Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

I'd like to thank Netgalley and Macmillan Childrens Publishing Corporation for letting me read an egalley of this. 
First I have to say that I have enjoyed two of the books by this author, The Compound and The Gardener.  This book was also good, but a bit different.  Our main character is Robie.  Her parents are scientists on a remote island in the Pacific.  She gets really bored there and so often goes to stay with her aunt in Honolulu.  And that is where we join the story.  Living with her aunt she does some kind of rebellious things.  This time she's getting her nose pierced.  We find out that Robie's way of dealing with things she is scared of is by finding out what would be worse.  Soon though Robie's aunt has to go out of town unexpectedly and while she really is supposed to go back to her parents, she convinces her aunt to let her stay as long as a friend of her aunt's checks in on her every day.  And Robie is stoked when the friend ends up not being able to.  But then, she gets lonely and bored by herself.  And when she is attacked on the street, she runs home, and decides to go ahead and fly back to the island on the next supply flight out.  When she gets to the airport the next night, she's not been able to get ahold of anyone to let them know she is coming.  But she assumes they've told the island that she's coming with them.  As they're flying, with one different pilot than normal, they must go a different way because of a storm, the reason communication has been lost with the island in the first place.  And, Robie and her baggage were never weighed, so it is possible that the extra weight causes the engines to not be able to handle all the stress with the storm, and it goes down.  Robie and one of the pilots, Max, are able to get in the raft.  The other pilot doesn't make it, goes down with the plane.  Now they're stranded in a raft, which seems to have a leak.  Robie must figure out how to survive with no water or food.  She soon also realizes she could probably figure out which way to land and maybe an inhabited island.  She does finally reach land.  But landing there isn't necessarily any better.  Throughout the experience, she spends a lot of time alone, as Max seems to be sleeping all the time.  She thinks she will find food, but then that brings a shark.  On the island she realizes just how alone she is, and must again fight for her survival.
An interesting story.  I love how the author uses a Hunger Games reference, she hopes for a silver parachute to come in and bring her exactly what she needs at that moment.  And I love that the first food she finds, are in Max's ditty bag, and it is Skittles, my favorite candy.  This was a short, quick read, and a good one.