Expected Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Format: ATWT ARC
Page Count: 240 pages
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
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.
THE RAFT disappointed me on major levels. I expected an epic tale of survival and bravery, but the story did not flow how I wanted it to go.
The main character in this book is one of the most selfish and most annoying characters I have ever read about. She drove me crazy. When they first get on the raft, one of the characters named Max got a blow to the head, so he slept to try to ease the pain. Then, Robie (the main character) found some Skittles. Here's how her dialogue went:
"He had Skittles in his bag? He had plenty of time to tell me! I'm eating all of them now and saving none for him."
I absolutely hated Robie.
But the idea of this novel is genius. Every since one of my blogging friends (and real life best friend) told me about this book, I wanted to read it so bad. But nothing turned out how I wanted it to, and some scenes had no relevance to the story.
Let's address that issue: some chapters in this book played no part in the story. Max told some chapters of his wrestling career in high school and how he had to remove the food from his body that he had just devoured. This went on for many chapters. And in the end, it didn't go along with the story. If it wasn't for the very short chapters, I don't think I could have finished this in about a day.
I did enjoy two scenes in THE RAFT though: the landing of the plane and the sharks. S.A. Bodeen describers jumping into the water so well, that it made me feel as if I were jumping out of the plane with the characters. And the sharks were terrifying to the point that made me set the book down!
And the ending made no sense to me. I'm actually still confused about it! I wanted to like THE RAFT, but in the end, it just wasn't the book for me.
Overall, I did not enjoy THE RAFT. While it had those two great scenes, it didn't make up for the selfish protagonist and "filler" chapters.