When we were lost

When we were lost by Kevin Wignall

Tom Calloway didn’t want to go on a field trip to Costa Rica, but circumstances had him ending up sitting in the back of the plane–which was the only part that was intact after the crash in the remote South American wilderness. Tom and a small group of his classmates are fortunate to be alive, but their luck quickly runs out when some of them fall prey to the unfamiliar threats of the jungle–animals, reptiles, insects, and even the unforgiving heat. Every decision they make could mean life or death.

As the days go by and the survivors’ desperation grows, things get even more perilous. Not everyone can cope with the trauma of seeing their friends die, and a struggle for leadership soon pits them against each other. And when they come across evidence of other people in the middle of the rainforest, does that mean they’re safe–or has their survival come to an even more vicious end?


75 Comments

Evie, Year 8

21st January 2022 at 2:18 pm

I really loved this book. It is a thrilling and adventurous story. At the beginning it was very tense during the plane crash, however I felt that the first time spent at the camp was a bit boring and long. But after the jaguar experience it put the camp at risk and dramatic scenes start occurring. I really liked the jaguar scene because it was the first intense and exciting thing to happen at the camp and it really drew me into the book because it revealed the reality of the dangers of the jungle. This was when I really started to get drawn into the book.

When they leave the camp, at first it was similar to the behaviour around the camp except they were moving through the jungle. However, they soon face continuous problems and illness and injury spreads through the group.

When Tom has to face the jungle on his own I could barely take my eyes away from the book. It was very tense and exciting and the snake bite made me jump and I became anxious.

The cocaine factory incident was different compared to the previous events. At first I thought they would find help but it turned out to be an extremely dangerous place and then Tom had to fight to save Joel and Chris before it was too late. It shocked me when Tom killed the guards and workers from the factory, and it showed his mysterious character. I also liked the dog’s role in the story because it created more excitement and chaos in the story. But the dog was also sort of a beacon of hope for the group.

My favourite part is when they are on the river because there is so much tension. Especially when the caiman appears it had me on the edge of my seat and I didn’t want to put the book down.

Finally when they get to safety it was such a relief. However, it still had me drawn in because I wanted to see what happened with Tom and Alice, the dog, Nick, Joel and how Tom would face his future knowing he killed people.

Overall I think it is one of the best books I have ever read. And the style of the book suited me very much.

Charlotte, year 8

21st January 2022 at 2:10 pm

‘When we were lost’ is about an exciting nerve-racking plane crash where the characters must find their way out the jungle. I found the plot line exciting and interesting too. There were many frightening events that I quite enjoyed, and, in the book, there is lots of adventure involved and plot twists around every corner.

The questions at the front of the book were: Who lives? Who dies? And who becomes the killer? These questions made me want to read on because I felt like I had to find out the answers. And when I did, I was in shock.

The only thing is: at times, I found the book boring and didn’t feel like continuing to read it because in some chapters nothing really happens, but other people might still find it interesting.

Overall, I think his book should be recommended for teenagers but young kids may get frightened by the events and think that may happen to them. This was a thriller book which I surprisingly enjoyed because I didn’t think I was going to beforehand.

Georgia Y9

21st January 2022 at 2:03 pm

‘When We Were Lost’ was a great book. The trope of ‘plane crashes in rainforest and teens struggle to survive’ is one I’ve read before, but this book took it to a whole new level. It was realistic and made me empathise with the characters that the writer wanted me to, at the same time as putting them in danger that was all too real. The struggles and difficulties the characters faced were well-written and not exaggerated. I would recommend this book to anybody of around 12 and above.

Jacob Y9

21st January 2022 at 2:02 pm

I liked the book ‘When we were lost’. It was able to show a contrast of people. For example Tom. When Tom was young his parents died, this affected him growing up, making him feel like an outsider.

After the students realise that they crashed, and they were the only survivors, Joel took charge and made himself the leader. However, people started to think that his intentions were wrong. Tom reluctantly takes charge, but as he is very smart, he is able to guide them to safety. Even with some deaths, I would say it was the best they could have done.

Andrew Y9

21st January 2022 at 2:01 pm

The novel is a YA action adventure that focuses on the survival of a group of students from high school. The plot was typical for most of the book with a couple of surprises throughout. The main character is a boy who has no friends and doesn’t want to be near people but he has to work with the people around him to survive. You have the expected group of diverse personalities among the rest of the group. Overall this was a fast and thrilling read.

Kip yr 8

12th January 2022 at 4:44 pm

I really enjoyed this book because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

This is a book about a plane of teenagers crashing in the jungle, it gives you a clear insight into all of the characters and how they are adapting to surviving in the jungle. I liked this book because I thought that it was very realistic, some people die, some people live, some people become killers. The main character is called Tom, he has an idea to venture through the jungle to find help and he faces a lot of different obstacles on the way. Sometimes I thought that it was a bit confusing and hard to understand but I would highly recommend this book and would say it is a great read.

Natalie yr8

12th January 2022 at 4:43 pm

‘When we were lost’ is an exciting book with lots going on and never failing adventure, you get to see all the characters unfold and their friendships grow. You get to see Tom break out of his comfort zone and embrace the feeling of friendship while braving the dangers of the jungle. It has a very fitting ending that can finally stop your heart from pounding out of your chest, a very exciting book.

