Adrift by Paul Griffin (4 out of 5)
I picked this one out of a ginormous pile of advances that Holly’s Scholastic rep (Terri Beth, the saint of Scholastic) gave her awhile back. Since I’m back to reading more and worrying less, I have made a dent in the piles of young adult and year 8 children’s titles that are coming out in the next few months. That way, if it’s actually released in a month or so and NOT ten months down the road, I can actually recommend some of this stuff to the customers seeking great books for the kids. This book is out July 28, 2015, from Scholastic. It’s not a very big book and once you start on it, well, you’re not putting it down until you finish it. It was a quick, gripping read. The age range on this one is 12-16 years, so definitely do not let your 8-10 year olds read it. If nothing else, you’ll never see them near a body of water again. And we don’t want that, do we? (Answer is NO).
To preface this, if you’re not familiar with my reading tastes, they are far and wide. I do enjoy reading young adult books, but I am very fussy. I like stories of alien life, paranormal, Victorian steampunk, some dystopian (but not too much, the market is saturated with it so I tend to not read it as much as I used to), adventure stories, anything with music, etc. I do NOT dig those teen love stories at all, which should surprise no one who knows me! Kids books have to be funny and weird, and I’m in. For reasons I cannot fathom, I got crap for reading Galactic Hot Dogs; and as recently as two weeks back, I dug through the boxes of books to donate, and found they were hiding this little gem: .
Yes, I read it. Yes, I loved it. Yes, the review is coming. But they HID it from me. As if I’m not going to find it. HA! So, I like juvenile humor with funny cats, too. For the record. Anyway, I read everything. This book appealed to me because it was a group of teens on the open water and in peril. I know, that sounds bad…but that’s precisely the sort of survivalist story I love to read normally, so why not in a teen book? And I was not disappointed.
John and Matt are working in the Hamptons during summer break when they’re both invited to a party at one of the fancy houses. During the party, a girl decides to go windsurfing and takes off into the waters, in the middle of a storm. The boys, along with three others, find the storm taking their boat further out to see, with no fuel and no idea whether or not they will survive. Five different personalities on a boat that may capsize… the secrets and stories start to come out and it can either bond them together to survive this perilous situation, or it can tear them further apart and things can conceivably get worse. This is a fast-paced book, and there are definitely some adult themes, so don’t give this book to your young ones if they aren’t on the upper side of 12. I can see someone being a bit scared by it. The only thing that kept me from giving it the full five star treatment is that the dialogue seems a bit forced at times, and you would expect that, as these five are strangers on a boat that could capsize at any time, but some of the dialogue was awkward. Otherwise, Paul Griffin has done a great job crafting this short narrative of the scariest boat ride I am glad I’ll never be on.