Title: If We Survive
Author: Andrew Klavan
From Goodreads: "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."
My Opinion: In this YA book we find Will Peterson and three other young volunteers who go to Central America with their church group to help rebuild the wall of a one room schoolhouse for the members of a small,very poor village. Their group includes the four kids and their pastor. Everything goes fine until the day they are supposed to leave, when rebels take over the village and hold the group captive. Their only hope lies with the pilot who was supposed to fly them out, an ex-Marine by the name of Palmer Dunn, but will he help them or opt to save himself instead?
I will say upfront that I knew this was a Christian book when I requested it so I was expecting, and looking forward to, the religious aspect of it. I thought the author did very well at portraying the Christian teens realistically: i.e. they were as scared as anyone would be in their position, and although they did pray, they didn't count on just that to get them out of their predicament. The book was more about how they had to rely on each other and on their own inner strength to find a way to get out of Central America alive.
I liked Will a lot, and I found myself admiring Meredith's faith and strength and wishing I could be a little bit more like her myself. Nikki got on my last nerve, but I enjoyed watching her grow and come into her own over the course of the book. Jim annoyed the heck out of me, too, but that was because of his naive political views and his inability to see what was right in front of his face. He also grew quite a bit as he was forced to face the truth and realize that one of his idols wasn't who he thought he was at all. I would have to say that Palmer was my favorite character because he had the most going on under the surface which made him a lot of fun to read about and explore.
This book was definitely action packed; things moved very quickly throughout the whole story, which made it a very quick and easy read. I had a hard time putting it down at all because something was always going on! The characters grew immensely from start to finish, which is always something that I look for when reading a book that I know I'm going to review.
In essence, I loved this book because of both the never ending action and the ever evolving and growing characters, and I highly recommend it to fans of Christian YA fiction. I am giving it 5 glowing stars :D
I received a copy of this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.