Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

Title: The Raft
Author: S.A. Bodeen
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: August 21, 2012

Robie is an experienced traveller. 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.

(New type of Review: I am trying to give more of my opinion on books and less details about the story line. Please let me know which style you prefer in the comments)

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen is more than just a tale of surviving in the face of death. Sometimes inner strength is something that is discovered in the worse situations. When Robie gets scared staying by herself, she decides to head home to Midway. The fastest way to get to Midway is to ride on the supply flight. When the plane starts having engine trouble, the new copilot Max saves Robie by throwing her out of the plane. He manages to get himself and the raft out too, but he is injured. It is up to Robie to survive while waiting for help that may never come. 

In the face of death, Robie becomes a very strong character, while she fight to survive without water and the only food is a bag of Skittles. As the story continues, Robie get progressively stronger, but she does not lose herself either. Sometimes when it comes to survival, the character changes beyond recognition due to the extremes needed to survive, but not Robie. It makes her into a genuine character, one that you can sympathize with and root for. 

One common problem is Tiger Sharks. While a lot of time, Great White sharks are used a device of terror, in reality the dangers of a tiger shark are more realistic. Of course, many types of sharks have been known to cause shark attacks. I also like that Robie does not have an easy time trying to survive, she has to face difficult decisions. Decisions that anyone trying to survive would have to face, but I think Robie’s decisions truly show what a good person she is in the end. 

This book is well written and researched, and the character Robie is very well developed. By reading this book, you can see the time that S.A. Bodeen put in to create a beautiful story for readers to enjoy. The Raft is also a very quick read, and I even finished it in a single sitting. 

**Unabridged Bookshelf received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review**

Buy The Raft
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If you end up in a raft in the middle of the ocean, what survival tips would help you survive?

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