June 14, 2011

Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy

Release Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 272
Series: n/a
Review Source: Netgalley for review

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
When 15-year-old Enid Calhoun follows her boyfriend Wick to Maryland for a party, fearful that he might be intending to cheat on her, she finds herself sneaking on board a houseboat where Wick and his friends plan to have a wild night. But before the boys discover their stowaway, a hurricane strikes, and the teenagers are carried miles from the shore and shipwrecked. What follows is a harrowing, yet heartwarming, story of survival, as the teens battle hypothermia, dehydration, man-eating sharks--and along the way, confront their own deepest secrets, including their catalytic roles in the disaster.

My Thoughts:
Wow. To say that this book was deeply intense would be an understatement. The thing I like most about it is that it starts off like a typical contemp: a story about a bratty teen girl who is overbearing and undertrusting toward her boyfriend, and then BAM!: the story shifts absolutely suddenly into a scary story of trying to survive in open water. If you picked up this book without reading anything about it, you would never know the story it was going to turn into, and I absolutely love that.

The title of the book is ‘Sharks and Boys’, and that’s really what the book is full of, yet it’s really a story about Enid and her family, as well as her relationship with all the boys in the story. Enid and her twin brother Landon have been part of a ‘twin study’ for years, meaning that their closest friends are three other pairs of twins. One of the other twins, Wick, is Enid’s long-term boyfriend. Enid’s mistrust in Wick is what causes her to sneak aboard the boat that all the boys are on. Madness occurs as a storm sinks their ship, and they have to try and survive aboard a tiny raft.

Kristen Tracy does an amazing job of creating tension and fear as you wonder what fate awaits the eight teenagers adrift in the Atlantic. No one is safe, and the relationship between the raft’s passengers ebbs and flows like the water they are in. Tempers flare, and the mental state of everyone becomes fragile.

If you’re looking for a survival story that’s quite emotionally raw you should definitely pick this one up. My one complaint is that I would have preferred a more detailed ending, but that’s more a personal preference than anything. I still felt like the storyline was complete for the most part, and the powerful emotions and straightforward prose in this one make it absolutely worth picking up.


Find Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.ca


  1. Wow. I wouldn't have guessed this one is as intense as it is based on the title and cover. Love it when a book surprises me like that! And being stuck on a raft in the middle of shark-infested waters is pretty much my worst nightmare. I like to think I'd be calm and rational, but I'm pretty sure I'd be the first one to panic:) Go me.

  2. The title and cover seem to be telling a completely different story from the synopsis and your review. I think a contemp like this is exactly what I need right now! I like that it develops into much more than it initially seems. Surprises always keep me on my toes! Great review :)

  3. This sounds very interesting! Coincidence coming accross your blog; I'm a 24 job searching librarian too! :)

  4. I wouldn't have thought this was an intense read by looking at the fluffy cover and title. Seems like a great summer read. Great review.

  5. Wow indeed. This is certainly not your run-of-the-mill YA novel.
    When you say that the ending was not detailed enough, is it that the plot lines weren't all resolved sufficiently, that loose ends were left?

  6. Hmm, I'm not sure exactly how to answer without being spoiler-y. I guess I could say that it's my personal preference to have absolutely everything resolved at an ending. I don't like any leeway for something else to happen to the characters in that ending moment. I want to know what's going on. So it was more that (if that makes sense), rather than big plot lines unresolved, because I don't think that's the case.

  7. Intersting combination! I haven't read a survival story in a while, so this might be an option for future reads:)

  8. I like how Sharks & Boys is more intense than you would ever initially believe and by the sounds of it, we'll get to see some character growth for Enid. It definitely has me more curious to check out the novel!

  9. I have this in my TBR pile and it does sound like it'll be a good read! I'm really curious of how it's going to play out.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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