Bird Box by Josh Malerman
If you read one single suspense/thriller/horror novel this year, let it be this one.
I fully admit, I did not have this book on my radar until I read an article about how they were turning this into a movie (with Sandra Bullock as the lead character) and that completely piqued my interest. Once I read the synopsis I was invested, because this book sounded GOOD.
Synopsis: There is an epidemic taking over the world - the only problem is, no one is able to understand it or try to solve it because of the very nature of the disease; there is something terrifying outside, and with one glimpse a person is driven to deadly violence of those around them, and then to themselves. The onset of symptoms is too fast to try to interview ill patients, or work on a cure. And it is spreading fast.
Malorie finds herself living with a group of survivors as they try to navigate this deadly new world, where trusting anyone and anything comes at a cost.
This book is MAGNIFICENT - I cannot recall another book that truly raised the suspense bar to horror movie proportions for me, simply by me reading the pages. Josh Malerman does amazing work moving the story between when the epidemic first started spreading in the world, to present day, five years later, as Malorie is forced to leave her house with her two children to try to make a trip 20 miles downriver to find sanctuary - a trip that must be made blindfolded, and as quietly as possible.
If I didn't think it was possible to have a moment of "I can't watch this, I need to cover my eyes and watch from between my fingers" with a book - I was wrong. I did that more than once in this book, where the stakes were so high, and the tension was so strong that I was terrified to see what was going to happen next - in the BEST possible way.
This book demands to be read in a single sitting, and I would be amazed if there was anyone who could actually put this book down before finishing it. I devoured it, and honestly, this story has sat with me since I read it - it feels frighteningly like something that could really happen to us, and that is the mark of a perfect read for me.
I would give this book well over 5 stars, because it deserves it. And I cannot WAIT to see what they do with this book for the movie - I will be in that theater with my hands over my eyes, terrified to see what comes next.
Get this book on your to-read pile, suspense lovers. You will not be sorry.