’m a little tough grader when it comes to YA thrillers and after seeing some unpopular reviews I was afraid of being bad guy with a acidic taste in my mouth after reading something illogical and not entertainingly crazy enough for my picky taste! But thanks to literature Gods, I couldn’t be so wrong because I was already hooked and felt like watching a fast paced, breath taking, captivating, low budget Blumhouse teenage thriller movie which is 6.5 IMDb and %70 rotten tomatoes rated, mostly takes in one place: a haunted, disturbing car! It was entertaining, mind blowing, surprising, twisting and plot idea was also simple, action packed and brilliant! Our heroine, sweet, artsy, good daughter, 18 years old Mira wants to go to Pittsburgh for Christmas holiday but after unexpected canceled layover because of sudden terrifying blizzard lurking around and her urgent wish to be at home just in time(Her mother keeps secret her divorce news and she is at the verge of nervous breakdown after her sister passed away) forces her make a quick decision to travel with four strangers trapped in a car at snow blizzard. Yes, not a wise choice! But her seat mate at the plane, Harper seems like cool, sophisticated and friendly. She cannot be a bad person, can she? The guy with crutches, blonde hair seems charming and nice, too. His name is Josh. And the med student, tall, wealthy boy Brecken seems like a little pretentious but he seems harmless. And Kayla the weird girl who reminds us of sleeping beauty contest winner seems like quiet, introvert,silent one. Yes, they are a bunch of cool college kids and they cannot cause any harm throughout their exciting, thrilling journey. Right? Sorry Mira, you cannot be so wrong because one of them is ugly soul twin of Joe Goldberg and she or he is watching every step you take and every move you make! Harper- she is way too friendly and secretive Brecken seems like violent one Josh becomes more agitated at each moment and Kayla seems like a drug addict with sociopathic tendencies. One of them is after her and he/she won’t stop till his/her mission accomplished. The ending was a little foreseeable and there are so many coincidental facts to bring those five strangers together. But overall: I drank whole bottle of Chardonnay in twenty minutes and I became more agitated, jumpy during the horrifying action packed scenes. I screamed, I jumped, I shouted too many OMGs (my neighbors thought I was performing a rite. Coincidentally my husband was listening” I’m a believer” from the Monkees at the highest volume: he loves 60s music and I endure everything for him leaving me alone when I’m reading) It was fun, it was joyful and I had amazing time. Of course I’m cutting points for illogical and coincidental events affect the credibility of the story but I’m still rounding 3.5 to 4 stars! It was a quick, nail biter, hair splitter, couch jumper, husband disturber, witty journey for me! I enjoyed it so much! Special thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for sharing this interesting ARC with me . Thankfully it was soooo much better than I expected.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Claude's Bookzone

    2.5 Stars CW: (view spoiler)[Loss of loved one, stalker, car accidents in snowy weather. (hide spoiler)] Well that was somewhat of an abrupt and predictable ending. That being said I was still engaged and quite interested to see how the story would unfold. The characters were pretty flat but at least they weren't annoying. This book reminded me a bit of I Know What You Did Last Summer, which is another slightly underwhelming thriller. I think the author did a good job in terms of the pacing, and a 2.5 Stars CW: (view spoiler)[Loss of loved one, stalker, car accidents in snowy weather. (hide spoiler)] Well that was somewhat of an abrupt and predictable ending. That being said I was still engaged and quite interested to see how the story would unfold. The characters were pretty flat but at least they weren't annoying. This book reminded me a bit of I Know What You Did Last Summer, which is another slightly underwhelming thriller. I think the author did a good job in terms of the pacing, and also sowing the seeds of doubt as to which of the passengers had sinister motives. I am glad I listened to it as I suspect the first quarter would make for dull reading. Just okay for me but I think it will be popular in the YA library I work at.

