cover image Five Survive

Five Survive

Holly Jackson. Delacorte, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-5933-7416-0

Six Philadelphia teenagers’ spring break road trip turns deadly after they get lost in South Carolina in this nail-biting thriller from Jackson (the Good Girls’ Guide to Murder series). Redford “Red” Kenny and her friends—siblings Oliver and Maddie Lavoy, Oliver’s girlfriend Reyna Flores-Serrano, Arthur Moore, and Simon Yoo—borrow Simon’s uncle’s RV to road-trip down to Gulf Shores for spring break. The journey is pleasant, if cramped, and the teens pass the time playing card games and drinking. While navigating without cell service to an isolated rural rest stop, they make a wrong turn onto McNair Cemetery Road, where one of their tires blows out. The group is then taken hostage by an unseen sniper, who shoots out the rest of the tires, the gas tank, and a window. Via a walkie-talkie left behind by the perpetrator, the shooter claims that one of them has a secret he wants revealed and warns that “if you try to run, I will shoot.” Hints of romance and a hopeful resolution help buoy unrelenting violent action, a tense atmosphere, and a melancholic tone. Reyna is Mexican; Simon’s father is Korean; the rest of the cast present as white. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sam Copeland, RCW Literary. (Nov.)

Correction: A previous version of this review misstated the book's title.