Tag Archives: Andrew Klavan

If We Survive

8 Apr

If We SurviveAndrew Klavan

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: 2012

Paperback: 340 pages

Book Blurb:

They
 came on a mission of mercy, but now they’re in a fight for their lives.

High schooler Will Peterson and three
friends journeyed to Central America to help rebuild a school. In a poor,
secluded mountain village, they won the hearts of the local people with their
energy and kindness.

But in one sudden moment, everything
went horribly wrong. A revolution swept the country. Now, guns and terror are
everywhere—and Americans are being targeted as the first to die.

Will and his friends have got to get
out fast. But streets full of killers . . .hills patrolled by armies . . . and
a jungle rife with danger stand between them and the border. Their one hope of
escape lies with a veteran warrior who has lost his faith and may betray them
at any moment. Their one dream is to reach freedom and safety and home.

If they can just survive.

Stand alone or series: Stand alone.

Why I read this book: I was searching for books outside my usual genre on the Thomas Nelson website and came across this novel.

Review:

Boy, this book was a shock to the system. It starts with a bang, quiet literally. Will Peterson went to Costa Verdes to build a wall, and to get away from his parents. When an upheaval takes place on the last day of their mission trip, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever see his parents again. Now he, and the five Americans with him, are trapped in a hostile land.

This novel was… breathtaking, gut-wrenching, heart stopping. The adrenaline-pumped pace starts on the first sentence of the prologue and it doesn’t stop. I couldn’t eat before, during, or after reading because the story made my stomach turn. It’s incredibly well written, but certainly not for a young audience. Violence abounds. The violence is not gratuitous, it fits perfectly into the story and scenario, nevertheless it’s hard to read.

The author’s pacing is impeccable. The plot goes hard and fast for much longer than made me comfortable. Then, just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, Klavan allows the reader a breath… Just for a second. Just long enough to make me think I could get through to the end.

The characterization was also superb. The group is small, just a band of six, so we get the time and detail to really learn about, and care for, each of them. We know their quirk, their reactions, their thought processes, and their flaws. We become invested in the survival of each character. The stakes rise higher and higher the more we care.

The writing is masterful, but the content is not for everyone. The entire time I read it I felt unsettled, edgy, and stressed. I read it fast because I couldn’t handle the panicky feeling it instilled in me. But I know I tend to be more squeamish than average.  So if you like action and don’t mind the violence as much this novel is perfect for you. You are in for a treat.

(For parents, this book is geared mainly towards boys and I would suggest caution. I would place the age range of this novel at at least 17+.)