  6. 4 out of 5

    jenny✨

    10/06/2020: Happy publication day to this book! (The weather is much more caught-in-a-snowstorm appropriate now than when Sheena and I read this back in August 😂) I’ve learned to pay attention when the hair at the back of my neck prickles—when a carnal, bone-deep instinct tells me something is wrong. And that’s what my instincts are saying now. Five Total Strangers was a compulsively readable and quick read that immediately swept me into its story. While not necessarily complex, this didn’ 10/06/2020: Happy publication day to this book! (The weather is much more caught-in-a-snowstorm appropriate now than when Sheena and I read this back in August 😂) I’ve learned to pay attention when the hair at the back of my neck prickles—when a carnal, bone-deep instinct tells me something is wrong. And that’s what my instincts are saying now. Five Total Strangers was a compulsively readable and quick read that immediately swept me into its story. While not necessarily complex, this didn’t fall into cliché, either; I’d heard good things about Natalie D. Richards’ writing, and after reading this book, I’m down to try more of her work. Stuck in the middle of a terrible blizzard, Mira Reynolds is desperate to make it home for Christmas—even if it means getting into a car full of complete strangers. Strangers who are just as desperate as she to be reunited with their families… except one. Turns out while everyone’s keeping secrets, there is one person hiding much, much more. Not only do the five of them have to contend with car accidents on icy roads and escaping from gun-toting gas station owners, someone in the car is acting with sinister motives. Things begin to go missing. Their snow chains and charging ports have been tampered with. Someone doesn’t want them to get home alive. ◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️ I really think the author did a good job of weaving in other elements beyond just the mystery/thriller/survival-in-a-snowstorm plot. Mira grapples with immense grief for her aunt Phoebe’s death, a grief she’s suppressed for an entire year as her mother fell apart and Mira found herself having to be strong in her stead. At the same time, Mira’s just beginning to patch up a shattering friendship-breakup with her best friend, Zari, and the book also talks about Mira’s passion for art. I wish we’d learned more about each character, and that the culprit’s backstory was fleshed out more! I found it a little hard to picture each person in my head (apart from Harper, who’s East Asian, poised, and wealthy) because their initial descriptions were paltry, and eventually everyone’s histories are sketched in somewhat… except for the stalker’s. I also have mixed feelings about the letters from the stalker to Mira that are interspersed between chapters; on the one hand, I liked that they injected novelty into the narrative and revealed just how long he’s tracked her. On the other hand, they were so generic??? Very “we are meant to be together I just know it”? I guess I just felt it was a story I’d heard (many times) before. Finally, what cemented this as a three-star read for me was the fact that I found the ending somewhat rushed. I had to triple-check I hadn't missed a chapter or two at the conclusion because I felt like there were still plotlines to be revealed and character stories to be tied up; definitely didn't get a sense of closure with this one! 😭 Nonetheless, there were some truly chilling moments (no pun intended). A burst of unexpectedly unsettling violence in a rest stop parking lot to keep you on your toes. A strange man who keeps showing up along their journey. And of course, the sabotage that seems to be happening under Mira’s nose. Buddy read with Sheena!! 💖💖 Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Review coming soon.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Melanie (mells_view)

    ”Don’t worry. Destiny’s on our side.” Ok so essentially this is a read about five not so perfect strangers, who were stranded at an airport on Christmas Eve, and decided to brave the icy winter storm and drive 6 hours together to get home. They all desperately needed to get home for some reason or another. That being said. Things start going wrong, and they stay going wrong. Is their luck really this bad? Hmm. I don’t want to say too much, because I think the reason this book is so entertaining is ”Don’t worry. Destiny’s on our side.” Ok so essentially this is a read about five not so perfect strangers, who were stranded at an airport on Christmas Eve, and decided to brave the icy winter storm and drive 6 hours together to get home. They all desperately needed to get home for some reason or another. That being said. Things start going wrong, and they stay going wrong. Is their luck really this bad? Hmm. I don’t want to say too much, because I think the reason this book is so entertaining is because it is anxiety inducing and you just don’t know what is happening. This book had me stressed out the entire time just waiting for what would happen to these people next. I did not want to stop reading, it was that engrossing even though I was so anxious. I will say that there are a trunkful of loose ends at the end, and while I wish I had more answers, I understand that those answers weren’t the point of the story. All in all this was a great read, with great build. You can figure out what’s going on if you pay super close attention to details. AVAILABLE NOW! *ARC provided by SourceBooks Fire through NetGalley!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julie Zantopoulos

    This wasn't it, friends. It had a creepy factor given that it's set in PA and I live in PA. I loved the freaky letters and the tension but I saw the twist coming and I was left unimpressed with the overall plot and character development. There was such build up to the finale of the book and then BAM, it was over. I'm not the target age demographic but I'm looking for a little more meat from my thrillers. Still, it did have a "vibe" that I could get down with.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sheena

    Five Total Strangers started off so strongly! There was so much promise in the beginning. I could feel the chaotic energy in the airport as everyone was worried over their flights being cancelled and then about half way into the road trip the energy died and so did I. It began to drag on and I get there's only so much that can happen in a car but I expected a little more. I kind of had an idea who was behind this but this book does have you speculating literally everyone and anyone. I thought th Five Total Strangers started off so strongly! There was so much promise in the beginning. I could feel the chaotic energy in the airport as everyone was worried over their flights being cancelled and then about half way into the road trip the energy died and so did I. It began to drag on and I get there's only so much that can happen in a car but I expected a little more. I kind of had an idea who was behind this but this book does have you speculating literally everyone and anyone. I thought the author did a great job I just expected more and wish the characters were more dimensional. I feel like we didn't know much about them. With that being said, it is a quick read even if there are a few slower moments. I think I would check out books by this author in the future. Thanks so much to the publisher and to Netgalley for the advanced copy! Buddy read with Jenny <3

  11. 4 out of 5

    Xandra (StarrySkyBooks)

