Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Story of Survival and Growth

Avery Delacorte wanted to be a swimmer from the time she was three. Now she's a member of an elite swim team at a California college and on her way home to Boston for Thanksgiving. Phil, the team captain, offers her a ride, but Colin, one of the team's best swimmers, is in the car, and she's trying to avoid him.

On the plane, Colin moves his seat to sit beside her. She tries to sleep, but then the worst happens. The flight is going down. Colin is calm, holding her hand, and telling her she'll survive. The plane crashes in a freezing mountain lake in the Rockies. The only survivors are Avery, Colin and three small boys. They're alive, but rescue is uncertain and they have to work together using all their skills to stay alive.

This is Avery's story. The writing is very intense. When later in the book she suffers from PTSD, you can feel the fear. It's riveting. The other characters, Colin and Avery's boyfriend, Lee, are well drawn. I found Colin a particularly sympathetic character.

The swimming scenes are realistic. I have no background in competitive swimming, but it seemed accurate. The survival scenes in the wilderness were well done. It's hard to imagine how difficult it would be to survive a plane crash and then end up in the middle of nowhere wondering whether you would be rescued.

I recommend this book. The plane crash and scenes in the wilderness are tense and exciting, but the author also uses the events to push her characters, particularly Avery, to grow. I enjoyed the book.

I received the book from Dutton for this review.