From Goodreads: Robie is an experienced traveller. 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.
I read this novel the night before my flight to Florida. Bad idea, but honestly, I didn’t even think about it until the plane took off the next day. Then I realized that reading this right before a plane ride is probably not the smartest move I could have made… but that aside, I thought this was a pretty good read. Unlike some of the other novels I’ve read and movies I’ve seen, this “stuck on a raft” novel had more dialogue and kept my interest most of the time. Now, I will admit that sometimes I was bored out of my mind, and I found the choppiness of the novel a bit annoying. Things would be happening and then it would gloss right over to something else, and the reason that I’m so vague about this is because, in the end, there’s a huge twist that explained it all. That’s why I’m giving it four stars and not three. An ending can make or break a novel, and in this case, I think the end made up for the choppiness and even some of the boredom I felt while reading. If you’ve read the Life of Pi then you can liken the ending of The Raft to that… a complete twist that might not leave you guessing as much as the ending in Life of Pi, but it’s very similar. Now, I liked The Raft much more than Life of Pi because there was a lot more going on. Yes, drifting on the sea was a little boring, but Robie has a companion and she is also marooned on a island, so it takes place on both land and sea, and for me, that made a world of difference. Four stars.
Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on August 21, 2012.