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You are here: Home » Genre: Adventure

The RaftTHE RAFT by S.A. Bodeen Book Review
Publication Date: August 21st 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: 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.

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen Book Review Overview:

  • Robie was initially very annoying, but her character became more tolerable throughout the book
  • I lacked an emotional connection with Robie
  • Thrilling adventure story that reminds me of Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Fifteen-year-old Robie is on a cargo plane back to Midway Atoll from Honolulu when a storm hits in the middle of the flight. The next thing she knows, she’s on a raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The only other survivor is the co-pilot Max. THE RAFT by S.A. Bodeen is a thrilling summer read that will have you turning pages.

Initially, I was afraid that THE RAFT by S.A. Bodeen was not going to be my kind of book based on my first impression of the protagonist. Robie comes off as a brat. Though she wants to be independent, she lacks the maturity. Robie quickly realizes that she is pretty helpless by herself. Despite my reluctance to read a book with a protagonist that does not click with me, I decided to give THE RAFT by S.A. Bodeen a shot anyway.

Robie does become more tolerable throughout THE RAFT by S.A. Bodeen. Naturally, Robie goes through immense character development as she struggles to survive in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There were times where Robie was still extremely whiny, but I had to admit that she came a long way by the book’s conclusion.

I lacked an emotional connection with Robie so any kind of jaw-dropping moments failed to pack its punch. If I had been able to put myself in Robie’s shoes, THE RAFT by S.A. Bodeen would have been such an emotionally crushing book.

Despite my dislike for Robie, THE RAFT by S.A. Bodeen is still quite a page-turner. I just wanted to know what would happen. Reading THE RAFT, you are never sure if Robie will survive. Anything can happen.

However, THE RAFT by S.A. Bodeen falls short in terms of the survival aspect. There were plenty of times in which I wish Robie had been a little more resourceful. I think that there could have been other opportunities that Robie could have taken advantage of.

THE RAFT by S.A. Bodeen is a pretty short read at under 250 pages, making it a great (and a little morbid) beach read. In comparison to other survival and adventure stories, while THE RAFT makes a quick entertaining read, it does not reach the same level of praise as Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet.


Other Book Reviews:
The Busy Bibliophile
Hooked to Books

About the Author

S.A. BodeenStephanie is the award-winning author of the Elizabeti’s Doll series of picture books, as well as several others. Her first young adult novel The Compound was released in 2008 and recently won the 2011 Maryland BlackEyedSusan Award. Her second YA The Gardener was featured on Good Morning America as a Best Summer Teen Read, and her third YA The Raft will be released in summer 2012. All are from Feiwel and Friends/MacMillan.

Find the Author

Website | GoodReads

Comments 4 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars - , , , , , , | Words 1064 words

You are here: Home » Genre: Adventure

TIGER’S CURSE by Colleen Houck
Series: The Tiger Saga, #1
Publication Date: Jan 11th 2011 by Splinter

Summary: Passion. Fate. Loyalty.
Would you risk it all to change your destiny?
The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world.
But that’s exactly what happened.
Face-to-face with dark forces, spell-binding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.
Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

Review Overview:

  • This novel will make you cry, gasp, and ache for more
  • Overlaps so many genres: adventure, fantasy, romance, (and a little bit of) comedy
  • Houck is not afraid to tug on her readers’ heart strings

Colleen Houck self-published the first two installations of the Tiger Saga (Tiger’s Curse and Tiger’s Quest) as free e-books. TIGER’S CURSE “claimed the #1 spot on Kindle’s children’s best-seller list for seven weeks” (source). This is how I discovered this brilliant series. Now, months later, TIGER’S CURSE is a New York Times bestseller thanks to its success.

I hold TIGER’S CURSE in the same regard as The Hunger Games (which I think is an amazing series). I absolutely love the different genres this story fits into – adventure, fantasy, romance, and comedy. It is easy to sympathize with Kelsey, the main female character: she’s lost her parents, she doesn’t want to rely too much on her foster family (whom she cares for), and she works hard to earn money for college fees. Although she will always feel the absence of her parents, Kelsey does not close her heart off from other people. She respects her foster family who, in turn, truly loves her which they demonstrate through little acts of affection (such as her foster father’s insistence on driving Kelsey to her first day of work at the circus).

