Five Survive

­Delacorte. Nov. 2022. 400p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593374160.
Gr 9 Up–Red and her five friends are headed to spring break in a borrowed RV. The first night of their trip, they lose signal on their GPS and end up lost off a dirt and gravel road. When all four tires and the gas tank are shot out, they cower in the RV’s interior while attempting to devise a plan of escape. Jackson offers a chilling and twisting thriller. Red, the white main character, is fully developed and nuanced, with secrets and trauma. Her friends are no less well-rounded, with depth and drama that keeps readers guessing at every twist and turn. The terror of being trapped by a sniper, while wading through hidden truths, pulsates off the page, making this a fast-paced story. The sections of the text are mapped out with timestamps, covering eight hours. The opening pages include a diagram of the RV’s floor plan, providing a helpful visual when reading the description of the layout as events unfold. Despite being reminiscent of And Then There Were None and echoing horror tropes, the writing never feels stale and brings a fresh, innovative approach to the thriller genre.
VERDICT A sure bet for fans of thrillers, and not just fans of Jackson.

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