    You know that feeling when you’re enjoying a book so much, you can’t put it down? Five Total Strangers gave me that feeling from the very beginning. Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review! When I say I love thriller books, this is the kind of book I’m talking about! Fast-paced, no-nonsense, creepy in all the right places, simple thrillers like this. This is exactly my kind of book. If you're looking for a Thriller to fly through in one week You know that feeling when you’re enjoying a book so much, you can’t put it down? Five Total Strangers gave me that feeling from the very beginning. Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review! When I say I love thriller books, this is the kind of book I’m talking about! Fast-paced, no-nonsense, creepy in all the right places, simple thrillers like this. This is exactly my kind of book. If you're looking for a Thriller to fly through in one weekend, I recommend you try out this book! For context, I don’t often feel this way. This is a special occurrence for me! However, whenever I can’t put a book down, it usually has a lot to do with personal preference – what I enjoy about a book rather than what makes it a good story in general. (I’m also the kind of person who enjoys a thriller simply because it “wasn’t too predictable”, so there’s that.) I was on the edge of my seat for most of this book. It was mostly well-paced, and I was genuinely curious about many aspects. I wanted Mira to get home to her mom. I wanted to figure out another mystery that I cannot tell you about because it’s not in the synopsis. I was desperate to know how everyone was going to survive! I flew through this book so fast, it got me out of a month-long reading slump! While the overall book kept me on the edge of my seat, the ending felt a bit… rushed. Everything happened so fast, and I didn’t have time to process it. This might have been something on my part, or it might have been an actual issue which was changed for the final draft. Although I liked this book a lot, I also felt like the characters could have been more developed and the ending could have been more developed. For this reason, I’m putting 4 points under my “personal emotions” rating system category, for liking this book even though I normally would have taken more points off. Either way, this book was exactly what I needed in my life during this spooky season, so I was really caught up in the moment while reading it! It was a fun and fast thriller, perfect for this time of the year. Rating System Character like-ability: 3.5 Character development: 3 Plot development: 3 Writing style: 3.5 Dialogue: 3.5 Personal emotions: 4 3.41 ≈ 3.5 stars. This is a solid 3.5, but because I have to round it, it will be 4 stars for this review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Angela Staudt

    “Our stuff isn’t going missing – someone is stealing it. And there are exactly four people who could be responsible. I take a sharp breath and look at my fellow travelers with new wariness. Someone in this car is lying.” Thank you, SourceBooks Fire, for a finished copy in exchange for an honest review. Five Total Strangers is one of those books you legitimately can’t stop reading. I could not put this down and ending up reading it entirely in one sitting. It was a phenomenal thriller; I mean it ha “Our stuff isn’t going missing – someone is stealing it. And there are exactly four people who could be responsible. I take a sharp breath and look at my fellow travelers with new wariness. Someone in this car is lying.” Thank you, SourceBooks Fire, for a finished copy in exchange for an honest review. Five Total Strangers is one of those books you legitimately can’t stop reading. I could not put this down and ending up reading it entirely in one sitting. It was a phenomenal thriller; I mean it had everything. The edge of your seat thrills, the paranoia, the twists, and it was action packed. I loved this book and honestly it is up there for best thrillers I have ever read. We are following Mira, who is heading home for Christmas to be with her mom in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It’s Christmas Eve and the airport Mira is at is basically stopping all flights because a blizzard is coming in. Her seat mate from the first flight has to get home to her family as well and rents a car. Even though they don’t know each other, Harper, offers to give her a ride home with her three other friends. Mira takes up the offer and they start out on their 6-hour drive to Pittsburgh. Obviously, things don’t go as planned, for one they are driving in a blizzard. Two, who exactly are these mysterious people riding in the car with Mira? I was seriously biting my nails while reading this book, my heart rate was through the roof. I could not take my eyes off of this book, I was flipping the pages so fast because it wasn’t only action packed, but had so many twists and turns. I live where this story takes place and it made me so uneasy reading this because the blizzards that hit Pennsylvania are like no other sometimes. The highway they are taking to get home, is quite literally the worst highway and everyone around here knows not to use it in the winter. I think reading this was actually quite scary because it was very realistic and it just freaked me out. Not to mention the ending was exceptional. I did not see it coming and was blown away, the author led me down a whole other path that I never even suspected what happened. I love when authors take the time and write out believable endings, and knowing what the ending is, I can say if I went back and reread this book, I could totally see the little hints and easter eggs the author left. Five Total Strangers is now going to be the book I recommend to everyone and anyone who wants a top-notch thriller.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    Had high hopes for this, but it fell really flat for me. I didn't gel well with the overwhelming amount of talk and description about the car journey in the beginning, and the characters arguing about which road to take, etc. The resolution felt a bit too obvious too. This book just did not work for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joleen (starlightbooktales)