While the circus only needs Kelsey for the two weeks that it is in town, Kelsey puts her best effort into the job since she needs the money to pay for college tuition and books.It is here that her first interactions with Dhiren – the tiger and the circus’ main attraction – made me laugh. She quickly develops a friendship with Dhiren – whom she nicknames “Ren” – as she helps out his trainer as much as possible by feeding the tiger and attending to the needs of the other animals. Two of my favorite moments between these kindred souls are:

  1. When Kelsey visits Ren after work and reads him Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet until she falls asleep in the hay next to his cage
  2. When Ren interrupts his own performance by walking around the floor looking for Kelsey. They share a significant look that does not go unnoticed by her fellow circus workers.

Without giving too much away, this book focuses on Kelsey’s attempt to break an ancient curse and free the Indian prince affected by it. Dhiren – both the tiger and the man – will yank on your heart strings: the tiger favors Kelsey and the man is mysterious and beautiful, both beseeching Kelsey for her help to set the man free. Houck does an excellent job of presenting characters with so much depth that I thought they were real people. Also, she describes India and its culture beautifully – I didn’t know much about either one before reading TIGER’S CURSE – which turns out to be a lesson in sociology/anthropology/history/whatever.

I recommend TIGER’S CURSE to anyone looking for an adventure within the walls of their own bedroom.


Next up: Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

Comments 11 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Four Stars - , , , , , , , , | Words 775 words

You are here: Home » Genre: Adventure

THE ETERNAL SEA by Angie Frazier Book Review
Series: Everlasting, #2
Publication Date: June 1st 2011 by Scholastic Press
Rating: StarStarStarStar |

Summary: Romance and adventure are just around the corner . . .

After the thrilling journey that led Camille through the dangerous discovery of love, secrets, and a magical stone that grants immortality, Camille has everything she wants. She’s escaped the men who wanted her dead, and now she is ready to build a new life with Oscar, her one true love. But things are not to be so simple. Oscar is acting strangely, and before they can even board a ship from Australia back home, to San Francisco, Camille learns that the journey is not over. If she does not follow the magic of the curse of Umandu, her life and Oscar’s could be in grave danger.

The Eternal Sea by Angie Frazier Book Review Overview:

  • Romance, fantasy, historical, and adventure all packed into one novel
  • Starts off with a bang
  • Delicious romance
  • Fantastic sequel that will not disappoint fans of Everlasting

Note: I read an insanely early version of this novel.

This is the last book that I got to read for the lovely editor I worked with at Scholastic before the end of my internship. I also read Everlasting during this internship, which I absolutely adored so I jumped at the chance when my editor offered me to read it. At the time, THE ETERNAL SEA was known to me and Angie as #thebookwithoutaname because it was only known as Everlasting #2 while Angie and the editors tried to come up with a title.

I love Everlasting and THE ETERNAL SEA because it combines so many different genres that I enjoy. THE ETERNAL SEA definitely packs romance, fantasy, historical, and adventure all into one novel. Everything was escalated in the sequel! It had been a while since I read Everlasting, but THE ETERNAL SEA does a great job in catching up where the story left of. It can be read by itself, if one truly wishes, but I think you’ll miss out on the build-up to the foundation of Camille and Oscar’s relationship – an important thing to understand when reading the sequel. THE ETERNAL SEA started out with a bang and kept it going all the way through. The novel is fast-paced and I couldn’t put it down. The magic in this book, in my opinion, is elevated onto a whole new level. It is a lot more complex and we, as readers, learn more about the story behind the stones.

I think the best part of this book is the love triangle that emerges. I am 100% Team Oscar, but the drama between Oscar, Randall, and Camille was just too delicious. Camille definitely gets her share of attention in this book. The frustration jumps right of the page to the point where I want to rip my hair out and scream, “WHY?!” I love the chemistry between Oscar and Camille. It’s definitely one of the top reasons why I love the book.

To me, the book will always be known as Eventide. It was one of the title suggestions that Angie gave her editor, which I absolutely loved. THE ETERNAL SEA won out in the end – which is still a pretty good name. I give THE ETERNAL SEA a rating of four stars. I truly enjoyed the book, but I hated how the ending left me hanging with a bittersweet feeling. (Can’t say more… wouldn’t want spoilers!)

Comments 2 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Four Stars - , , , , , , , , , , , , | Words 745 words

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