The Best Moments In Reading Are When You Come Across Something- A Thought, A Feeling, A Way At Looking At Things- Which You Had Thought Special And Particular To You. And Now, Here It Is, Set Down By Someone Else, A Person You Have Never Met, Someone Who Is Even Long Dead. And It Is As If A Hand Has Come Out, And Taken Yours.

Alan Bennett

The History Boys

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

The Raft 
Title: The Raft
Author: S.A. Bodeen
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date:
Genre: Adventure, thriller.
Length: 250 pages 
Format: Paperback
Buy the book ( Barnes and Noble) | Buy the book (Book Depository)

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.

Okay, so I did not expect this book to be what it turned out to be… It seemed promising at first, and I didn’t regret buying it either. But, there is a few things you should know about this book before reading.

First of all the chapters are super short, I mean most chapters are like a page or two long. I understand the author’s intention, in trying to make it seem like the days on the raft are super long and divided into parts, but later on into the book it just starts to get annoying. Like, really really annoying. Example: Robie gasps as the shark starts towards her, and then she… (annoyed sigh) “great, so now I have to read the next chapter to find out if Robie gasps some more or just faints straight away.” Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but thats exactly what it seems like to me. And, second of all it kind of ruins the suspension if you are reading something just so exciting and… “BOOM!” you have to read onto the next chapter, which kind of reminds me of goosebumps but with longer chapters. Second of all Robie. I mean she is fine in the first chapter or two, but the farther I read, the more annoying, extremely whiny, and possibly a bit spoiled she seems. (I mean what aunt buys her 16 year old niece a diamond stud, and then let’s her niece pierce her nose without her parent’s permission?” Robie actually says in the book that she does it only to annoy her parents. Robie is also very selfish, and does everything in order to save herself. I would be a lot happier if the author gave us a sympathetic character we can actually feel sorry for?! Robie wasn’t all bad, I sometimes felt with her and understood why she felt some things were so hard for her.

Robie's parents are researchers, working on a couple of very tiny islands, and that’s why Robie usually stays at her aunt’s, in Hawaii. However Robie’s aunt has to leave earlier than she expected to go to a different country because of her job. After a lot of persuading (on Robie’s side), Robie’s aunt allows Robie to stay at her house completely alone. Except occasional visits from Bobbi, who as I understood it was a friend of Robbie’s aunt AJ. Except, Bobbi’s car breaks down and she is not able to come and check on Robbie each day. Robbie first thinks it’s no big deal, but when she gets attacked by a creepy stranger after grabbing dinner from mcdonalds, she decides to take the next flight in the morning back home. Throughout the night Robie hears strange sounds and is very happy to leave to the airport with a taxi in the morning. From the airport she flies to Midway Atoll, in a tiny private cargo plane. Somehow, the plane’s weight limit is too big, and the plane crashes in the middle of nowhere. The huge problem is that no one knows Robie was on the plane since her aunt thinks she is at her house, and so do her parents. The only person who survives the flight is Max the co-pilot, of the plane. (spoiler warning) Even though Max seems like he is with Robie the entire time, Robie pushes him off the raft (only thing they saved from the plane) to save herself, since the raft was not made for the weight of two people. This means that Max is dead most of the story, and Robie imagines him talking to her. (regrets her choice?) Basically Robie has to survive on no water and a pathetic bag of skittles, until she is found.

Overall I thought the book was sort of okay, the plot was fast moving and there was always action, ensuring you don’t get tired of reading it. I don’t think it was really my style, but it’s fine for entertaining yourself during a long car, train ride or flight. (Maybe not the flight though at second thought...) 
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