    This YA thriller is a solid 3 stars. The moment I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. Resulting in me finishing the book in one sitting. Which is not something I can complain about. I love it when a book captivates my attention so hard that I MUST keep reading. The idea of this book, girl gets in a car with a bunch of strangers was such a great plot. Desperate to get home makes for a thrilling tale. And the concept that we know more than the characters is one of my favorite tropes. The problem This YA thriller is a solid 3 stars. The moment I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. Resulting in me finishing the book in one sitting. Which is not something I can complain about. I love it when a book captivates my attention so hard that I MUST keep reading. The idea of this book, girl gets in a car with a bunch of strangers was such a great plot. Desperate to get home makes for a thrilling tale. And the concept that we know more than the characters is one of my favorite tropes. The problem that I usually find with thrillers is that they are predictable. Five Total Strangers was no exception. It became obvious where the storyline was going early on. But I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to discover the letters that were being written. That I did not see coming. The characters were great, Mira was pretty straight forward and I like that she wasn’t a doormat in such an intense situation. I think I would have crawled up into a ball the entire trip and had a million panic attacks. But Mira called out people on their crap and voiced her opinions out loud which I appreciated. I also liked Harper! She was very talkative so it was nice to see them all get along even if it was for a short period. Overall, this book was great. If you enjoy a good thriller then definitely give this one a go. It’s easy to guess where the story is going, but it catches your attention from the get-go. Five Total Strangers is suspenseful and satisfying.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Fizah(Books tales by me)

    Actual Rating 3.5 I am a sucker for YA mysteries, this book was on my tbr for months. Read the synopsis and tell me you are not sold by it. Mira wants to spend Christmas at her home with her mother as it is also the death anniversary of her aunt- her mother’s twins. But nature got different plans for her. She doesn’t have another option except for taking a car with 4 other strangers in this heavy storm. I love the world-building, the way the author explained it, It was so easy for me to imagine mys Actual Rating 3.5 I am a sucker for YA mysteries, this book was on my tbr for months. Read the synopsis and tell me you are not sold by it. Mira wants to spend Christmas at her home with her mother as it is also the death anniversary of her aunt- her mother’s twins. But nature got different plans for her. She doesn’t have another option except for taking a car with 4 other strangers in this heavy storm. I love the world-building, the way the author explained it, It was so easy for me to imagine myself with them in that car. The character building was also quite interesting, how they were from different backgrounds and the way their character unfolded while travelling for hours. The way the author tried to divert attention to different people also grabbed my attention. But the problem was pace, it felt unnecessary dragged, I wish it wasn’t that stretched and we get to know a little more detail in the ending.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Em J.

    5 Stars - Possibly an "almost-favorite" Five Total Strangers was the definition of suspense. Mira, an art student living across the country, needs to come home to PA for the holidays. It's Christmas Eve, she gets on her direct flight, and when she's ready to board her second plane, a snow-storm breaks out. There's no way she'd be able to get home in time for Christmas day. Harper, the girl she was sitting next with on her previous flight, offers Mira a (car) ride to Pittsburg, along with some of 5 Stars - Possibly an "almost-favorite" Five Total Strangers was the definition of suspense. Mira, an art student living across the country, needs to come home to PA for the holidays. It's Christmas Eve, she gets on her direct flight, and when she's ready to board her second plane, a snow-storm breaks out. There's no way she'd be able to get home in time for Christmas day. Harper, the girl she was sitting next with on her previous flight, offers Mira a (car) ride to Pittsburg, along with some of her friends. Mira knows she shouldn't accept rides from strangers. But, she needs to get home for her mother's mental health. So, she accepts. But, it's not the perfect experience she was hoping for. Belongings go missing, multiple near death experiences occur, and Mira realizes that she can't trust anybody. I'll start off by expressing my excitement for the setting! A YA book - set in winter - that isn't a holiday romance! The setting was so-well described. From the icy roads to the multiple feet of snow, this book really made me wish I was curled up by the fireplace. The characters... First of all, I don't judge mysteries by their characters. It's just not what I look for. Reason one being that there's no way to relate to them. Let's be honest, I don't know about you, but I have no friends that are trying to solve a small town murder, have siblings who have disappeared, etc. Mysteries are meant for a suspenseful plot, at least in my opinion. Reason two being, that authors work so hard to arrange suspects, culprits, etc., so I don't blame them for not making every character in their book emotional and realistic. But, I suppose I'll get to the point. In this book, the characters were emotionally flat. But, from the outside (backgrounds, experiences, etc.) they were interesting to read about. So, although the characters didn't have tons of hobbies, pets, funny grandmas, etc. (basically you don't get to know their true personalities), they did all have interesting background stories, and many secrets to hide. So, overall, basic characters in a YA thriller. Not much to judge. I didn't hate them, I didn't love them, mostly just because I don't know the realistic them. Nothing special about them. The plot basically jumped at me out of the blue. The first fifty pages or so, I wasn't impressed. It wasn't boring, but instead just nothing special. But then... it rocketed. My brain couldn't keep up with my eyes. I wanted to read so fast, yet I found myself forming all these suspicions. (view spoiler)[ From the very start, I guessed it was Harper. To be honest, Brecken and Kayala were at the bottom of my list. (hide spoiler)] My friend read this about a week ago, and she said she wasn't a fan, because there wasn't one noticeable climax. Instead, there were many. There wasn't a boring part in this book after page fifty or so. The multiple near death accidents, the secrets every character was hiding, the hit and runs, (view spoiler)[ the son and father chasing them, the terrifying man from the restroom (hide spoiler)] , the non-stop blood-rushing moments. They all just added up to make this novel spectacular. And most of all... the creativity, the thought, the originality of this book. Many congratulations to Natalie D. Richards. I've never read a book similar to this. Even from just the blurb, I could tell this was a one of a kind mystery. Did I have any complaints? Barely, but maybe a few. I do think the ending was a bit too suspenseful/quick (which happens with a lot of mysteries.) There were some strings left loose as well. Lastly, I do wish there was a bit of diversity with the characters (race, sexuality, etc.), but, again, I'm mostly looking for a suspenseful plot, and that's certainly what I got. Overall, an amazing read. It may not be an emotional book, or one that'll affect my day-to-day life, but the fact my eyes were glued to it must have meant something. Everyone needs to read this! P-E-R-F-E-C-T thriller! Unpredictable and original.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Meigan

