30 August 2012

Review: The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

Expected publication: 21 August 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 231 (hardcover)

Genre/s: YA, Survival, Psychology

Source: Publisher for review

Check it out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository

Synopsis (Goodreads)

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.

Why I Read It

Firstly, I have a massive fear of flying, so reading this book is also me trying to overcome one of my fears.  Secondly, survivalist fiction is something that has always intrigued me.

My Thoughts

The Raft is one of those stories that can easily get under your skin - the choices that Robie makes are not always the smartest, so it's very easy to get into the 'what if' mindset.  If you were suddenly adrift in the middle of the ocean in a rubber raft, what would you do?

Robie is an interesting character in that she is actually like a typical teenage girl (I can say that, I was one, once!), she makes mistakes, she can be quite selfish, but she's also got a bit of toughness and develops her own mechanisms for coping with a tragic situation.  One thing that particularly rang true with me was her theory of 'what could be worse', which is something I use myself.

Writing, and reading, a story with one main character is difficult.  There's no one to bounce off and there's a serious risk of readers hating the main character as they spend so long with them, but I think that S.A. Bodeen did this pretty well - I wasn't gasping for new characters to get me away from Robie.

I can imagine that some people may have issues with the choices Robie makes, and some of the things she does, but I can honestly say that when I was 15 I wouldn't have had a clue about some of the basics of survival either.  In that way, The Raft is pretty realistic.


  1. This is a book I've always meant to read just haven't gotten around to. I like Survival fiction so I think it will be interesting seeing the choices Robie makes.

  2. The Raft sounds really interesting --- survivalist fiction has always intrigued me as well. I do like it when the main protagonist has major flaws, it makes it much more realistic. C'mon, nobody is perfect. I think having just one main character, though, is a huge gamble. If you don't hit straight with that character, your whole story is sort of shot.

    Thanks for the review!

  3. gr8 review. this sounds awesome.

  4. Lovely review, the plot and Robie sound fascinating.

  5. Survival stories are hot or miss with me but this sounds like one I might really like...

  6. Nicely presented..Thanks for sharing your thoughts!



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