Amelia, Year 9

12th January 2022 at 4:43 pm

I loved the book, it was very creative, every page you turned there was a new adventure or something standing in their way they had to overcome, I would recommend this to people who like adventure books. I also liked the plot and the butterfly effect.

Poppy, year 9

12th January 2022 at 4:42 pm

I think this book is a great read: it grabs your attention the moment you get reading with the gripping characters and how they are so similar to children you would look at in the playground. I also like how it shows the story of a child who is growing to like the life he thought he would hate and making new friends.

Charlotte

12th January 2022 at 1:18 pm

The book is exciting from start to finish. From the moment the plane crashes, the action starts and we’re transported into the jungle. Each character has their own unique personality, idiosyncrasies and of course their foibles!

This book is very cleverly written and is a wonderful read for anyone finds it hard to get into reading.

Patrick Y8

11th January 2022 at 8:33 pm

This book is all about a group of kids whose plane crashed in the middle of the Rainforest. I thought the book was very good . It kept me gripped throughout the whole story, and I really liked how Tom slowly became more involved. I also liked that he was always the person who would stand up to Joel even if he didn’t get what he wanted . I liked how the author kept the middle of the book interesting. When they were walking through the Forest trying to get to a town, and when Tom rescues Joel and Chris from the drug cartel. The only negative thing about it was I thought it went on for too long, but all in all I thought it was really good. I would recommend this book for kids between 10-15, because it’s about the age groups people would want to read it.

Imogen Y8

11th January 2022 at 8:33 pm

The adventure embedded in this book is a tale of twists and turns, ghastly animals and a foolish leader. When a plane crashes in the Amazon Rainforest, the group who survive have to balance on the razor-thin wire between life and death. The kids explore the jungle and learn what it really means to be alive when chaos and calamity come to town. Some people aren’t so lucky.

This book is a survival thriller which takes snippets from Indiana Jones and other survival books and movies. I undoubtedly enjoyed this book and read it until the end in about two or three sittings despite how many pages it had.

I would recommend this book to YA people because it covers some topics such as death and drug manufacturing which would not be appropriate for younger readers.

Overall I highly praise Kevin Wignall for this book and I will be looking forward to reading some of his other novels.

Felicity, Year 8

9th January 2022 at 1:38 pm

I thought that it was a great survival thriller book. I really liked how Tom was chosen to be the leader around half way through or later but he didn’t want the position of leader. I really enjoyed the book but would have preferred it to be shorter. I also loved how the book just gets straight into the story. However, the names of all the characters were very confusing and it was hard to keep track of who’s who and who died. The ending was rushed and when I found out why the plane crashed, it just sounded very flat and classic. Overall, the book was very interesting and fun to read but when it got towards the end everything just went downhill.

Finley, year 9

9th January 2022 at 1:37 pm

As the plane crashes in the jungle, the suspense begins as the group of teenagers have to face their fears and tackle the wilderness of the deadly Amazon rainforest. I love the way that groups start to split off and become dangers to each other as well as themselves. Their journey to survival takes some turns for the worst but also for the good. I would recommend this book to people who prefer more action in a book.

Oscar Y8

9th January 2022 at 1:37 pm

I think it is a great book for people who like adventure and nature. All these cool animals like leopards and snakes. All the times where Joel got the group into danger and Tom had to save them. You see lots of real life things like the drug camp and the poisonous snakes. Personally I really liked the book.

Tarquin, Year 8

9th January 2022 at 1:36 pm

In my opinion I think this book is a really good action book because there is always something new that the group has to deal with. There is never really a dull moment in the book because one moment it looks like they are going to make it out but then the next it looks hopeless again, for example, when they build the fire or find the factory. I would definitely recommend this book to all my friends because of all the twists and turns in it. My favourite part is at the start because the plane crash is so vivid that it feels like you’re really there.

Heng Man, Year 9

3rd January 2022 at 4:37 pm

‘When We Were Lost’ is a book about school teens ending up in the jungle after a plane crash and they must find the fastest way to survive. This plot made me want to find out more about what happens next? What are the plot twists? And do they survive? I also loved how the book just gets straight into the story.

On the other hand, the names of all the characters were very confusing and it was hard to keep track of who’s who and who died. There weren’t any names that stuck to me except for Tom. Furthermore, the ending was rushed and when I found out why the plane crashed, it just sounded very flat and classic.

Overall, the book was very interesting and fun to read but when it got towards the end everything just went downhill. I rate this book 3.5/5 stars.

Imogen, year 8

18th December 2021 at 12:21 pm

The adventure embedded in this book is a tale of twists and turns, ghastly animals and a foolish leader. When a plane crashes in the Amazon rainforest, the group who survive have to balance on the razor-thin wire between life and death. The kids explore the jungle and learn what it really means to be alive when chaos and calamity come to town. Some people aren’t so lucky.

This book is a survival thriller witch takes snippets from Indiana Jones and other survival books and movies. I undoubtedly enjoyed this book and read it until the end in about two or three sittings despite how many pages it had.

I would recommend this book to YA people because it covers some topics such as death and drug manufacturing.

Overall I highly praise Kevin Wignall for this book and I will be looking forward to reading some of his other novels.

Biba Y9

18th December 2021 at 12:20 pm

Utterly gripping from the first page as a plane crashes in the Amazon leaving a motley group of teenagers battling the elements, the terrain, the wildlife and often each other in order to make it out alive..

I felt like I was with the characters, feeling you know them and wanting them to win this struggle of the situation they have found themselves in.

