Top 5 Books with Survival Themes I Want to Read

top 5 books with survival themes I want to read.pngThis Top 5 series started back in October and I kind of lost motivation for making it every week. But it’s back! This is a series of books that I want to read that all have a common theme. Previously on the blog I have focused on witches, werewolves, thrillers, faeries, fairy tale re-tellings, high fantasy and many more. I am going to try and bring this series back for every Saturday.

The Upcoming Schedule Is:

11/2/19 — Indie Books

11/9/19 — Books with a Survival Theme

11/16/19 — Books by Unread Authors You Want to Read

11/23/19 — Books with Fake Love Couples

11/30/19 — Books to be read by the end of the year



  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post (This one!)
  • Tag 5 people

Survival Themes

While I love reading books with survival themes, this was a hard topic for picking out books that I want to read, because a lot of times you don’t know the book has a survival theme until after reading it. Of course, once I started looking through my TBR for books with survival themes I had a hard time narrowing this list down to 5 like I do every other week. I have loved SO many books with survival themes, a few of my favorites are: The Grace Year (read my review here), Wilder Girls (read my review here), Starry Eyes (read my review here) and Graceling (read my review here). While the books that I mentioned are more of your classic survival books, survival can also be about making it through a really hard time, surviving abuse, or prejudice. There are so many great books out there with survival themes and I want to read them all, but here are my top 5.

sky in the deep by adrienne young.jpgSky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

I loved reading The Girl the Sea Gave Back (read my review here) which was a spin off of this book. You can read each novel as a stand alone, but Sky in the Deep was written first. Not only is Sky in the Deep about surviving war, but the main character also must survive winter in the mountains! I LOVE READING ABOUT WILDERNESS SURVIVAL!

Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian.jpgEight Will Fall by Sarah Harian

In a land where magic is outlawed, eight criminals led by seventeen-year-old Larkin are sent on a mission to kill an ancient evil that plagues their kingdom. Descending into an underground realm full of unspeakable horrors, Larkin and her party must use their forbidden magic to survive what lies in wait, teeth sharp and jaws deadly.

As she fights for her life, Larkin finds a light in Amias, a fellow outlaw with a notorious past. Soon Larkin and Amias realize their fates are entwined. The eight of them were chosen for a reason.

But as the dangers multiply and her band of felons are picked off one by one, Larkin must confront a terrible truth: They were never meant to return.

I’m dying to read this book and luckily I will get to pick it up soon. It has so many things that I love in a fantasy… banned magic, criminals at the center and a survival theme. This kind of feels like a horror plot in a fantasy setting, and I’m loving it.

THe Lovely and the lost by jennifer lynn barnes.jpgThe Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Kira Bennett’s earliest memories are of living alone and wild in the woods. She has no idea how long she was on her own or what she had to do to survive, but she remembers the moment that Cady Bennett and one of her search-and-rescue dogs found her perfectly. Adopted into the Bennett family, Kira still struggles with human interaction years later, but she excels at the family business: search-and-rescue. Along with Cady’s son, Jude, and their neighbor, Free, Kira works alongside Cady to train the world’s most elite search-and-rescue dogs. Someday, all three teenagers hope to put their skills to use, finding the lost and bringing them home.

But when Cady’s estranged father, the enigmatic Bales Bennett, tracks his daughter down and asks for her help in locating a missing child—one of several visitors who has disappeared in the Sierra Glades National Park in the past twelve months—the teens find themselves on the frontlines sooner than they could have ever expected. As the search through 750,000 acres of unbridled wilderness intensifies, Kira becomes obsessed with finding the missing child. She knows all too well what it’s like to be lost in the wilderness, fighting for survival, alone.

But this case isn’t simple. There is more afoot than a single, missing girl, and Kira’s memories threaten to overwhelm her at every turn. As the danger mounts and long-held family secrets come to light, Kira is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her adopted family, her true nature, and her past.

I LOVE Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ books! I love her writing and her plots always grab my attention. This book is about a girl who had survived in the woods and made it out and how she starts working for search and rescue. This book is by one of my favorite authors and is filled with survival themes. I don’t know why this wasn’t on my radar until now!

Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall.jpgRules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes the campfire story of a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and the girl who is determined to find her sister–at all costs.

Once a year, the path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons. Who is brave enough to find her–and who won’t make it out of the woods?

