Title: The Raft
Author: S.A. Bodeen
# Of Pages: 240
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 2 Hearts
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.
My standards for this book were heightened by the fact that I just recently read Survive, which I loved and that was also about a girl who finds herself in a crazy life or death situation.
I found the main character, Robie, hard to care about, which isn’t good when you’re supposed to be rooting for her survival. She was immature, whiny, and selfish. When you’re stranded with another person fighting for survival wouldn’t you think it would bring the two of you together and you would take care of one another? Nope, that wasn’t the case. The only food on the Raft is a bag of Skittles but does Robie share them? NOPE. She eats them all while Max is sleeping, and later when she catches a fish once again she eats her share and leaves nothing for Max.
The “big plot twist” was easily guessed early on and when this “twist” was finally revealed at the end we are practically beaten over the head with it to make sure we fully comprehend what happened. This just frustrated me.
I did like that the ending wasn’t abrupt. It went further than just the conclusion of this horrible event, which I found very satisfying.
For a book where the main characters life hangs in the balance for most of the book it was way too easy to put down and forget about. I should have been enraptured in her fight for survival; instead I could’ve cared less.