My very first Bookcon-ARC-review is here! I’m not sure why this book ended up being the first one I read, especially as I managed to snag ARCs of some of my most anticipated fall reads (Gideon! The Beautiful! And many more!)… But somehow, this one ended up on top of a pile while the others were safely stowed in Book Beaus and packed – and I do have to say, the suvivalist story proved a great escapist read for the journey back.
STAR RATING: 3/5 ✶
PUBLICATION DATE: 04/06/2019
SUMMARY: Teenager Tom Calloway is an introverted grump forced to go on a school trip to Costa Rica against his will. However, their plane ends up crashing in the jungle, and he and a group of his classmates are the only survivors. In order to stay alive, he has to face his strengths and weaknesses, and help lead the group to safety – and, worst of all, maybe even make some friends on the way!
OPINIONS: While there wasn’t much substance to this novel – as you might be able to tell from reading my reviews, I’m a sucker for social issues and equality in my reading fodder – I did enjoy myself a lot. It was a fun read and I felt for the characters in their perils. The characters are all well-written teenagers, with appropriate flaws and struggles, naivety, and a realistic sense of immortality despite having just encountered danger and death. Because, let us be honest, we are never more immortal than when we are teenagers. Despite that, the author does not hesitate to kill off his characters when they encounter the dangers of the jungle and survivalism, such as venomous snakes or heatstroke.
Ultimately, the story has the expected happy ending, where some of the kids, such as Tom, learn from their experiences, and others very expectedly do not. As such, it is a satisfying read, but not a book that I expect to be rereading or recommending all that often.