Book Reviews

Five Survive by Holly Jackson // Book Review


Eight hours.
Six friends.
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.



I’m very proud to be part of the I Hate Oliver Lavoy fan club. There may be only one of me, but we’re open to new members. Completely overshadowing every moment, I felt like even though we were seeing the story through Red’s eyes, this manipulative, annoying, overbearing, toxic wet sludge of a man took over every single page until I wanted to insert myself into the book and murder him myself.

The story otherwise is unfortunately, just fine. I liked the tension of a group of six people being trapped in an RV unable to leave in fear of a sniper, however I did find the title somewhat spoilery, because I was waiting to find out who would be the one that wouldn’t survive the entire book. I’d rather have had the mystery of wondering if all, or any, would survive.

Red seems to have ADHD… except this is never mentioned. As someone with ADHD, who’s constantly around people with ADHD, this was very very obvious to me – the forgetfulness, the distraction, the disorganised thoughts. I was left worrying that people who don’t understand ADHD will leave the story thinking Red is weird/annoying and I don’t know why it was never stated, but perhaps this was intended to be PTSD?

The ending was a bit of a mess that I felt tried to tie too many plot lines together into one story, and it ended up feeling convoluted as a result. However despite it’s faults, there was something about Red that I really connected with, and a good main character for me can really bump a bad story up a couple of stars.

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments!

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