Taken from my blog: nicolestorey.wordpress.com
I must admit that I had some doubts about this book from the moment I heard about it. It isn't that I didn't think it would be a good book, but just that it wouldn't be a good book for me. The cover is not amazing and that is one of the first things that draws my attention to a book. The second is the synopsis and Van Rooyen gave, what I thought, was too much of the story away in his summary of this book. What would be the point of reading it? All one has to do is read the summary to know how the story plays out. Well, reading this book taught me a very valuable lesson: you really can't judge a book by its cover! Turns out that the author hadn't played all of his cards in the summary; he still had a few aces up his sleeve.
Angelina Freyer is an absolutely amazing character! She is a spunky, 14-year-old who reads and has a photographic memory. When the plane goes down, she doesn't panic, but takes charge of a whole group of adults and shows them that big things come in small packages. Van Rooyen tells this story as if he is talking face to face with his readers. It is almost as if he were there, and is reliving what happened. I did get a bit bored with all the airplane talk when Angelina's aunt, Maude, is retelling how and why the plane went down. However, I understand that Van Rooyen was trying to show just how smart Angelina is and why it is imperative that she lead this group to safety.
The characters in the books were very believable and so was the story. It is easily something that could happen in real life. The author didn't reveal the personalities of each character right away, but let them grow and change. Some of the characters that I didn't care for in the beginning had grown on me by the end, while some that I thought were okay ended up being despised. Some characters that were weak and sulky found strengths that they didn't realize they possessed while others who were usually strong and resourceful ended up cracking under the pressure.
The book was a delight to read and it is one that would be loved by all, no matter what genre you normally read. There is action, suspense, drama, and lots of hope. Every chapter brings new surprises and you never know what is going to happen to the survivors next. Van Rooyen is a magical story-teller and I can't wait to read more of his work!
(review of free book)