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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

It's No LOST, But YA Survival Tale is Still Entertaining

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Tom Calloway's not a big fan of spending more time than necessary with his classmates.  Normally, going on a long trip to do an ecological project in a foreign country with a whole group of them would not be his thing.  Too bad he didn't really get a choice.  It's ironic, then, that his plane crashes on the way to Costa Rica.  Only 19 people survive, all teens like Tom.  

After realizing they are stranded in the middle of a rainforest, with no signs of civilization anywhere, and that help is not on its way, the students have to figure out how to survive.  Everything in the unfamiliar jungle is a threat—from insects to prowling beasts to the unforgiving sun to the strange plant life.  As the classmates argue over who should lead them, who can be relied on to make wise decisions, and who can't be trusted at all, it soon becomes apparent that their worst enemies might not be lurking in the jungle, but hiding within themselves.  With danger all around, can Tom and his classmates find their way to safety?  Or will the teens be picked off one by one until no one's left to tell their tale?

I'm a big LOST fan, so when I saw the cover of When We Were Lost, a YA novel by Kevin Wignall, it definitely caught my eye.  I admit to being a little disappointed when I realized there's no woo-woo in the book's plot; it's a straight-up survival story.  Still, it tells an exciting, action-packed tale that kept me turning pages.  As far as characters go, there are too many to really get to know any of them well.  I wanted more depth and development from them.  Although the book's plot is engaging, I felt like there was a little something missing from it as well.  Overall, though, I enjoyed this quick, entertaining read.

(Readalikes:  Um, nothing is really coming to mind.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. I loved Lost too. I don't think I have read too many survival type stories. Not If I Save You First and The Lifeboat Clique come to mind, but none like this. Sounds like a classic set up, and the fact that the MC doesn't want to be there seems to be something that can add another type of drama.

  2. I liked this's not the best survival read in the world, but I thought it was pretty entertaining. :)

  3. I enjoy a good survival story. Gary Paulsen books are top drawer in that regard. But I may give this title a look-see. Sounds interesting! Thanks for the heads up.

  4. What a great cover.

  5. There's something about a survival story that brings me in. It also sounds a bit reminiscent of The Lord of the Flies.

  6. I generally like survival novels but you did hit on one of the biggest drawbacks they often face...too many characters to develop any of them really well. That is the ultimate downfall of many of them, IMO.


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