    FIVE TOTAL STRANGERS was a cold and atmospheric twisty thriller that kept me guessing until the very end. Where I was of course proved wrong because this book refused to let me be right. It’s never a good idea to get in a car with strangers, but that’s exactly what Mira does when all flights are cancelled on her way home to Pittsburgh. Choosing to tag along in a rental car paid for by her seat mate Harper, she and 4 others brave the long drive and get stuck in a blizzard. As if things couldn’t FIVE TOTAL STRANGERS was a cold and atmospheric twisty thriller that kept me guessing until the very end. Where I was of course proved wrong because this book refused to let me be right. It’s never a good idea to get in a car with strangers, but that’s exactly what Mira does when all flights are cancelled on her way home to Pittsburgh. Choosing to tag along in a rental car paid for by her seat mate Harper, she and 4 others brave the long drive and get stuck in a blizzard. As if things couldn’t possibly get worse, weird things begin to happen and everyone in the car is a suspect. Fast-paced and filled with plenty of twists and turns, Richards does a great job of redirecting focus when you think you may have figured something out. Much like their journey home, there are plenty of stumbling blocks that get in the way of you potentially solving the mystery. With dynamic characters with interesting and shadowy backstories, it’s anyone guess who has sinister intentions. 3.5 stars to this quick and tense thriller. *arc received courtesy of the publisher.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    It’s Christmas Eve, Mira needs to get home for Christmas but her second flight is cancelled due to bad weather. On the first plane she was sat next to Harper, a college student also trying to get home. When Harper goes to get hire a car, she meets 3 other students in need of a ride. She then invites Mira and the 5 of them set off in a journey despite the bad storms. Along the way, everything starts to go wrong and it doesn’t seem like a coincidence. I liked this book. There was a lot of suspense It’s Christmas Eve, Mira needs to get home for Christmas but her second flight is cancelled due to bad weather. On the first plane she was sat next to Harper, a college student also trying to get home. When Harper goes to get hire a car, she meets 3 other students in need of a ride. She then invites Mira and the 5 of them set off in a journey despite the bad storms. Along the way, everything starts to go wrong and it doesn’t seem like a coincidence. I liked this book. There was a lot of suspense throughout. There were pages with not much happening but I still felt uneasy reading them. This was written very well. I also liked how all of the characters were suspicious. I did have an idea of what was going on before it was revealed but I couldn’t have predicted the full extent of it. The ending did feel slightly rushed though. I would’ve preferred it to be a bit longer. I’m also still really confused about who the creepy guy that seemed to be following them throughout the entire book was though. We never got an explanation. That’s the main reason I knocked off a star. This was still a very good book though.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Helen Power

