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Five Survive by Holly Jackson | Book Review

Five Survive by Holly Jackson
Release Date: 29th November 2022
Genre: Young Adult Adult, Thriller
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★
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Eight hours. Six friends. Five survive. A road trip turns deadly in this addictive YA thriller from the bestselling author of the worldwide phenomenon A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER.

Red Kenny is on a road trip for spring break with five friends: Her best friend–the older brother–his perfect girlfriend–a secret crush–a classmate–and a killer.

When their RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere with no cell service, they soon realize this is no accident. They have been trapped by someone out there in the dark, someone who clearly wants one of them dead.

With eight hours until dawn, the six friends must escape, or figure out which of them is the target. But is there a liar among them? Buried secrets will be forced to light and tensions inside the RV will reach deadly levels. Not all of them will survive the night. . . .

Content Warning: guns, death threats, mob violence, death, injury

A plan must have two parts. You have to make sure either way pays out in your favour.

Did you know that the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series is one of my favourites ever? No? Why not? I talk about it constantly because I absolutely adore the world that Holly Jackson has created there. The original UK editions are set in my home county of Buckinghamshire and mention places that I’m intimately familiar with, which is probably why I’m so connected to the series. Five Survive is a little different in that the original version is (I think) set in the US. There were no rewrites for this one!

Due to the setting, Five Survive has a bit of a different vibe to it than AGGGTM. At least, I think so. I’ve not read the US editions of AGGGTM so I can’t say how American readers will feel about the vibe in general. Something about it felt very strange in the beginning and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. I was a little disappointed at first because I was expecting to want to devour this book from the start, but instead it took a good fifty pages to grab me.

Once I was grabbed, however, I was grabbed. I read the entire rest of the book in just one sitting because it was so enthralling and it had me on the edge of my seat. I was racing to find out what was going to happen to Red, the main character, and her friends. I figured one of them would be a bit dodge and I had theories on who it could be, so I had a lot of fun trying to sus out the story and figure out what was happening and why.

It was love; thorny and complicated and sad and happy. But it was a red feeling too.

While I was disappointed by the change of setting, I can see why this book is only set in the US in both versions. There is absolutely no way in hell Jackson could have set this book in the UK and pulled it off. Can you imagine snipers shooting at a caravan in Buckinghamshire? I think not.

Five Survive is certainly not my favourite book by Holly Jackson because there’s no way it could beat her original series. I was very attached to Pip and Red didn’t have the same charm. I was actually a bit confused by Red’s characterisation for most of the book and I do wonder what the edits did to her character. By the end, though, I was quite worried about what was going to happen to her.

I really enjoyed my experience with Five Survive and I can’t wait to see what Holly Jackson comes out next. I will keep hoping she returns to writing books set in Buckinghamshire because I truly believe that’s what she does best, but this book and setting certainly had its place.

I received this book from NetGalley as part of the TBR and Beyond blog tour! Check out the rest of the bloggers and Instagrammers on the schedule to read their thoughts.

About Holly Jackson

Holly Jackson was born in 1992. She grew up in Buckinghamshire and started writing stories from a young age, completing her first (poor) attempt at a book aged fifteen. ‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ is a YA Mystery Thriller and her debut novel. She lives in London and aside from reading and writing, she enjoys binge-playing video games and pointing out grammatical errors in street signs.

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