WHEN WE WERE LOST
Written by Kevin Wignall
Published by Jimmy Patterson, June 4, 2019
My star rating – 2 stars
Tom Calloway didn’t want to go on a field trip to Costa Rica, but circumstances had him ending up sitting in the back of the plane–which was the only part that was intact after the crash in the remote South American wilderness. Tom and a small group of his classmates are fortunate to be alive, but their luck quickly runs out when some of them fall prey to the unfamiliar threats of the jungle–animals, reptiles, insects, and even the unforgiving heat. Every decision they make could mean life or death.
As the days go by and the survivors’ desperation grows, things get even more perilous. Not everyone can cope with the trauma of seeing their friends die, and a struggle for leadership soon pits them against each other. And when they come across evidence of other people in the middle of the rainforest, does that mean they’re safe–or has their survival come to an even more vicious end? Find it on Goodreads
Every one in a while, you come across a book that sounds like it has everything you wanted. Tragedy, survival, chaos, the unknown, darkness, and a possible murder? Right up my alley! Sadly though, the execution of this book didn’t live up to my expectations.
If you like books that detail survival and focus VERY heavily on that aspect, then this is the book for you! In a way, I felt like that’s all this book did! Yes, of course, they’re surviving in a jungle! Naturally there’s going to be focus on survival!!! But, when it’s hundreds of pages of just that….. it got boring really fast! It did project the importance of supplies and using them appropriately and sparingly, but I just couldn’t stand it for as long as it went on, with little else coming into the picture. There were a few aspects of this book that I found very interesting, and could have elevated this book had they been a larger focus. But those things fell flat and didn’t add as much to the story as I hoped.
This book also encouraged the importance of a strong and smart leader. Which I whole heartedly agree with! When you’re in a situation where you have no idea if and when you’ll be rescued, staying together and keeping things in order is a must. But I also feel like this wasn’t done as I hoped. I feel like this was used as a plot point to create a conflict and untrustworthy relationship between the survivors. The author mentioned Lord Of The Flies multiple times throughout this book. And that’s what this book felt like to me. A modern retelling of that book.
But what I really missed from this – the urgency! The emotion! The reaction! No one can really know how you’ll react to a situation until you’re in the middle of it but, I can assume, that there would be a little more panic, anguish, grief, and preservation than I got. When the plane crashes, and they realize that they’ve lost their teachers and fellow students, they gave of the impression of “Oh well, I guess I didn’t really know them….. So let’s start a fire.” They immediately went into a weird survival mode where they were choosing sides and picking up supplies. I don’t know about you, but if I were in that situation, I wouldn’t immediately straighten my back and choose sides of anything! I would want to help and be helped. And there was a huge lack urgency throughout the entire book.
I did, however, really enjoy the writing style! And the world building was great! I felt all the sensations (aside from emotion) of being there right with them. The things they saw, felt, smelled, sensed, and more.
I wanted to love this. I really did. Especially since the publisher (Hachette Book Group Canada/Jimmy Patterson) so kindly sent me this for review. I’m usually spot on with only requesting books that I’m positive I’ll enjoy. But, for some reason, this one just totally missed the mark for me. Now – even though this is one of the most negative reviews I’ve written, I need you to remember – this is only a personal preference!! I know that there will be those of you out there that will really enjoy this book! Especially since it’s so strong to the survival end of things! This isn’t a bad book book! It’s just not the right book for me.
Thank you so much to Jimmy Patterson and Hachette Book Group Canada for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are uninfluenced.
Until next time, happy reading!