Five Survive by Holly Jackson
I have seen Holly Jackson’s name all over for her Good Girl’s Guide to Murder trilogy, but I haven’t read those books myself. When I saw Five Survive listed as an option on NetGalley, it seemed interesting. I’ve been reading a lot of eBooks recently, so why not give it a shot?
The brand new unmissable crime thriller from Holly Jackson, best-selling, award-winning author of the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder trilogy.
One sniper . . .
Eighteen year old Red and her friends are on a road trip in an RV, heading to the beach for Spring Break. It’s a long drive but spirits are high. Until the RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere. There’s no mobile phone reception and nobody around to help. And as the wheels are shot out, one by one, the friends realise that this is no accident. There’s a sniper out there in the dark watching them and he knows exactly who they are. One of the group has a secret that the sniper is willing to kill for.
A game of cat-and-mouse plays out as the group desperately tries to get help and to work out which member of the group is the target. Buried secrets are forced to light in the cramped, claustrophobic setting of the RV, and tensions within the group will reach deadly levels. Not everyone will survive the night.
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One thing I needed to keep repeating to myself was, “This is a YA book. This is a YA book.” There wasn’t anything wrong with the writing style or characterization. The characters themselves just behaved like teenagers, which means that Jackson is a talented writer!
Five Survive kept me engaged the entire time. My jaw seemed to drop every other chapter. There was a very predictable and repeated rise and fall to the storyline. Due to that predictability, I think there was one cycle too many in the overall storyline. Did that detract from my enjoyment of the book? Not too much.
Beyond the fact that these were teenagers behaving like teenagers, I could not get past the overall logic of it. If I was a senior in high school, my parents NEVER would have let me go on an RV trip hundreds of miles away with 21-year-olds for “adult supervision.” If you can make it past that, you’ll be fine.
The twist at the end really got me. I wasn’t expecting it. It did make me sad, but Jackson made the right decision.
All in all, Five Survive made me want to read more of Holly Jackson’s writing. Maybe I’ll pick up the trilogy in the new year (we know how much I love trilogies).
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