Children having to survive in the amazon wilderness. Plenty of suspense, I love the characters, the idea of heroism is really involved in the book which I think made the book really stand out and made me love it so much. Who are the real leaders and who just wants to be seen as a leader for example Tom is a really clever boy and knows all about the wild and the dangers but the rest of the group doesn’t think that Tom should take that leadership role as he isn’t that popular at school. Joel and the rest of the group think that Joel should take leadership as he is the most popular but he is not that clever and does NOT know about the dangers of the Amazon wilderness and thankfully the group then realised that Joel only wanted to be leader to be liked and feel powerful and they realised he was a bit of an idiot so they then thought it would be better for Tom to take the leader role.

If you’re looking for an action packed, suspenseful, entertaining, heart stopping book to read, then I would definitely recommend When We Were Lost! I enjoyed every second of this book and as I said it was gripping from the first page and very hard to put the book down!

Kitty- Year 8

12th December 2021 at 10:50 pm

Spoiler alert!

This book was the best so far. As soon as I read the first few chapters, I was instantly gripped. This story is set in third person about a school trip to Costa Rica that goes terribly wrong as the plane carrying the high school class crashes. The crash is described in great detail which I really liked, however because there are 39 other kids in this story, it can get very confusing. The characters are introduced well but as you get further into the book you seem to forget who they are and can get confused with their characteristics. However apart from that I love the way that all of the characters stick together through all of the tough times they go through. The tree deaths that occur are very sad, and I was amazed to find out that Tom was the killer as you would never expect someone of that personality to do what he did…. Without giving anymore away, this book was very intriguing and I loved he backstory and setting behind it, and the moral of sticking together with people close to your heart.

Fray

8th December 2021 at 12:43 pm

When we were lost is a survival thriller where a group of teens are forced to survive in the Amazon rainforest after their plane crashed, similar to ‘Lord of the Flies’

The story focusses upon shy and quiet protagonist Tom who survives the initial crash uninjured.

Overall the story itself is interesting at times and is very similar to that of Lord of the Flies however I found that the technical aspect of the book as a whole was a little dry: way to much telling rather than showing or uninteresting or unauthentic dialogue. The plane crash itself happens very early on and at times the dynamic of the group of the survivors seems a little forced. If a plane carrying hundreds of people suddenly crashed in the wilderness with no hope of rescue then I expect there to be absolute chaos. Survivors would fight among themselves or act without second thoughts, not allow a de facto leader to help them establish a camp.

To be fair I chose not to entirely finish this book however from what I saw When we Were Lost is a good concept with a little to be desired in its method and plausibility

Izzy, year 9

7th December 2021 at 8:59 pm

‘When we were lost’ was a very good book about adventure and survival. It was realistic and started off with a tragedy when their class plane crashes. Tom was my favourite character as he rose to challenges. Although, I didn’t really like the character Joel as he kept making mistakes. I enjoyed how it was a group of High School students and they were left in the jungle alone because of the crash. Overall, I will definitely be recommending this book.

Elsa, year 9

7th December 2021 at 5:36 pm

‘When we were lost’ is a book filled with thriller, threats, death, leadership and more. It is about the survival of about 19/20 students (at the beginning) who survived a plane crash in the middle of a jungle and the terror they have to go through to try and stay alive.

I found the plane crash at the beginning confusing and unrealistic to how a real plane crash would be and so I think that there should have maybe been more detail in that chapter. I also think that there was an unrealistic amount of death, disease, and injuries. I don’t mean to sound like a terrible person, it’s just I found that it made the book a little unrealistic. I think that Joel also didn’t seem as much as a threat as he could have been and the deaths he caused didn’t seem too much his help and so I didn’t get frustrated at the character which could help show what Tom and his new friends felt towards him. I also didn’t like how the book was written in third person because, although the author helped show Tom’s feelings with techniques, it made it hard to fully understand Tom’s thoughts and emotions.

Although the third person made it hard to fully see Tom’s point of view it made it easy to see other people’s views as well as his own and made it possible to see people’s past and experiences that changed them e.g. Naomi. I quite liked the very beginning of the book when the author explains a metaphor of the beating of a butterfly’s wings and how it can progress into something huge. This beginning part also includes an experience Tom had as a child of feeling left out and the simile about the left-over puzzle piece after the puzzle and that is how he feels about himself. This helps show in the rest of the book how alone he was, and how almost all his other classmates had someone to depend on when he doesn’t, until he gets looked up to by most of the people who survived the crash. I also like how the author put in human threats as well as nature threats (the cocaine farm), to show that humans can be just as dangerous as all the dangers in the jungle and how just the appearance can make something more trusting than it really is.

I would recommend this book for people from 13-16/17 because of the more deaths and shocking experience people have to go through which could affect younger children’s view on things e.g. planes.

Scarlett, year 9

2nd December 2021 at 2:51 pm

I thought that the book ‘When We Were Lost’ was an amazing book, I loved the storyline and how it took me through each part of the book well and showed each emotion the characters were feeling at every part. My favourite character was Tom, I liked how we all knew he should be the true leader and he stepped up when people needed to be saved and truly became a leader when the group split up. I definitely recommend this book to people who like tense thriller stories. This book holds suspense, not knowing how they’ll get out or what will happen next, the book flows very well and is an easy book to read.

