Sunday, 21 October 2012

S.A. Bodeen - The Raft - Book Review

book cover of 

The Raft 

by

S A Bodeen
   

                                                
After reading S.A. Bodeen's initial two books (The Compound and The Gardner), both of which I enjoyed immensely, I felt that it was time to read her third. As a result, I ordered this on the strength of thinking that this book would probably end up going in the same direction as the other books. Therefore I  never looked at the synopsis, but I did get an idea from the book cover and the title of what I may encounter. However it soon arrived and I got quickly around to reading it but with quite some surprise!

This is the synopsis that I never read.

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.

I can definitely state that if I had read the synopsis first then I would never have entertained reading this book. After all, where are the guns, blood, action and the secret underground base full of spies? I hear you asking me as to whether I have taken leave of my senses but . . . . I really did enjoy it.  I know that as a result of this admission, I may find that a few of my followers may disappear. However don't leave ME . . .  I probably need you more than ever now!

The first thing that I really noticed in this story was the lack of characters. The main character is Robie and the story is told from her point of view. I'm sure that this would be particularly engaging and meaningful from a female teenage reader's perspective, as I feel they'll be able to perhaps relate to the character on so many more levels than I did.

I did follow the journey, from the beginning to the end, knowing that it was going to be predictable. However that's the only negative  thing that I can say about this book. This was a very gripping read which was told in a very fast and engaging way. It managed to pull off the realism of the situation; being able to portray the right mind set of a person who unfortunately found themselves in such circumstances. It felt like the story was written by a survivor.

The book was eaten up in no time at all - about three hours in total to travel through the 220 pages or so.  

Whilst this is a great little read, I'm still looking forward to more books along the lines and style of The Gardener!

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends; 1 edition (21 Aug 2012) - Age: 12+
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