    This is a slow-burn psychological thriller that kept me enraptured from cover to cover. There is no prologue with a gritty murder to open this book. In fact, it all starts out fairly normal, yet the words and events still carry a sharp edge to them. We first meet Mira when she's on a plane on Christmas Eve during a blizzard. The plane hits turbulence, and the stress that Mira feels about this, despite being a frequent flyer, nearly oozes off the pages.  A lot of the creepy things that happen in t This is a slow-burn psychological thriller that kept me enraptured from cover to cover. There is no prologue with a gritty murder to open this book. In fact, it all starts out fairly normal, yet the words and events still carry a sharp edge to them. We first meet Mira when she's on a plane on Christmas Eve during a blizzard. The plane hits turbulence, and the stress that Mira feels about this, despite being a frequent flyer, nearly oozes off the pages.  A lot of the creepy things that happen in the early pages of this book are easily explained away. I love how Mira questions her paranoia and isn't sure if anything malicious is actually going on.  The four strangers that she's traveling with are all "normal" at a surface level, but there are little unsettling quirks and unlikeable personality characteristics that make themselves known the longer they travel together.  Harper seems to have two different personalities that don't quite mesh.  Brecken seems like a nice pre-med student, yet he says several misogynistic things that bring his "niceness" into question.  Josh also comes across as kind, but he can be condescending and pushy.  Kayla is the quiet one in the group, and she is sleeping far too much.  They all have their secrets, even Mira, who's pretending to be a college student out of fear that they wouldn't let her tag along if she told them she was still in high school.  Throughout the novel, we're made privy to the content of letters to Mira that were mailed to her over the last year.  Last year Mira's Aunt Phoebe died after a long battle with cancer, and when she was in the hospital, a kind stranger bought her a coffee. While it's obvious that Mira doesn't remember this stranger, the stranger remembers her. These letters detail this stranger's growing obsession with her, and it quickly becomes clear that they've found her. They're one of the four strangers she's travelling with--but which one?  While the events escalate quite gradually, the book is far from boring. Every little possibly innocuous thing that goes wrong seems suspicious.  Not only is one of the strangers potentially dangerous, but they're also battling the elements and other unpredictable obstacles in their journey home.  I did notice that the group tended to have long, drawn out conversations while outside the car a few too many times. Maybe blizzards are different in the US than in Canada (I mean, I'm sure they are), but I was expecting the snow and ice that was causing thirty-car pileups on the highway to be a deterrent for standing outside and chatting. That said, emotions were running high, and if they're afraid to get back into the car with strangers, maybe a little frostbite is preferrable to being shanked by a new "friend". Aside from this little criticism, the events of this book are quite plausible, making this into one of the more realistic psychological thrillers that I've read in a while. I recommend this book to anyone looking for an intense slow-burn thriller featuring suspicious characters, questionable choices, and unpredictable weather. *Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for the ebook to review*< This review appeared first on https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/ Instagram | Blog | Website | Twitter My 2020 Reading Challenge

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Prendergast (lifeandbookswithme)

    2.5 stars! Mira is travelling home for Christmas across the country. When she lands in, her connecting flight is cancelled due to an intense blizzard that is rapidly approaching. She runs into her seatmate from her flight, Harper, who has managed to find a rental SUV. When Harper offers Mira a ride, she can’t turn her down as she is feeling a lot of pressure to get home to her grieving mother. Mira finds out that Harper has invited three other strangers to join them and becomes uneasy but she doe 2.5 stars! Mira is travelling home for Christmas across the country. When she lands in, her connecting flight is cancelled due to an intense blizzard that is rapidly approaching. She runs into her seatmate from her flight, Harper, who has managed to find a rental SUV. When Harper offers Mira a ride, she can’t turn her down as she is feeling a lot of pressure to get home to her grieving mother. Mira finds out that Harper has invited three other strangers to join them and becomes uneasy but she doesn’t see any other choice. On her journey home, their situation becomes increasingly worse as the storm settles in. @sourcebooksfire sent me this ARC and I am so grateful! I always love the chance to read on paper instead of digitally. Unfortunately, this was just not an enjoyable read for me. I found Mira to be annoying as there is a lot of time spent exploring her anxiety around the decisions she’s made and not a lot of common sense. She repeatedly chooses not to contact her parents when she is in an obviously perilous situation. I did really like Richards’ depiction of grief and how it can impact people differently as Mira’s aunt passed away last year and her family is still trying to recover. There wasn’t anything that I didn’t guess - I thought the story was missing some red herrings. I am thinking I have been very spoiled for YA thrillers after reading Karen McManus’ books - she is a tough act to follow. Overall, an easy read with a few moments of tension.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Mira is trying to fly home from school to spend Christmas with her mom. This is the first Christmas without her moms twin sister so she wants to be there to support her mom. Imagine getting to your layover only to find out that all flights have been cancelled due to a snow storm coming. So Mira takes a chance and decides to ride in a car with the girl that was sitting next to her on the plane, Harper. Along with Harper there are three other individuals whom none of them know and from the time th Mira is trying to fly home from school to spend Christmas with her mom. This is the first Christmas without her moms twin sister so she wants to be there to support her mom. Imagine getting to your layover only to find out that all flights have been cancelled due to a snow storm coming. So Mira takes a chance and decides to ride in a car with the girl that was sitting next to her on the plane, Harper. Along with Harper there are three other individuals whom none of them know and from the time they take off on the rode trip it was as if disaster and chaos followed them. This young adult book was soo good, I never really would have considered it to be young adult. While things such as a massive pile up wreck they get involved in to disappearing items from all the people and then we see the chapters that are the letters to Mira. Someone in the car has been stalking her for months and while she doesn’t recall who it is they are determined that they will have her. This is definitely a nail bitter scenario, I was on the edge of my seat for a good part of it. The ending on who was the one who was causing a lot of the chaos kinda blind sided me I didn’t see that one coming! Over all I think this was a great read I finished in one day. I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys nail biting moments and a pretty quick read! This is the first of this author that I have read I definitely would consider reading anything else by her!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    4.5 stars