Grace, year 9

2nd December 2021 at 2:51 pm

This is by far my favourite book out of all the SSBA books. It was packed with excitement and adventure and I could not stop reading it. The descriptions of Tom’s encounters with the different animals were so vivid and were very easy to picture in your head. I thought the concept was amazing. My favourite part was when all of them were rafting down the treacherous river. I also loved reading about Tom and the snake. Naomi and the jaguar was a very sad scene.

Henry Y9

2nd December 2021 at 2:48 pm

I found ‘When we were lost’ a very good book. I enjoyed it because it was based on an event which could happen. I liked it because it was not super unrealistic and you got to know the characters very well. I felt a real connection with the characters. I really enjoyed it because I enjoy books about survival and crashes so I found it perfect for my taste.

Oenone, Year 8

2nd December 2021 at 2:46 pm

I enjoyed the book ‘When we were lost’ because it was an exciting book, tense and suspenseful, but then realistic in a way. However, I think it isn’t that real when Tom (the main character) avoids every attack and he doesn’t die, and I know that is because he is the main character, but I think in a way this book reminds me of the Alex Rider series, because they both never die.

Henry A Y9

2nd December 2021 at 2:46 pm

I really enjoyed ‘When we were lost’, this was because I really loved the pacing and how one moment they could be all happy and sitting round a fire eating, but two minutes later there is a jaguar and it is killing people, furthermore I really liked the size of the chapters as I thought their length was perfect.

Leila, Y9

1st December 2021 at 1:51 pm

When we were lost is an exciting book however the way Joel acted was a bit frustrating throughout the majority of the book. He keeps on repeating the same mistakes by not listening to others and it is also annoying that he thinks that he is so great despite his actions. The book does get better when the leadership role changes to Tom. Overall the book was a good read and I thought that the description was done well especially when they were in danger.

Erin, Y9

1st December 2021 at 1:18 pm

‘When We Were Lost’ was a really good book, it was very gripping and I couldn’t put it down. I thought the part at the beginning about the Butterfly Effect was really interesting and it really made me think. The descriptions were very vivid (it felt like I was living the experience with Tom and feeling scared, happy, sad at the same time as he did) and I thought the way the characters interacted was realistic. I liked that lots of different things happened in the story, and it was like there were lots of little stories inside the actual story. I didn’t really have anything I didn’t like about the story. I would recommend it to pretty much anyone, there were some scary/sad parts in the book that some people might not like so much but most of it was fine.

Amber-Lily Y8

1st December 2021 at 1:18 pm

This is such an amazing book! Throughout the story, you have no idea what’s going to happen next as the story unfolds bit by bit. The plot is about how some teenage children survive a plane crash and need to learn how to work together to find safety. They know they can’t just stay put at the crash site and hope for a helicopter to come looking for them. Every time you turn the page, something surprises you. On the front cover where it says “Who lives? Who dies? Who becomes a killer?” the answers are something you would never expect. I loved reading this, I’ve never read anything like it! I would recommend it to older readers as it could be a bit harder to read because of the language and the way it is written, but I would recommend it to older ages none the less. It’s a mystery and a thriller and so much more, I could not recommend it enough.

Harrison. Year 9

1st December 2021 at 1:17 pm

‘When We Were Lost’ is a razor-sharp survival thriller that follows the story of 17-year-old Tom and his classmates who are caught in a plane crash, killing all their teachers and many of their friends. Only the back part of the plane survives as it plummets down, crashing in a rainforest. The teens quickly realise that each of their actions could now be the difference between life and death, and a tense battle for power of the group emerges, very similar to ‘Lord of The Flies’. A boy called Joel, son of a politician, becomes leader of the pack, but it quickly becomes apparent that Joel is more of a curse than a blessing for the teens, as three of the group die brutally due to Joel’s incompetence. Tom, who is quite ignorant, eventually finds himself being supported by much of the group, who had seen what Joel’s actions had led to. Throughout the rest of the book, the teens come up against an abundance of other trials as they battle through the hostile environment, searching for a way back to civilisation, but will they survive the rainforest, and will they survive each other?

Kevin Wignall’s writing is superb. Such intricate detail has clearly been put into the writing of ‘When We Were Lost’, so much so that I struggled to believe that this was in fact not a true story. Every single character is created so excellently, each of them with their own traits, some of which become very important to the plot of the story, whether those traits be good or bad! I loved the character of Tom, because it is so obvious that he does not wish to become leader of the group and yet we see his character develop throughout the book, as he realises that the only way he and his friends are getting out alive is… together.

‘When We Were Lost’ is packed full of action from start to finish, and really emphasises the fine line between life and death, and just how hostile humans can get when their lives are put on the line…

