Book Review of The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

Posted July 24, 2012 by Kara in Uncategorized / 14 Comments

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: August 21st, 2012
Pages: 231
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Blurb: 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.

Review:  This is going to be a VERY difficult review to write. Not because I loved this book, and not because I hated this book. I just have nothing to say about this book. It was inconsequential. And I know that’s the kiss of death but I don’t know what else to say. It was very meh. So meh in fact, that I hardly remember it and I read it a few days ago. But I’ll try to do my best. Here we go.

So our protagonist, Robie, lives on an island in the Midway Atoll but she visits her aunt in Honolulu a lot. To make a long story short, she takes a red-eye cargo plane home because she is afraid to stay alone at her aunt’s condo. There is no real airport on Midway, so taking a cargo plane is quite normal. They forget to write her name on the manifest and the plane goes down. And so does Robie and the other two people on it. And that’s when the story begins. Or doesn’t begin. Because it was a snoozefest. 

Look, I’ll admit, I haven’t read many stories about survival, but even if I had, I’m pretty sure they aren’t supposed to be this boring. Robie is stranded at sea. To me, reading this book felt like I was stuck in that raft with her, watching the same waves over and over again. A book about being stranded at sea was much like being stranded at sea. Tiring, dehydrating, and I wanted to be anywhere but where I was. On top of that, there were some brutal animal violence scenes. It got to the point where I had to skip sections because I couldn’t handle the death. So don’t read it if you can’t handle that.

This book was just over 200 pages long. At the rate I read, that should have taken me a little over three hours to read. It took me 3 days. Because I kept getting distracted. But to be fair, I didn’t hate it. The writing was decent. And I thought Robie’s character development was pretty well done. I DO think the author does have talent and I would read another book she wrote. That’s why I did not give it one star. It wasn’t terrible. It was just very mediocre. I skimmed the last thirty pages because I just didn’t care anymore. And yes, I know I am being generous with my stars. I just think there are better books out there to spend your time on.

Before I wrap this up, I want to talk about the sharks. Sharks are used in this book as a cheap plot device. Every time something goes wrong, a tiger shark shows up. A shark eats a seal. It eats a signaling device she needs. It eats part of a fish she needs to survive. Look, I know sharks are a reality when you are stranded at sea. But it almost felt like the shark was out to get her. And sharks don’t function that way. Not to mention, I really think it got repetitive and some more originality could have been used. Come on. You’re a writer. Be more creative than that. 

That’s it. I’m done. Rating? 

14 responses to “Book Review of The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

  1. Oh noooo. It sounds so very meh, and I have this one up soon. I think I might pass on it. I’m getting pickier an pickier about what I’ll read, and this looks like there’s nothing to recommend it. Nice review, Kara!

  2. Oh boo, I am so excited for this one. It seems like alot of authors take what could be an exciting premise and just ruin it. Alot of survival books I’ve read are just not as good as they should be. I’ll probably still give this one a try because I am just so excited for it, but I will definitely be prepared for a let down. Great review!

    • There are a lot of Mehs on this blog post. LOL! There are a few other survival stories coming out this year and next. Hopefully they will be better. I’m going to be reading Lost Girls soon. Maybe that will be one of them.

  3. Well this sounds very disappointing. You know me, I don’t want to read about violence against animals but even if that wasn’t included the shark repeatedly showing up for have annoyed me and it made me laugh!

    Great, honest review, K!

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