4 out of 5 stars ★★★★☆
Nineteen-year-old Avery Delacorte loves the water. Growing up in Brookline, Massachusetts, she took swim lessons at her community pool and captained the local team; in high school, she raced across bays and sprawling North American lakes. Now a sophomore on her university’s nationally ranked team, she struggles under the weight of new expectations but life is otherwise pretty good. Perfect, really.
That all changes when Avery’s red-eye home for Thanksgiving makes a ditch landing in a mountain lake in the Colorado Rockies. She is one of only five survivors, which includes three little boys and Colin Shea, who happens to be her teammate. Colin is also the only person in Avery’s college life who challenged her to swim her own events, to be her own person—something she refused to do. Instead she’s avoided him since the first day of freshman year. But now, faced with sub-zero temperatures, minimal supplies, and the dangers of a forbidding nowhere, Avery and Colin must rely on each other in ways they never could’ve imagined.
In the wilderness, the concept of survival is clear-cut. Simple. In the real world, it’s anything but.
I received this book as part of Penguin’s First to Read Program for my review.
I am in love with this book. This is the second plane crash book I’ve read recently. (It’s not messing with my head at all…) Avery was definitely relatable, in terms of her anxiety and panic attacks after the crash. She had trouble communicating with everyone. The only person who seemed to know what was going on, that she had PTSD, was her father. This is all in the after. The before is the crash, being in the woods for five days, rescuing three boys, and falling in love with Colin.
When they are rescued, Avery tries to go back to her regular life like nothing has changed, except her. She has a boyfriend, but it’s hard to go back to her old life with him. The only person who understands is Colin. She’s figuring out how to move past her anxiety and PTSD, and nothing she is trying is working.
This is a story of survival, of Avery finding herself, forgiving herself, and being able to face her fears. Colin is almost too perfect because he isn’t demanding, he is stable, and he understands what she’s been through.
The only part I had trouble with was the ending because it was too vague. She leaves Colin in a tub and the next thing I know she’s taking a plane to California. And when she’s in the airport I’m also confused about what she’s doing (ignoring her boyfriend who came to pick her up, it seems). However, the Epilogue very neatly fixes the confusion. One of the better books I’ve read in a while.