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sherri Thacker

    5 complete strangers meet at an airport and their flights are cancelled so they rent a car and drive through a major snowstorm with lots of things happening along the way. One is not who they appear to be but which one is it? I felt like it was a little slow in the middle which is why I’m giving it 3 stars. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amber (The Book Bratz)

    The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz *Thank you so much Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review FIVE TOTAL STRANGERS* Content Warnings: Death, stalking, talks about drug use, drugs, car accidents, near death experience I want to take a moment to appreciate the cover of this book. It is quite simple, but at the same time the contrast of the red font against the snowy background makes it stand out. The cover matches the vibe of Five Total Strangers The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz *Thank you so much Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review FIVE TOTAL STRANGERS* Content Warnings: Death, stalking, talks about drug use, drugs, car accidents, near death experience I want to take a moment to appreciate the cover of this book. It is quite simple, but at the same time the contrast of the red font against the snowy background makes it stand out. The cover matches the vibe of Five Total Strangers perfectly. I know if I passed it in the bookstore, I would be inclined to pick it up. What happens when you are stranded at an airport on Christmas Eve, desperate to get home in time to spend the holiday with your grieving mother? Mira is desperate to get home, the kind of desperate that she takes up an offer from her seatmate Harper and her "friends" to travel home by car in a snowstorm with them. But not everyone is who they seem to be and soon Mira is in a fight for her life. I really want to call Mira stupid for accepting the ride with people she barley knew, but desperate times call for desperate measures. A year ago her aunt Phoebe passed away, who happened to be her mother's twin. Mira's mom hasn't handled her death well and with the anniversary approaching and their favorite holiday happening Mira is desperate to be there. I understood Mira's desperation, Harper had given her a sense of security and she felt as if she took this ride it would get her to her mother quicker. She never expected to storm to thicken and for the events that would unfold to happen. I enjoyed that the story takes place in such a super short time frame. Five Total Strangers was a quick read, it flowed nicely and it had enough surprises and thrills to keep you wanting more. As a thriller lover, the story didn't stand out as different, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave! This is the only phrase I could think of when I finished Five Total Strangers by Natalie Richards! I couldn’t help but put myself in Mira’s shoes when she’s stranded at the airport trying to make it home for Christmas to be with her mom. Would I do just about anything to be with her? Her mom is grieving the loss of her sister and just separated from her husband, so yeah, I’d probably get in a car bound for Pittsburgh in the middle of a snowstorm with a girl I jus Oh, what a tangled web we weave! This is the only phrase I could think of when I finished Five Total Strangers by Natalie Richards! I couldn’t help but put myself in Mira’s shoes when she’s stranded at the airport trying to make it home for Christmas to be with her mom. Would I do just about anything to be with her? Her mom is grieving the loss of her sister and just separated from her husband, so yeah, I’d probably get in a car bound for Pittsburgh in the middle of a snowstorm with a girl I just met and three complete strangers that look completely normal and definitely not serial killerish! But as the story progresses, it’s revealed that one of the strangers is stalking Mira and has been for a while. Talk about the car ride from hell! Even though there is a little predictability in this story, the getting to the why and the who is a fun trip – HA – see what I did there? The atmosphere is absolutely perfect for this YA thriller, snowy and storming, 5 people in a car and sketchy things are afoot! This is the perfect suspenseful thriller for anyone that enjoys a quickly paced plot and a satisfying ending!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Out of the Bex

    Thoroughly binge-able. In a mere 24 hours I both started and finished this book. Impressive for a YA thriller, Five Total Strangers captivates from the opening page to the last. You'll be non-stop guessing the culprit amidst a sea of red herring, but you won't be positive until the big reveal. Satisfying, forward moving, and absolutely worth the read this winter when you're snuggled up with a mug of hot cocoa and want an amusing escape into a darker world.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    This is a NA thriller that follows five strangers who decide to share a rental car to get to PA after all flights from Newark are cancelled. Now, you may be thinking this is a stretch but it’s Christmas and a blizzard, so time is of the essence. Even you can’t picture yourself in this situation, I promise this book is still a thrilling read. The writing is so incredibly detailed and atmospheric. There were some scenes that had my heart pumping as well as my stomach doing flips from the sheer adr This is a NA thriller that follows five strangers who decide to share a rental car to get to PA after all flights from Newark are cancelled. Now, you may be thinking this is a stretch but it’s Christmas and a blizzard, so time is of the essence. Even you can’t picture yourself in this situation, I promise this book is still a thrilling read. The writing is so incredibly detailed and atmospheric. There were some scenes that had my heart pumping as well as my stomach doing flips from the sheer adrenaline rush. After one of the really intense scenes, I had to put the book down just so I could breathe and slow my heart rate down. This is literally the road trip from hell and everything that can go wrong does. In addition to the wild road trip, our MC (Mira) has a stalker and the letters from the stalker are dispersed throughout the plot, which adds even more tension to an already dire situation. My major criticism is that the high octane pace comes to a crashing halt because the final reveal takes place in the last 30 pages or so and then the book then abruptly ends. I definitely think that this could have been flushed out a bit more to give a really solid 4 star story. Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review! CW: deception, cancer, death, stalking, and general violence If you're looking for a YA version of No Exit, look no further. Because this is it. Mira is trying to fly home for Christmas, but a blizzard hits. All the planes are grounded and it's looking like she won't make it home for the holidays. She decides to take a lift with four other people around her age, all of whom are strangers to her. She just wants to get home. But, I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review! CW: deception, cancer, death, stalking, and general violence If you're looking for a YA version of No Exit, look no further. Because this is it. Mira is trying to fly home for Christmas, but a blizzard hits. All the planes are grounded and it's looking like she won't make it home for the holidays. She decides to take a lift with four other people around her age, all of whom are strangers to her. She just wants to get home. But, it doesn't work out that way. Not only are the roads horrific and dangerous, but someone in the car is as well. Someone in the car has been stalking Mira and has plans for her. I read this book almost in one day. I stopped around 75% and finished the rest up the next day. It's a great winter mystery/thriller for people to pick up because I could see it in my head. While I don't live in Pennsylvania, my dad grew up there and I've heard the stories of how winters can get. So, I could really picture the horror of it there. Then, there's the plot with the stalker. I didn't guess who, but I had my various theories, none of which were correct. That whole thing in itself could have taken up the whole book, but it didn't. It was a thing that kept cropping up and became more important as the book went on. And those letters that they were writing and were included in the story? Creepy as hell. My only thing was that I felt like the ending wrapped up too quickly and neatly, but I still enjoyed it. I also thought the stalker reveal was a little lacking. But, still a good thriller that I'd recommend to people!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Madison Mary

