The Raft by S.A. Bodeen: Book Review

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


  1. First of all, I just LOVE your blog design. It’s really pretty <3 Such a shame that you disliked Robbie, most of the time, that spoils a book for me. I'm still fascinated by this book and I'm definitely going to give it a shot. Thanks for sharing your review :)

Leave a Reply