Audiobook Review: Five Survive by Holly Jackson

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 6, 2023 | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: Five Survive by Holly JacksonFive Survive by Holly Jackson
Published by Electric Monkey (11.29.2022)
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook, 389 pages
Length: 10 hours, 32 minutes
Narrator: Emma Galvin
Source: Library

2 Stars

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...

My thoughts

I just want to preface this review by saying: I loved Good Girl’s Guide, as well as the sequel (and okay, half of the third book, but I will vehemently pretend that the last half did not happen). The audio for that one is one of my favorite audiobooks of all time! I am very sad to say that this one did not live up to that. (Neither did the audio narrator, she was not great.)

The concept was interesting – 6 friends trapped in an RV with an active shooter pinning them down, and the only way out was to give him a secret. Seems like a lot for a secret, but okay, I can get onboard with it. It was unique at least, and the pacing was quick!

However, the characters grated on my nerves. The main character lacked any kind of emotional depth to make me connect with her, and the side characters were also rather flat. I kept getting them mixed up even though there were only 3 girls and 3 boys, because they all felt interchangeable. The only character with any actual personality was Oliver, and he was just straight up god awful and annoying, and one of the single worst characters I have ever had the displeasure of reading. Obviously you’re not supposed to like him, but that point was forced SO hard with in-your-face toxic masculinity and manipulation that it was exhausting. I mention one of the issues I had with him being a fucking dumbass in a spoiler below, but there were a few times where I was gobsmacked at the logic (or lack thereof) he was spewing. They used a mirror to find out where the sniper was, which was a great idea, but then he wanted to go out the other side of the RV and “use the RV as cover?” Umm, it was even stated toward the beginning that the shooter could see under the RV because that’s how he shot the back tires out. Sooo, he would just shoot your feet?? Because there’s a big ass gap under the RV and he’d see you running away?! Stupid AF. Not to mention it pissed me off that EVERYONE kept going along with what Oliver was saying, even though he was an idiot, even though his suggestions kept making things worse and getting people hurt or killed, and even though he was going to more or less send someone out to die (twice, actually). Umm hello there’s 5 of you and one of him?? WHY ARE YOU LETTING HIM CONTROL YOU?! View Spoiler » It’s been a while since I’ve read such a useless cast of characters.

I felt very underwhelmed and frustrated with the ending. Not only was it all too predictable, but the whole thing felt extremely convoluted and far-fetched to me. View Spoiler »

I also have a major beef with the title of this book, because it’s a straight up spoiler. Sure, you don’t know which five people survive and which one person dies, but when multiple people were critically wounded it felt like there were no stakes at all because you basically already know they make it. View Spoiler » It robbed me of any emotional attachment to what was happening. View Spoiler »


Overall Assessment

Plot: 2.5/5
Premise: 3.5/5
Writing style: 3/5
Originality: 3.5/5
Characters: 1/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 0/5
Narration: 2.5/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall rating: 2/5

Jessi (Geo)

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