Book Review | Five Survive @TBRBeyondTours

Today I am one of the stops kicking off the tour for the latest book by Holly Jackson.


Five Survive
Holly Jackson

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

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I was very excited to pick up this book because I was curious to see what the author would come up with after a very successful series of books, and because, of the ones I have read so far I have really enjoyed what she has written. Five Survive was a little slower to kick in than I expected and whilst Red was a fascinating character she wasn’t the easiest to navigate the start of the story with, thankfully it didn’t take too long before I was completely hooked by what was happening.

I just loved the set-up of this, six friends shut in a small space, and a desperate need to find the secret that is the key to their survival, it made for some thrilling edge-of-my-seat reading. The book is broken up into sections by the hour and it really adds to the fast-paced nature of the story, as everything happens in eight hours of one evening. The tension was wonderful all of these elements come together to create a chaotic maelstrom of an atmosphere, as the characters slowly start to unravel and become their worst selves.

I won’t say too much about the plot but whilst some things felt obvious, I realised that I had no idea who was behind the danger they were in and what secret they were looking for. It made for some pretty shocking revelations as the puzzle pieces started to fit together and I could not have predicted how it ended. I feel like I maybe was left with some questions about things that had been included in the story but didn’t seem to have an explanation but that didn’t have a massive impact on my overall enjoyment.

The characters in this book are not really all that likeable but I felt entirely drawn to them because of their dynamic, you can tell there are some tensions from the start of the story but it gets worse as the events of the night unfold and there are some clear divides in the group, which makes for some intense reading. Maybe this makes me weird but I found it riveting as the threat becomes known that we got to see how each of the friends reacts to this and how it changes their relationships with each other, the shift back and forth between working together and then working against each other kept the suspense at an all-time high.

Holly Jackson knows how to create an emotional and engaging story, the sense of dread will definitely stick with me for a while, it is a dark story and it’ll take me a minute to get over, but this book has me very excited to see what kind of story she will come up with next.


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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To see the other hosts and follow the tour, click here.

Reviews of other books by Holly Jackson
A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder | Good Girl, Bad Blood

4 thoughts on “Book Review | Five Survive @TBRBeyondTours”

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