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"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


The Raft (Review)

TitleThe Raft
Author(s)S. A. Bodeen
Edition: ARC, 231 pages
PublisherFeiwel & Friends
Publication Date: August 21, 2012

The 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.
My Opinion
I was lucky enough to be part of the ARC tour for The Raft by S.A. Bodeen through Once Upon a Twilight Book Tours (Yara always has awesome tours going on)!  The plot of the book is what really made me interested in reading it.  It reminded me a lot of the movie Castaway, but for the teen perspective.  Survival stories are always so filled with emotion, and I can count on some memorable events.  The Raft was no exception.

Robie starts out as your typical teen.  Hanging out in Honolulu with her Aunt is a far cry from Midway Atoll where she lives with her scientist parents.  Naturally Robie wants to do the normal things (go shopping, tan at the beach, get a piercing, dabble in Henna), and when her Aunt has to leave early for work on the mainland, Robie takes advantage.  Eventually she gets too scared being by herself and hops an earlier flight on a supply plane.  Little did she know that this would lead her to an even more frightening experience.

There is significant growth in Robie by the end of her journey.  She has to overcome extreme obstacles without any real knowledge on how.  Stuck on a raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, without water, food, or any way of contacting help, Robie has to rely on herself in order to survive.  in her crafting of Robie's character, S.A. Bodeen is able to tap into human will to survive, and show the overwhelming difficulty Robie faces with each new struggle.  Robie goes from bratty teen to enduring survivor through the course of the book, and in the end her outlook on life and what it means to live are forever altered.

However, Robie is not entirely alone during this horrific event, and is in fact saved by the co-pilot of the plane, Max.  He is the one who initially pushes her out of the plane so Robie may survive.  Together they are able to grab the only life raft and hang on.  The reader does not learn much about Max except what little he tells Robie verbally and through his journal.  The pieces that the reader does find out serve to highlight the struggles Robie is going through by juxtaposing Max's own struggles.  The lack of any other characters besides Max for the majority of the book allows the reader to become entirely focused on Robie, becoming part of the struggle she is going through.

S.A. Bodeen crafts an intensely realistic story, capturing the desperation, terror, and strength that an ordeal like this creates within a human.  There is a fine mix of physical and psychological, with each battering at Robie's spirit.  As both Max moves in and out of consciousness, Robie is often left alone with only her terror to keep her company.  The resulting psychological tricks are the true terror in the book.  Each response comes from a place of honest reaction, and the reader cannot help but pray that Robie survives intact, both bodily and mentally.

The Raft is one book that will really stick with the reader.  It raises questions about mortality, personal limits, and the instinctual push to survive.  The best and the worst of people come out when they are put into desperate situations, and S.A. Bodeen tackles that reality head on.  The ultimate question of the book is "What is one willing to do to survive?", and the reader may be surprised at the choice Robie has to make.  Pick up The Raft by S.A. Bodeen at you local library or bookstore.

Final Rating
Book Cover: 4/5
Book Title: 3.5/5
Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 47.5/50: A


  1. Yay! This one is on my TBR list! Love seeing good reviews on it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for participating on the ARC tour.


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