Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards is a young adult thriller about a horrible spontaneous road trip in the middle of a blizzard when five strangers are left stranded when their plane is grounded for weather. But one of the strangers is anything but and they a plan for one of the passengers. This thriller takes forever to truly thrill. Most of the time reading I felt now would be a good time for something to happen and nothing does. The plan is to drive everyone crazy then take one passenger during the blizzard and I guess live with them. The plan is paper thin if you can even call it that. he Stalker is crazy and if they would have just played it cool, could have had all they desire. The fun of the novel is who is messing with the strangers, and this is what the author does well, causing you to doubt and change who it is, guessed it but the events made me change my mind. There’s a twist involving the letters to the person being stalked that I liked because it got me to change the way I read them. The ending was okay, but it tries to tell a lesson about judging people based on their look, which is fine if the character didn’t low key threaten them earlier. I thought this novel was going to be a survival story which would have been better, the characters are interesting and have conflict but the low stakes thrills kill ant momentum the set up had.
The Plot Summary: Mira is on a Christmas Eve flight chatting with Harper who is an older college student, Mira lets Harper think she’s in college and Mira doesn’t want to stop the conversation to tell her. The layover flight is cancelled because of a blizzard Mira just hearing some troubling news about her mom, is desperate to get home on Christmas. She finds out Harper has rented a car and ask her to join Harper and her four friends, what Mira does not know is the group aren’t friends but total strangers to Harper and each other. Mira gets a bad felling about the trip but pushes it aside to get home. Then we see a random letter to Mira about how obsessed someone is with her, is this letter before or after, but Mira has made an impression on someone, and it is not good.
What I Liked: The letter to Mira and the twist of when they when the reader finds out they were written, not a big twist but it changed my perspective of how I read it. The who done it aspect of the book is the best, even if the events were low key it was still fun guessing who was responsible. I genuinely liked the five main characters and all the conflict they created together. I liked that their was an LGTBQ character in the group.
What I Disliked: That the thrills are so low key, the people they meet along the way interactions are more thrilling than what the stalker is doing. The stalkers plan makes zero sense at all. The lesson at the end of don’t judge a book by it’s cover is cliched and they had a general need to not trust him based on action, not just looks. The pacing for me was okay but I kept reading for something to happen and it took a really long time for it too happen.
Recommendations: This is a triller with so few thrills I would recommend skipping it. There’s some okay character work but not enough to read this book for that. This book will sadly be a forgotten thriller. I rated Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards 2 out of 5 stars.