Monday, August 8, 2011

Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy

Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Hyperion

When 15-year-old Enid Calhoun follows her boyfriend Wick to Maryland for a party, fearful that he might be intending to cheat on her, she finds herself sneaking on board a houseboat where Wick and his friends plan to have a wild night. But before the boys discover their stowaway, a hurricane strikes, and the teenagers are carried miles from the shore and shipwrecked. What follows is a harrowing, yet heartwarming, story of survival, as the teens battle hypothermia, dehydration, man-eating sharks--and along the way, confront their own deepest secrets, including their catalytic roles in the disaster. -

I wasn't sure what I would think of this story, as I had read some reviews by others that were mixed. A lot of people felt that Enid was annoying, flirting with all the boys while in a dangerous situation, and other issues.  So I was pleasantly surprised to find myself really engrossed in this story.  I've always liked, I'm ashamed to admit, stories about people floating out in the ocean with sharks and having to fight to survive.  I feel awful that I find that entertaining, but I can't help it.  I loved the movie Deep Water, and this sort of reminded me of a teen version of that.

Enid follows her boyfriend Wick to a party aboard a boathouse, thinking he might cheat on her since he had asked, earlier that day, if they could take a break from their relationship.  I thought the author did a good job here maneuvering her characters into this situation using this plot device.  Once out there, we begin to get to know the characters a lot more, as they are having to fight to stay alive.  They battle the sun, lack of water and food, weakness, hypothermia, and sharks.  Secrets are revealed, relationships are broken and mended.  Basically, all these characters are stripped bear of their facades and barriers and you begin to see who they really are.

I didn't find Enid annoying at all, but very strong.  She was a teenager, so of course there is going to be some angst.  It wasn't overwhelming.  She seemed to worry about the right things at the appropriate times.  About the only thing that stopped me a little was the whole twin thing.  I can't really explain further because I don't want to give too much away, but this was one element of the story that I never quite understood.  The author never really explained this, but it wasn't enough to pull me out of the story.

The book had excitement, adventure, tragedy, sadness and love.  It was really good and I was really glad to have read it.  Looking forward to more Kristen Tracy.

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