    "I thought Harper was all the things I wanted to be, but there are two sides to that coin. For every moment she's held it together, there's another where she's fallen to pieces." *ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire* SUMMARY When Mira lands in Philadelphia for her layover, an incoming blizzard causes all outgoing flights to be cancelled. Desperate to get home to her mother for the holidays, she ends up accepting a ride from her glamorous seat-mate Harper who has rented a car with three other passe "I thought Harper was all the things I wanted to be, but there are two sides to that coin. For every moment she's held it together, there's another where she's fallen to pieces." *ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire* SUMMARY When Mira lands in Philadelphia for her layover, an incoming blizzard causes all outgoing flights to be cancelled. Desperate to get home to her mother for the holidays, she ends up accepting a ride from her glamorous seat-mate Harper who has rented a car with three other passengers. But the icy roads are getting deathly and personal belongings are disappearing. Mira begins to suspect that these strangers are hiding more than they let on, and that she may not make it home alive. REVIEW I love reading YA thrillers. But for every gem, there are a couple of rocks. This book was a rock. When it comes to YA thrillers, I am able to ignore some of the dumb decisions that are made. For example, a girl getting into a car with a bunch of strangers she met on the plane for a 6-hour road-trip. These dumb choices aren't the reason why I gave the book 2-stars. After the halfway-point, the plot really got out of hand. Why is that when you add a thriller to a road-trip the most obscene things happen? I can suspend my belief when reading suspense novels, but this one was too much. (view spoiler)[ They end up driving away from a gas-station without paying, and the guy chases after them in his car. But that isn't the end of it. 100 pages later, he turns up AGAIN and tries to kill them? Like. Sir. AND THEN INSTEAD THEY RUN OVER HIS SON AND DRIVE AWAY! It was at this point in the book that I decided it was 2-stars. (hide spoiler)] We learn at the start that someone has been writing stalker letters to Mira ever since seeing her in the hospital cafeteria a year ago. These letters and items going missing from the car are the only "thrilling" aspects of the novel. The problem is that I didn't feel any suspense while reading this. A part of me wonders if I would've preferred listening to this instead of reading it. Maybe it would've been a three-star? I seem to enjoy thrillers/suspense a lot more audibly. TW: Cancer. Stalking.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Martina

    3.5 rounded up to a 4 ⭐️ This book follows 5 young adults stranded at the airport. They decided to rent a car together despite being strangers. From then on nothing goes according to plan. I have mixed feelings on this book. I read it in a matter of hours because the whole story is intense and keeps you on your toes. I found myself frustrated with all the choices the characters made. I understand they were young adults but seriously? Do people not watch dateline these days 😅 I wish we could have g 3.5 rounded up to a 4 ⭐️ This book follows 5 young adults stranded at the airport. They decided to rent a car together despite being strangers. From then on nothing goes according to plan. I have mixed feelings on this book. I read it in a matter of hours because the whole story is intense and keeps you on your toes. I found myself frustrated with all the choices the characters made. I understand they were young adults but seriously? Do people not watch dateline these days 😅 I wish we could have gotten more back stories on the characters. I did figure out the twist right away, I think the author tried to confuse us but that’s what made me figure it out. Overall it was a quick read and I liked it enough. I enjoyed the writing style and I’d love to read more by the author. Thank you to netgalley and Sourcebooks for the copy of this book.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.