I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is September 13, 2016.
After a summer spent with her family, fifteen-year-old Anna is travelling back to her English boarding school alone. But her plane never makes it home. Anna’s flight is hijacked by Palestinian guerillas. They land the plane in the Jordanian desert, switch off the engines and issue their demands. If these are not met within three days, they will blow up the plane, killing all the hostages. The heat on board becomes unbearable; food and water supplies dwindle. Anna begins to face the possibility she may never see her family again. Time is running out.
This story is based on true events experienced by the author. Yes, she changed a few names and added a few interesting characters but for the most part, everything here actually happened (at least, according to the author's note). It's kind of hard criticizing someone's story, but I just wasn't in love with this one. I expected to feel the main character's fear and desperation. Mainly, I just felt hungry because the character kept talking about food. I do get that because the people on the plane were being starved and so all they could think about was the food they craved. So I started craving it. The author also did a great job of describing the heat of the desert so I could feel that.
But I never really got a sense that she was afraid. I mean, yeah there was some fear, especially since there were guys with guns. But all the people on the plane were being optimistic. They were all talking and reading and even sleeping. And sometimes, there was a little laughter. Anne has conversations with the two boys in her row. One of them is a young boy named Tim, who has a pet terrapin (a turtle). Tim is adorable and he is your typical little boy who thinks he's immortal and isn't really that scared. Tim brought some levity to Ann's experience on the plane, but again, that levity just added to the fact that no one really seemed scared. I guess even though people were afraid of the guys with guns, no one REALLY thought they were going to die. Anne even starts up a conversation one of the terrorists and it seems like she starts to empathize with him a little bit. I didn't realize until the end of the book (reading the author's note) that the author was the main character, so I had no idea how this story would pan out. I went into this story blind and I expected some suspense about whether the terrorists would blow the plane up, but I never felt that. So that lack of suspense and lack of urgency took away from the enjoyment of the book. It just felt predictable.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one.