Dark Thrill Reviews: Do you love Yellowjackets? The Only Survivors By Megan Miranda is for you


The only survivors by Megan Miranda is a mix of Yellowjackets and the Big Chill set in Outer Banks. Every year the only eight survivors of a school bus crash come together in a beach house called the Shallows. Not really to commemorate or as a tribute but to collectively forget. To bond in their denial of all that happened before. Cassidy Bent, our protagonist, is reluctant to go as all the years before. She is fed up with indulging in the shared guilt. But is lured there by the suicide of one of them. And some mysterious messages are coming from his phone.

In reality, it was not a simple crash; a lot of people died, were left behind, there was a mysterious knife, and even after they crawled to safety, people kept dying. 

The novel evokes this strange connection between the eight; by intelligently abstaining. The narration behaves as the protagonists do by never speaking out loud about what happened until the end. It is spooky how the eight do not come together to discuss; they go about their business, go to the beach, go to a bar as if nothing has happened—but there is always this atmosphere of distrust and paranoia lurking underneath the summer activities.

This vagueness is the strength and a weaker point in the novel. It works beautifully as a hypnotic, fascinating story. Still, because it is kept vague (why is everybody so freaked out? They try so hard to seem normal.), it loses some propulsive energy that could have made this a tauter thriller.

But it is a creepy, evocative, and compelling read, haunting even, with a protagonist who can carry all the guilt and this mesmerizing story on her shoulders.