Seren, Year 8

24th November 2021 at 8:38 pm

I quite enjoyed this book but I found it quite slow-paced. I think the author showed the tense, near-death moments really well by extending them and showing how lucky some of the characters were to get away alive. I also found that sometimes the book was quite a dense read as in, nothing much was happening but if I tried to skim through anything I found that I didn’t understand the bits a few pages later on. I found the blurb quite intriguing as well and that got me interested in the book to start with. I thought there was a really good sense of the landscape and it was quite easy to imagine the landscape in my head. I found that the plane crash had come a lot sooner in the book than I had expected. I thought there would be a lot of setup for the plane crash and that the surviving section of the plane would be mainly ruined. I also found it quite weird that there were so many survivors and that they didn’t start looking for water straight away. I expected there to be maybe five or six survivors, not a whole class. Another thing I found was that luck played a big part in the story and that some of the really important characters had moments where they were seconds away from death and if they made one wrong move then they and anyone who was with them could have ended up dead. I found that this was what mainly made me want to read on and see what would happen next. I thought the return to safety was quite abrupt as they simply turned round the corner and saw manned land. I didn’t really like this, I would have preferred a slow return to safety with a bigger element of luck in it. I thought the journey along the river was roughly how I expected it and there were not a lot of surprises in there. Despite this I still found it quite tense and interesting because of the rapids and the slow progress of the group along the river. One thing I did not expect was for them to be travelling in the night or that they would find a town when they did. I thought they would have either reached the town before dark or slept on the shore. Overall, I enjoyed the book despite the fact that it was quite slow-paced. I found the surprises I mentioned before quite abrupt and I think they should have been a bit less abrupt. The book was enjoyable and the sense of the landscape shown by the author was good.

Henry – year 9

24th November 2021 at 8:37 pm

I found ‘When we were lost’ a very good book. I enjoyed it because it was based on an event which could happen. I liked it because it was not super unrealistic and you got to know the characters very well. I felt a real connection with the characters. I really enjoyed it because I enjoy books about survival and crashes so I found it perfect for my taste.

Jessica, Year 9

24th November 2021 at 8:37 pm

I think that ‘When we were lost’ was a really good book. I thought that all the characters were really interesting, and I obviously could not stand Joel, which shows how good the writer’s character descriptions were as all the characters were completely vivid in my head. I especially enjoyed the drug dealers scene as I found it thrilling and it had me on the edge of my seat. I really liked how Tom took everyone’s voice into opinion and wanted to save everyone. I found the scene that he thought he was going to die heart breaking and touching and I was so glad he made it through. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes thrilling adventure books that they won’t want to put down and I thought it was a good read.

Jonah, Y8

24th November 2021 at 8:36 pm

When We Were lost’ was a good book, but I didn’t really like the format. The book took a while to get into, as I found that it only got properly interesting after the first 35-45 pages. It was quite slow paced and disjointed in some parts, but overall, it was a book that was more positive than negative. I really liked some of the description about when the plane crashes because I find that it was easy to imagine. My favourite character was Tom Calloway, because there were similar parts of his personality to mine in a way. I would probably recommend this book to a friend, but maybe not to someone with a short attention span, as it takes quite a while to get into. Overall, I would rate it a 7 out of 10.

Sebastian, Y8

24th November 2021 at 8:36 pm

The book was a big page turner in my opinion and when I put it down I could not stop thinking about it. The whole plot was clouded in mist for the first half and the sense of danger and adventure for the book felt so real because of the description. I was very surprised at the answers from the beginning and I like how the butterfly effect was almost inbuilt and it seemed to sum up the whole story. I took a lot of interest in the main character, Tom, because he is something that is a sort of anomaly. Overall if I had to rate it, it would be a 10/10 without any hesitation.

Lucas, Yr 8

24th November 2021 at 8:35 pm

I generally love survival stories and this book particularly made me want to read more. Tom is the hero. Tom is generally quiet and gets avoided by his classmates, but he likes it that way. However, when the plane crashed, he turned into a leader and his classmates started to look up to him. Joel, who is another classmate, doesn’t want Tom to lead so he forces himself into the position and doesn’t make the best choices. When it came to these decisions, Tom was smart and knew the choices to make but Joel still refused to let him have the role. It’s let alone hard to be rescued but to survive the environment around them! I felt like it was realistic and I could relate to the characters, which made me want to read it more.

Chong Man Y9

24th November 2021 at 8:24 pm

I thought ‘When we were lost’ was a really gripping book. There was always something happening, which made me want to read on. I thought when Joel was dictating to the others, it was very exciting because I was looking forward to reading what other terrible idea he would come up with and how he would put the others in danger again. I thought Tom was a bit too nice to Joel when he didn’t deserve it and should have just let him die. Overall the book was really good and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to read a book with lots of action.

Lara, Yr 9

24th November 2021 at 8:19 pm

I really enjoyed this book. it was very fast paced which I liked, and it was also a very easy read making it fun. The style of writing was different to books that I would usually read and it was a nice change. This genre of book is new to me and I would definitely read a book like this again.

I really liked all of the characters especially Joel; even though he is supposedly ‘the evil character’ I thought that there was a lot more to his personality and that deep down he is a little insecure and is maybe a good person.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, I thought it was an easy read and very fast paced, making me not want to put the book down.

Erin

23rd November 2021 at 9:03 am

I quite liked ‘When We Were Lost.’ I think the author did a great job to include the intentions of others in his story and I really liked how the beginning of the story and the end of it linked toegther with the butterfly affect. I also quite liked how there were a lot of different characters but it could become quite confusing at times. I liked how there was a lot of different settings and places to the story and how it changed near the end. Overall, it was the best I have read yet! (I have read 3 so far)

Amber

23rd November 2021 at 8:58 am

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked this book. I don’t tend to like books set in jungles but I really love the characters and their different personalities. I also enjoyed it as the descriptions really made me picture what was happening. I found that the twists in the plot were exciting and at the end of the story I found I cared for the characters a lot and wanted them to succeed.

Overall I loved this book as it was exciting and immersive.

