"They had been in a plane crash. Their plane had crashed, torn itself apart, and they had survived .... For now."
"There would be no rescue party, he was certain of that now. He'd already sensed they might have a long wait, but unless someone had actually see or heard their plane cutting through the early morning dark, they might as well have vanished off the face of the earth. Right now, they would have become a mystery, filling news bulletins all over the world. But this was the reality of that mystery--most of them were dead, and the survivors would have no choice but to find their own way out of this vast and undoubtedly hostile jungle."My thoughts: You know I love disaster/survival novels and When We Were Lost by Kevin Wignall is a good one. It centers around a bunch of teenagers from the same high school who aren't exactly friends... until their plane crashes in a remote jungle and they are forced to band together in order to survive. Tom is the outsider. He's not okay with blindly following orders from anyone else because he has his own ideas on how to survive. I liked him a lot. He's quiet, self-effacing and definitely not interested in being designated the leader of their group. But others keep looking to him for what they should do next...and he really doesn't want anyone else to die because of his own inaction. So in a way, besides being a story of survival, this is also a coming of age story.
The jungle itself has many hazards: snakes and other predators, rough terrain, sweltering heat and a lack of clean water, as well as other hidden dangers. But the greatest threat of all may be from the other people in their group. This YA novel is well-written, has great pacing, and I thought the teens themselves were well-drawn and believable. I liked Barney, the smart nerdy kid, and Alice and Kate, two fiercely independent girls who aren't afraid to speak their minds. Then there's George. And Shen. So many characters to like. Parts of the story did feel a little predictable, and I could have totally done without the prologue and epilogue (I didn't think either added to the story). But overall, I'd give this one 4 stars.