Braiden's Reviews > Survive

Survive by Alex Morel
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Jul 27, 12

Read on July 15, 2012

With an intriguing premise I thought Alex Morel’s Survive was going to be something beyond words, something original, something emotionally unique. To some degree it was just that, but because my expectations were so great prior to reading, by the time I did finally come to the last page I was wanting more than what I was given. I thought it was going to be fantastic, but really, it was just your average book—an 'all right’ book—filled with coincidences and not many surprises, leaving you with nothing except for the strong, heartfelt message conveyed to you about life, death, and the choices you make in between the two.

Jane’s grandmother committed suicide and her father did too, so it was no news to Jane when she discovers this trait was passed down to her and she attempts suicide herself. When the perfect opportunity arises to kill herself—flying home from the caring facility—the opportunity cannot be ignored; Jane plans to take a kryptonite of drugs in the bathroom while the plane is in the air, but the plan goes wrong when the plane hits turbulence and crashes in the alpine regions. With the only other survivor being the boy Paul who was in the seat next to hers, they will have to put their lives in each other’s hands and try to survive—and ultimately live.

Survive is just like any other contemporary-romance girl meets boy story—but with a survival twist. The most interesting yet obvious thing in this book is the character of Jane and the transformation that occurs within her. She changes from someone who wants to end her life to someone who wants to live. This change is influenced and propelled along by the failure of her suicide attempt on the plane, the relationship she has with John and what she learns about him, the experiences made in their endeavour to survive, and what she learns about herself.

If he falls, I selfishly think, I am dead up here. I realise maybe for the first time in my life, that my survival is intimately tied to the survival of another human being. Without him, I will die. With him, there is hope.


Something that I couldn’t help to recognise and label as this book’s flaw is the way the story unfolded. The events seemed too contrived and controlled, and although it ended well and good with the message being clear, the coincidence of most of it made my enjoyment levels fall. I guess it was hard for anything to be free because there was only the two characters for most of the story bouncing off each other—and also that all they need to do was survive. But I suppose you can say to each their own for this book. Also, the real reason behind Jane’s suicidal tendencies was not clearly stated (except for blaming it on her father’s suicide). So basically the whole book was too planned out, which is ironic because Jane calls herself a planner, yet didn’t think about there being a plane crash or anything happening.

Despite these flaws, Alex Morel has written a book that I’m sure many will enjoy, but don’t go in expecting many surprises. Filled with coincidence but with a strong, heartfelt message, Survive will have you thinking about life and the preciousness of it.
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