Rory, year 9

18th November 2021 at 4:43 pm

Personally I thought this book was very good. Certain sections were quite slowly paced but that built up the book in my opinion. At the beginning with the crash it would have been better if the crash was longer and had more scenery like ‘the chairs were getting thrown and ripped from the plane knocking people through the burning hole of fire’. The book and story has a kind of “Lord of the Flies” feel and the deadly animals bring a jungle vibe so when the jaguar attacked Naomi it gave me the shivers. I would give this a 8/10 because I really enjoyed it.

Oscar, Year 9

18th November 2021 at 4:43 pm

I loved ‘When we were lost’, I think Wignall does a brilliant job at describing all aspects of the book from the plane crash to all the dangers that lay within the Rainforest. He also does really well to show how Tom feels and deals with loss and frustration.

It is interesting to see how the children react not only to the dangers that await them in the jungle but how they split into groups and form rivalries even though they have the common goal of escaping the jungle. It is interesting to see how Tom develops from a person who prefers to be on his own and then he realises that he needs to be part of a team.

Finally I think that Wignall does a good job of making you feel as though you are part of the story by being highly descriptive of the surroundings and emotions.

In conclusion I think this is a great read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys an action packed book full of danger and suspense.

Jamie, year 8

18th November 2021 at 4:37 pm

SPOLIER ALERT! ONLY READ ALL OF THIS IF YOU DON’T MIND FINDING OUT A PLOT TWIST!

I found ‘When we were lost’ had a slow start and it only began to get better as the plane started to crash. I found it quite confusing but as I got into it, it was quite interesting and cool because whilst reading it felt like you were the children who were lost in the jungle. It was also a bit weird how most of the children survived and how none of the adults or teachers did. They were on their way to Costa Rica when the pilot of the plane finds out he has cancer. This causes him to become depressed and suicidal, and since he has no reason to live because of cancer he will eventually kill himself anyway, he decides to crash the plane. Tom Calloway who was the main character; he didn’t really care about life at this point because both of his parents had died and he was an orphan and didn’t even care if the plane was going to crash when Chris said he had a dream that it was going to crash. Tom also didn’t even want to go but he ended up going and throughout the plane journey he sat at the back of the plane. Towards the end I think it’s quite good because it shows them facing proper challenges like facing the crocodiles and other reptiles like snakes and still some of them managed to survive.

Poppy, year 9

18th November 2021 at 4:33 pm

I really liked this book because of its twists and turns, ‘When We Were Lost’ is a book all about the Amazon rainforest after a plane (with school kids) crashes. Wignall kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. I liked the plot idea because I thought it was very creative, and the characterisation of the characters (especially protagonist Tom) was very effective because it showed at times the clash between the groups. I also like how they had some people who knew a lot about survival, some very little. One of the best adventure books I read because it taught me a lot about survival skills, and I really liked seeing the friendship they built the further they went through the jungle!

Jasper, year 8

18th November 2021 at 4:33 pm

The book is about a group of school kids who go on a trip to South America and their plane crashes in the jungle and only some of them survive and are lost in a jungle with nothing so have to try to survive. The main character is a boy called Tom who wants to help everyone unlike Joel who wants to be in charge but is selfish. There are lots of dangerous things in the jungle and they have to work together as a team to try and survive. I liked this book because it was exciting and an adventure.

Amber Lily, year 8

18th November 2021 at 4:32 pm

This is such an amazing book! Throughout the story, you have no idea what’s going to happen next or who’s going to do what! Every time you turn the page, something surprises you. On the front cover where it says “Who lives? Who dies? Who becomes a killer?” the answers are something you would never expect. I loved reading this, I’ve never read anything like it! It’s a mystery and a thriller and so much more, I could not recommend it enough.

Killian, Year 8

18th November 2021 at 4:32 pm

My second book was ‘When we were lost’ by Kevin Wignall. This book was so much fun to read and I kept asking myself if they were ever going to escape. My favourite bit was when Joel and Chris got kidnapped by some men and I was so curious to what was happening to them. I loved this book and would definitely recommend it to a friend.

Eleanor Year 9

16th November 2021 at 5:20 pm

I thought this book was a good read because it got into the book at a fast pace, and it didn’t take very long for the plot to start coming together. I felt that the characters were relatable and I understood what was going on.

Catie, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:53 pm

I really liked ‘When We Were Lost’. Something I particularly liked was the vivid imagery in the plane crash scene. It felt as though you were actually in the scene which I liked a lot. I also like the punctuation usage within that scene because it makes you pause and you feel the silence and the shock that the boys would be feeling at that moment in the book. I also like how similar it is in a way to ‘Lord of the Flies’.

Tom, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:52 pm

Liked it, described what it would be like if teenagers got lost in the rainforest. Loved it.

Florence, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:51 pm

This is an exhilarating book full of cliff-hangers and surprises, a great read for people who like books full of adventure. One of my favourite parts of the book was when they come across a ‘hurdle’ in the forest, something they must cross, it tugs at your insides with anticipation. However, the end for me was a little short with it just ending quite suddenly, it could have maybe ended with a bit more detail. The rest of the book was quite long winded and at some parts quite slow, but still grabbing at all points.

Georgie, year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:49 pm

SPOILER ALERT! DON’T READ ON UNLESS YOU HAVE FINISHED THE BOOK!

