Jane is on a plane on her way home to Montclair, New Jersey, from a mental hospital. She is about to kill herself. Just before she can swallow a lethal dose of pills, the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black. Jane wakes up amidst piles of wreckage and charred bodies on a snowy mountaintop. There is only one other survivor: a boy named Paul, who inspires Jane to want to fight for her life for the first time.
Jane and Paul scale icy slopes and huddle together for warmth at night, forging an intense emotional bond. But the wilderness is a vast and lethal force, and only one of them will survive.
Looking at others’ opinions of Survive, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that I should not have liked this book as much as I did. Most readers seemed to like Morel’s premise but saw several plotholes, which I acknowledge may have existed. But for some really weird reason, I loved Survive. Absolutely loved it. The only excuse I have is the ending/last half of the book—awesome, emotional, rip your heart out and stomp on it stuff.
Jane Solis, the narrator, wasn’t a particularly stand-out character for me. Some of her motivations were a little difficult to understand, or maybe just didn’t make sense at all. Yet while she wasn’t a great character, I came to love Jane just for what she went through.
However, the most important part of this book was the emotional responses I found in myself. Jane and Paul experienced a couple of near-death encounters, and I was always holding my breath to make sure nothing bad happened, except it did, and when you couldn’t believe that things could get worse, they did.
I’m a sucker for a tearjerker ending—IF it’s well done and not sappy or unspeakably depressing. Unhappy endings are my favorite, as long as they match certain criteria. And the final fifty pages of Survive were awesome. Yes, awesome.
I have absolutely no idea why I like this as much as I do. Survive was really…amazing. I don’t know why, but it was. And I think I’m one of the few who thinks so. Which is weird, because I’m pretty harsh with my books, as opposed to gushy. Hmm…
Her relationship and interactions with Paul are all meaningful and escalated because of the situation that they find themselves in. There is no time to be coy, hide things, or to really sort out emotions. They are faced with so many things that could end their life or the others' that they are feeling everything on multiply and then to the extreme.
Jane herself is witty and intense. It was definitely a unique experience being inside her head. I first didn't want to like her, but I ended up as she grew and learned to appreciate life.
Bottom Line: Survive is an action packed, emotional no holds barred kind of book that I did not look away from.
When Jane boarded the plane headed for Jersey, she didn't expect to get off alive. She was ready to commit suicide before she got off. She'd tried twice before but hadn't succeeded. This time, she had a surefire plan. That plan just didn't include the plane crashing to the ground and killing every passenger except her and a boy named Paul. After Paul convinces her to keep going, they hike through the wilderness in search of rescue and along the way, Paul gives Jane a reason to live.
When I read the summary of this book and saw that it says "only one of them will survive", I had really hoped a character wouldn't die. My hopes were crushed, in the end though. I was crying by the time I finished the book; killing off a main character always does that to me but I understand Alex Morel's reasoning. That character's death taught a few lessons and had a huge impact on the other character's life and the story as a whole.
Jane and Paul were fantastic characters. They definitely could have been real people and were constructed amazingly well. I felt what they felt, and by did that make me feel way more than I expected.
Survive was filled with action, suspense, romance, and everything in between. The scenes and scenarios were so realistic; the emotions were so raw.It was beautiful and heartbreaking and enlightening and soul crushing. It's just one of those books that will probably stick with you.
Hands down five stars.