Bird Box Read-a-Like Challenge

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Bird Box Read-a-Like Challenge

Adult Fiction with Thrills and Chills

Pop culture has been abuzz over the latest book to film adaptation: Netflix's Bird Box. The overnight sensation walks the line of a post-apocalyptic, psychological thriller featuring Sandra Bullock and her two children evading a mysterious presence to reach safety. The film has generated much curiosity toward the source material and DC Public Library has everything you need for your movie to book comparison needs. The following recommendations feature the Bird Box book and four additional Read-a-Likes with a similar apocalyptic, "thrills and chills" horror theme for your reading interests.   

Bird Box by Josh Malerman 
If you're new to the viral story, the source material made a literary debut in 2014. This is what survivors know to be 100% true so far: "something" is out there and looking at it takes over your mind and drives you to unspeakable self-harm. Malorie, the main character in this survival tale, has witnessed people killing themselves after visual contact with the unknown entities. In order to reach the safety of a community of survivors, Malorie must take her two children on a dangerous boat ride that will lead to an unsettling trek across a wooded environment--all blindfolded to protect the eyes. The plot navigates between her time with housemates and the concluding trek to safety. This is a great read for anyone who enjoys psychological horror and the feeling of danger from an uncertain foe.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson 
I Am Legend represents another highly popular book to film adaptation with actor Will Smith in a notable portrayal. The plot follows the unfortunate new life of Robert Neville, a seemingly lone survivor in the aftermath of a pandemic virus. In his world, humans have been turned to vampires through a mysterious bacterium, and he must now hunt them by day or be preyed upon at night. The post-apocalyptic theme is definitely a fixture in this story as Neville plays out a "last man alive" trope with an undertone that could be described as suspenseful horror. 

Cell by Stephen King 
What's an adult fiction list of thrills and chills without a Stephen King title? Cell features a familiar plot driven story-line from King that is heavy on the zombie apocalypse--very, very heavy. On the afternoon of Oct. 1, a pulse was transmitted to every cellular device rendering the listener to a sub-human zombie state. Individuals affected by The Pulse eventually become destructive, homicidal beings that are now a mortal threat to those who were not using their cell phones during the attack. Was it an act of terrorism from a group? A form of weaponized telepathy by a supernatural being? The reader is left to speculate plausible origins as King deploys a band of survivors to facilitate a fast moving, horror induced thrill ride. 

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian Walker  
Walker pens an end of world scenario that is unsettling to read because it "could" actually happen. A barrage of asteroids wipe out humanity across the world leaving behind a trail of ruins. It is here where you can insert lead protagonist Edgar Hill: an uninspired husband, mediocre father, and overall middle of the road man who is separated from his family and must now survive for them.  However, the harsh reality is that Edgar's chances for survival are rather slim as he lacks physical and mental readiness to sustain himself under challenging duress. He does eventually band with other survivors who are also separated from their families, but he must find a way to reunite with his before they are relocated overseas. This is great title for readers who want to visualize a main character under dire straits and bleak chances for survival. 

The Road  by Cormac McCarthy
The Road knows exactly what type of book it is and how it wants to come across to readers; unabashed Post-Apocalypic fiction where survival is minimal and hope for a better tomorrow is fantasy. A nameless man and his son have survived an unspecified catastrophic event that has ended civilizations and left them vulnerable to starvation, anarchy and roving cannibals. They trek along dangerous roads in hopes of reaching the coastline where better days might exist. They view themselves as the last of the "Good Guys" who have maintained their morality amid unsavory acts by other survivors. The father lost his wife, and the son his mother, to suicide as the events in question became unbearable. This is a book that goes out of its way to cast the father/son duo as hopeless optimists. The coastline may not provide the refugee they seek, and the duo may not even make it there to find out for themselves. All of their actions could be in vain, yet they continue to exhibit courage and positivity in the midst of an apocalypse.