Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn’t panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft. And then . . . she’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way.  -

This is going to be a hard review to write... because this was one of those books that, if I don't watch what I say, I could potentially give away something important.  So bear with me while I try not to do that.

This story worked for me immediately.  I was sucked in and read through it in one sitting.  Obviously, there was the adventure of a plane crash and two people set adrift in a raft, wondering if they'll be found or will die of hunger or thirst before their ordeal is over.  I love stories of survival, so this was right up my ally.  That said, it would have been very easy for this story to have been boring.  You wouldn't think that, considering that it is a survival story and there is a lot of danger to be encountered when you're set loose on a raft in the middle of the ocean with no water or food where sharks are prevalent, etc.  It could have been boring because the book is told, almost completely, internally.  True, Robie is in the raft with Max, the youngish co-pilot of the plane that crashed into the ocean, but since Max is unconscious for the majority of the book, Robie's internal narrative tells the story.  If not done right, that could have been the kiss of death for this story, but in fact, I am amazed by how well the author pulled this off.  I wasn't bored for a single moment.

This character starts out as any other 15 year old girl.  She's even a little selfish and thoughtless... but it doesn't take long in her new circumstances, before she finds herself having to reach deep within herself for bravery and resourcefulness.  I love how she grows and changes in this story. 

I can't say much more or I will give something away that is major.  But suffice it to say, there was one moment in this story that had me shocked and amazed. 

This story was definitely worth the read, although it wasn't at all what I expected.  But that wasn't a bad thing.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I highly recommend that if you like survival stories, and if you like your stories with a moment of shocking twists, read it!


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