Oct 11, 2012

The Raft by S. A. Bodeen review

The Raft cover
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.

From Goodreads

Robie knows what to expect out of all the adults around her. None of them really think she is capable of taking care of herself. Despite living on a remote island & being the guardian of her own education and entertainment, that does not make her capable of making her own decisions regarding anything else. When the opportunity presents itself for Robie to finally be free from adult supervision, she pounces on it. But as with most things, the idea and the reality are so far from the same that Robie has a tough time coping. 

Lonely & honestly a bit scared, she decides last minute to hop on the supply flight going to her island. She may not be the biggest fan of open water, but snuggled safely in her plane Robie lets her guard down. When she is jolted awake & thrown into the ocean with a raft while the plane crashes in the ocean nearby she suddenly realizes just how much trouble she's in. What's worse? She was never accounted for, her name is nowhere on the plane's manifest so no one even knows where she is.

Now the real battle begins as she & the co-pilot Max must survive open water with no water, no real food, sharks, storms, & the never ending sun.

This is one of those lightning-fast reads, not just because it is short (only 231 pages with a lot of those being blank) but also because you kind of see where things are going. You know what kind of book it's going to be from the beginning, but what you might not expect are the smaller details about how Robie gets into her predicament with Max. What's not surprising is the reader's ability to pick out what she does wrong that might have saved her time/sanity along the way. I'm sure it's a million times easier to pick it apart when you're reading the story calmly in your warm chair, but maybe not so much in the actual situation.

There are a few twists that give the story some credibility while also allowing just the right amount of darkness. I would honestly be comfortable with younger teens reading this book because I think it's nothing worse than they might witness during Shark Week or Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel.

A book to make you think, The Raft is a quick-paced story that allows you to say "what if...?" 

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