Release Date: June 28, 2011
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.
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