This book was a very good read as it was fast paced, exciting and dangerous. The book started with an introduction to Tom’s life (the main character). In the beginning you would not expect Tom to become the leader, or the killer. The group of survivors travelled around the jungle together trying to stay alive through the terrors of the jungle, they think their luck has run out after they survived the plane crash that was meant to kill them. Joel’s leading did not help with getting the group safely through the jungle, the tension in the group due to Joel leading but most of the group wanting Tom to lead made the story entertaining and quite funny. This book was action-filled and very enjoyable.

Elizabeth year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:46 pm

I loved how the plane crash starts off at the beginning of the book, not making us wait till the middle. I think it’s a good book for our age group. I liked the main characters and how you can tell one little problem will make them switch from civilized people to animals… I think it’s good for our age but not younger and it’s very interesting because there is a lot going on. It’s something I really enjoined reading and would recommend!

Eva, year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:45 pm

I found ‘When We Were Lost’ really exciting and I couldn’t put it down. I loved all the action as there was always something new happening, so you were never bored.

I felt like I really got to know the main character, Tom, and I felt all his frustration and happiness and confusion. I liked the way the students formed groups and rivalries as it made it more realistic and the reader ends up taking a side which makes you want to read on. As the book went on you could also see how Tom grows as a person and gets new confidence which makes you feel sad when the book ends as you feel like you knew him.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book as it’s a really good adventure books and you’ll be sad when you finish it!

Charles, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:39 pm

Personally, I loved ‘When we Were Lost’. It’s a great book for everyone however it particularly appeals to people who enjoy a thriller and fast paced, action filled book. I love all action adventure books and this one exceeded my expectations of action and tension.

However past books that I have read lacked the maturity and realism that this book has. For example, the part where the group were flowing down the river. I believed Wignall really captured every threat around them, from the Caimans to the other dangerous predators and terrain.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I believe it can be enjoyed by all personalities and genders and is a great read for all.

For me this book is a 9/10. I loved this book because there was so much action and intensity and overall it is a great read.

Neil, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:38 pm

Overall, I quite liked this book and would recommend it. It’s set in the Amazon rainforest on the way to Costa Rica when a plane crashes in a remote part of the jungle, and a group of high school students struggle to survive against the many various threats, from the Fer de Lance to their own ignorance. The main character is called Tim Calloway who has a fatalistic view of life and is detached from everyone else due to his experiences as a young age. It’s a good read but I find parts like the plane crash could have benefited from being slightly more frightening.

Neve, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:15 pm

I enjoyed this book! It was fast paced, and I think the author described Tom’s emotions very well. This book made you feel connected to the characters, and the group dynamic makes the book feel real. The author builds tension well when Tom is bitten by a snake, and might die.

Toby, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:14 pm

I really enjoyed this book. It combined some of my favourite genres of writing: adventure, action and survival! I was worried when I picked up this book that it would be a worse version of ‘Lord of the Flies’. My theories were not completely wrong however it was different enough that I would consider it not plagiarism.

My favourite part of this book is definitely the start. The panic, the confusion, all added up to make a very tense opening to a great book.

Overall I loved this book and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I would rate this book an easy 10/10, and I hope Wignall wins this competition.

Emma, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:14 pm

I loved this book so much, I loved how people had to pick Tom or Joel to be their leader, and how half the people went to Tom and how the other half went to Joel. I loved this book’s twists and turns, how they didn’t know where they were and how they had to figure it out. I would recommend this book to people who like adventure and mystery books.

Stella, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:13 pm

I think the overall idea and plot of the book was quite good but overall I feel like it could’ve been executed better. I think the jungle and the animals were described well. I also found it interesting how they survived although the author didn’t go into much detail about how they got clean water for example. Throughout the story I didn’t think I had much of a connection between the characters and they didn’t have much depth to them. Overall I enjoyed bits of the story but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

Emily, Year 9

10th November 2021 at 4:54 pm

I was a bit cautious to read ‘When We Were Lost’ simply because I do not have a happy history with plane crash books (they are predictable). However, Kevin Wignall surprised me to say the least I was not expecting to be so invested into a book so early on, and then getting loads of twists and turns throughout the book, it was a lot. I actually really enjoyed this book – it’s interesting and funny but serious at times. A school trip to Costa Rica… what could go wrong? Apparently everything.

Ilaria Year 9

9th November 2021 at 5:09 pm

I liked this book as it was well written and engaging. It had an interesting concept and imaginative plot. I cared about the characters and really felt what they felt. It was descriptive so I could picture it in my head. Although a little slow at times, I thought it made up for it in more exciting areas. I would recommend this book for 11–16 year-olds as I think that it is more relatable for teenagers.

