Released: August 21, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
Warning: do not start this novel when you've only got a few minutes to spare. You'll drive yourself nuts having to put it down!
Robie is visiting her Aunt in Honolulu when her aunt suddenly must leave on a business trip. Robie tries to be excited to spend some time on her own, but she soon decides she needs to take that trip back home to Midway as soon as possible. But when the plane she's flying on goes down and she finds herself on a raft with the copilot, Max, and a bag of Skittles... what's a girl to do?
I anticipated The Raft to be a harrowing read that would keep me entranced and I was right. Once I was done with those first couple chapters introducing Robie, I was hooked. I had to know what happened next, I had to know what Robie was going to do and most of all... I had to know if she would survive. The Raft is chock-full of nail-biting excitement that kept me in the edge of my figurative seat. It tore me up to have to put this book down at the midway point, but when I came back I quickly fell right back into the story, turning those pages as fast as my eyes could read them.
I hope I stressed the excitement of this novel enough, but there was actually a part of this novel I really enjoyed aside from all that action, and that's Robie's character. Robie is only fifteen-years-old. So often in today's YA lit I feel like the main characters are unrealistic because they're so mature, but Robbie wasn't like that. I don't mean she was immature in the sense that she made bad decisions like doing drugs, but rather Robie's character was realistic because she didn't act fully grown. When she stays at her aunt's place alone, she's afraid of the dark and spends the night huddled under the covers. When things go from bad to worse on that infamous raft, she cries for her mommy. To me, that kind of behavior is so realistic for a young fifteen-year-old girl that I couldn't help but love and root for Robie.
Four stars! Like I said before, do not start reading this book unless you've got the time to really sit down and read most if not all of it. It's a really short, quick read and I guarantee you once you start turning those page you won't want to put it down. The Raft loses one star from me for having a bit of an anti-climatic ending, but that didn't detract from the story or reading experience overall. I highly, highly recommend this one to YA contemporary fans looking for a standalone.