It’s been exactly one year since Sara’s sister, Becca, disappeared, and high school life has far from settled back to normal. With her sister gone, Sara doesn’t know whether her former friends no longer like her…or are scared of her, and the days of eating alone at lunch have started to blend together. When a mysterious text message invites Sara and her estranged friends to “play the game” and find local ghost legend Lucy Gallows, Sara is sure this is the only way to find Becca–before she’s lost forever. And even though she’s hardly spoken with them for a year, Sara finds herself deep in the darkness of the forest, her friends–and their cameras–following her down the path. Together, they will have to draw on all of their strengths to survive. The road is rarely forgiving, and no one will be the same on the other side.

I first heard about this book on the Hey YA podcast on Book Riot. The three things that have me extremely interested in this book is the sisterly relationship, the ghost story and the survival themes. I am dying to get my hands on this book. I have looked for books with one sister saving the other ever since reading Sadie (read my review here) and I just can’t get enough of that kind of plot.

Survive the Night by Danielle Vega.jpgSurvive the Night by Danielle Vega

We’re all gonna die down here. . . .

Julie lies dead and disemboweled in a dank, black subway tunnel, red-eyed rats nibbling at her fingers. Her friends think she’s just off with some guy—no one could hear her getting torn apart over the sound of pulsing music.

In a tunnel nearby, Casey regrets coming to Survive the Night, the all-night underground rave in the New York City subway. Her best friend Shana talked her into it, even though Casey just got out of rehab. Alone and lost in the dark, creepy tunnels, Casey doesn’t think Survive the Night could get any worse . . .

. . . until she comes across Julie’s body, and the party turns deadly.

Desperate for help, Casey and her friends find themselves running through the putrid subway system, searching for a way out. But every manhole is sealed shut, and every noise echoes eerily in the dark, reminding them they’re not alone.

They’re being hunted.

Trapped underground with someone—or something—out to get them, Casey can’t help but listen to her friend’s terrified refrain: “We’re all gonna die down here. . . .” in this bone-chilling sophmore novel by the acclaimed author of The Merciless.

I have all of Danielle Vega’s (aka Danielle Rollins) books on my TBR, but haven’t read any of them. This is one that I picked up the second that I saw the cover because it just screamed angsty teen to me. This book is about a rave in the subway system that turns deadly. I learned when I visited Howe’s Caverns that I don’t like being trapped underground, so a book where the characters are being hunted while stuck underground sounds absolutely terrifying. I hope that I enjoy Danielle Vega’s writing because I want to read everything that she’s written.


Destiny @ Howling Libraries

MK @ Books Over Everything

Gabby @ Fantastic Reads

Beth @ Before We Go Blog

Raven Blake @ Dreamy Addictions

Check out other Book Blogger’s Top 5

Nen & Jen @ Nen & Jen — Top 5 Sat: Survival Themed Books

Michael Cattigan @ Book Lover’s Sanctuary —Top Five Saturday: Books with a survival theme

Dini @ Dinipandareads — Top 5 Saturday: Books with a Survival Theme!

Becky @ Becky’s Book Blog — I Will Survive! Top 5 Saturday

Allisa White @ Allisa White’s Book Blog – 5 Books with Survival Themes

Yolanda @ Past Midnight — Top 5 Saturday: Books with a Survival Theme

Louise @ Foxes and Fairy Tales — Top 5 Books with A Survival Theme


Let’s Chat!

Do you love survival books? Who are some of your favorite books with survival themes? Should I move any of these up my TBR? What about survival themes do you love? Make sure to comment below so we can chat about it!


16 thoughts on “Top 5 Books with Survival Themes I Want to Read

Add yours

  1. Ooh yaas, great choices! I haven’t heard of all these books before but I’m soo keen to read Eight Will Fall (didn’t even think of that one for my list)! And I probably would’ve never thought about Rules for Vanishing (even though I read it and surprisingly loved it)! The Grace Year is definitely one of my faves too! I hope you enjoy all these books whenever you get to them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rules for Vanishing sounds SO good! The Grace Year was sooo good. I was so hyped for it and I was worried that it would disappoint and I’m so glad it lived up to the hype for me. Eight Will Fall is one that I’m so excited for! I hope I do wind up loving it.


    1. I loved The Girl the Sea Gave back, but everyone who read Sky in the Deep first said that The Girl the Sea Gave Back wasnt as good. So I’m glad I read that one first so now I’m really excited to go back and read Sky in the Deep

      Liked by 1 person

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