Lydia, Year 9

8th November 2021 at 4:12 pm

Wow, I am not even sure where to start with this book. The plot was quick-paced and engaging, and the characters, although quite typical, did have layers and ‘real’ emotions and reactions. Our anchor for this riveting journey is the quiet and observant Tom Calloway, a really engaging protagonist whose tendency towards solitude becomes slowly eroded by the unusual circumstance, creating a growing group dynamic character drama within the wider thriller narrative.
Wignall portrays the suddenness of a disaster very well, and the death of characters always came as a shock to me. I liked the butterfly effect theme; it was such a brilliant way to introduce and end the book – like it had been wrapped into this neat little philosophical parcel. There is a really refreshing balance of logic and philosophy within this book, and I’m glad Wignall has taken the time to explore both aspects.
I found that the number of characters was slightly unnecessary – there were 19 plane crash survivors in the group but most of them were just background characters. It would have been nice to get to know them more, even if it was just a paragraph or so about their experiences and how they felt. I think that by digging further into the lives of other characters, and not just the main ones, it would’ve engaged me more (not that I needed any more engaging – I read this book in 2 days!).
Wignall’s creativity in coming up with different situations from the typical ‘Plane crash’ YA novel, was astounding and really unique, keeping the reader engrossed. Sometimes, however, these situations seemed a bit far – fetched, but it did pull back right when it was on the edge of becoming unbelievable. Just enough to keep your heart pumping and you turning the pages. Wignall also cleverly updates a situation that will be familiar to readers from the classic novel Lord of the Flies. I think this novel is completely perfect for its target audience.
The author has a genuinely fine eye for human nature, a clever and intuitive sense of how to immerse the reader into a story and, as well as all that, there are snakes and storms, burdens and beasts, drama, and devastation. I mean what else do you really need?
I’ve been utterly gripped from beginning to end and this novel has introduced me, not only to another genre, but also to an amazing author. Kevin Wignall, I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

Charlotte, year 8

4th November 2021 at 5:59 pm

I really enjoyed ‘When we were Lost’. I loved all the twists and turns that took place. I also loved the story line of the book and the characters. Parts of the book really made me feel sorry for the characters, like the fear the students showed when the plane went down. It almost made me feel as if I was there with them. My favourite part of the book was when we discovered the plane crashed on purpose. it almost made me fall of my seat.

Wilf, year 8

4th November 2021 at 5:57 pm

What is so crucial about this book is how this event can happen in real life. My favourite part about this book was the raid on the cocaine camp and the dog they got halfway through the book and I liked how Tom took charge in the end.

My only complaint about this book is that some parts weren’t that action filled as whilst reading the book I got a bit bored over a few pages. Overall I would recommend this book to people my age because it is action filled.

Jorja

2nd November 2021 at 9:10 am

I didn’t like this book because I found there were too many people and too many things going on half the time, so I didn’t know what was going on. It had a good plot and some bits I liked but one minute they were in a river then the next minute they were somewhere else I don’t know how.

Mia, Year 8

14th October 2021 at 5:43 pm

‘When we were lost’ was definitely one of the SSBA shortlisted books that drew me in the most, since I love survival adventures. For me I would say this is like a version of ‘The Explorer’ by Katherine Rundell but for much older readers since quite a few people die and the main character becomes a killer. My favourite character is the dog because I love animals.

Lexie, year 8

14th October 2021 at 5:42 pm

At the beginning the action starts quite quickly, which I like about this book. The book is paced quite fast but it has some predictable moments. There are, of course still a few twists and turns. The main character is different to what main characters are usually like. I feel it made the character more interesting and it made me quite intrigued. The description of how differently people reacted to the plane crash is amazing, there was a real variety in opinions and feelings. Also their reactions after losses and arguments really shows how different they all are and it’s very realistic in that way. This book also focuses on the butterfly effect, it shows how one thing can lead to another. The butterfly effect plays a great part in this book and it fits in really well. Even though I enjoyed this book I feel some events were dismissed even though they were major problems. I would recommend this book to people who like action packed and reasonably quick books. I would rate it a 4/5

Skye Year 9

12th October 2021 at 5:40 pm

I loved this book. I loved the way they tried to survive after the plane crash and had to work together to figure out where they were. Although I would have preferred a different outcome for some members of the group.

Chris, Year 8

7th October 2021 at 5:43 pm

This was an exciting fast-moving adventure book, about how students survive a plane crash. I enjoyed the story and seeing the interactions between Joel and Tom’s leadership and the way they all worked to escape the jungle.

Oliver, year 8

7th October 2021 at 5:43 pm

When We Were Lost’ was a very good book in my opinion and took me by surprise a lot of the time.

The main characters’ names are Joel, Tom, Shen, Barney, Alice and Kate and I thought the characters’ personalities made the book more interesting. I thought Joel wasn’t a good leader and I didn’t expect Tom to become the killer. I also think this book was intriguing as I didn’t expect some of the things to happen like how they found a cocaine farm and how they turned out to be in South America not Costa Rica and how the pilot tried to kill all of them. Overall I think this book was exciting and intriguing and all linked up well and wasn’t confusing.

India, Year 8

7th October 2021 at 5:40 pm

About the book: This jungle adventure book is an epic jungle adventure where there is a test to see if 19 teenagers can survive the dangers of the Amazon rainforest. The main character Tom didn’t want to go on the field trip to Costa Rica but when his plane crashes in the middle of the Amazon all the adults die and only 19 pupils survive. Can everyone escape the dangers of the Amazon and reunite with their loved ones? Who lives, who dies?

My opinion on the book: I think that this book is an amazing book for anyone but especially for teenagers who are really into their jungle adventures. This book for me is like a version of ‘The Explorer’ by Katherine Rundell but just more complex and for older people. But I will definitely recommend this jungle adventure to anyone who is into their reading. Rating: I rate this book 4.5 out of five because in all books they can always make improvements.

Emily, Year 9

7th October 2021 at 5:40 pm

This was a really good read because it was interesting, funny and dangerous. Tom lives with a family friend after his parent’s death years earlier. When she arranges to go on a yoga retreat, she sees the school trip to Costa Rica as an opportunity to keep Tom occupied for a couple of days. What could go wrong?

Leave a Review to Charlotte Cancel reply

Tweets