Five Survive by Holly Jackson

“Five Survive” is a novel that follows the journey of five teenagers who find themselves trapped in a caravan that they are meant to be travelling in when shooters are trained on it. One of the members of their friend group: Simon, Red, Maddy, Oliver, Arthur and Reyna, has a secret they need to reveal before the shooter decides to take matters into their own hands. The title alludes that only five out of the teenagers will survive; however, all six deny they have anything to hide from each other. The novel’s plot is centred around the friends’ attempts to survive the ordeal and come to terms with the secret. The story is filled with anticipation and uncertainty as the situations force the teenagers to confront their fears and make difficult decisions to stay alive. Tensions are high as quarrels about drinking escalate to someone holding another at knifepoint and the friends slowly start turning on each other. It isn’t long before the shocking truth reveals.

When I first started this book, I wasn’t as engaged as when I read Holly Jackson’s amazing trilogy, “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder”, which was my main instigator for reading this book. However, I soon started getting the plot and becoming invested about a quarter through, and I managed to finish the entire book in one setting within 2 hours! This story has a very well-weaved plot twist; I wish the author had incorporated more clues early. As an avid reader of crime and mystery books, this was a fun, more light-hearted book to get through, and I recommend this book if you want something puzzling to keep your mind guessing. Although Holly Jackson has fleshed out the main characters she focuses on very well, I wish she also had included some more detail on the less relevant characters to make the plot less predictable. I love this book’s captivity; it will keep you turning pages no matter how desensitised to suspense you are. I recommend this book to younger teens looking for a puzzling mystery to fixate on for a few hours; this book is a great page-turner for people who are still new to the mystery/suspense genre. Although it classifies as “Young Adult”, the book is still entertaining while including deeper themes such as systematic corruption and dealing with the loss of family. Overall, it was a great light read, and I am glad I chose it to start my morning! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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