Review: The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

12987986Title: The Raft
Author: S.A. Bodeen
Publisher: August 21st 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
Format: Hardcover, 231 pages
Source: Once Upon a Twilight Book Tours

Goodreads 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 thoughts

Robie is pretty much living the life – she spends most of her time on an island with a bunch of research peeps who study the local wildlife, but every once in a while, just for a change in scenery, she hops over to Hawaii to stay with her cool aunt for a bit. Her aunt has to make an unexpected trip out of town and Robie ends up on a cargo plane back to her home island. Thanks to a convergence unfortunate circumstances and bad decisions, the plane crashes in the ocean and nobody knows where she is. Now she and Max must survive the starvation, dehydration, the constant sun and even boredom.

The Raft was intense. The plane crash and resulting fight for survival were written so well that I felt like I was right there. I had several nights in a row where I didn’t get enough sleep because I was unable to put the book down. Though the majority of the book took place on the raft, it never got to be too much. I almost forgot how small the raft actually was, such was S.A. Bodeen’s ability to create a whole world for 2 people in such a small space. When they end up on the deserted island, it also felt expansive, though they didn’t see a lot of the actual island.

Robie was the main character here, obviously, and I felt she carried the story well. We learned pretty quickly that she was independent and strong-willed. Sometimes I forgot how young she really was, especially when she was on the raft. She would do something I thought was immature, then I would remember that she was only 15. I know for a fact I would have done a far worse job of keeping myself sane and alive than Robie did. Max was a bit on the bland side for me, though we didn’t have a chance to really get to know him before the crash. After that, we didn’t get a chance to focus on him personally because he was injured, and they were only worried about survival.

Occasionally, I thought the pace was a bit slow. I understand that it’s hard to keep things new and exciting when 2 people are stuck in a boat in the ocean, but I still thought it dragged a bit in the middle. There was an interesting twist that surprised me, but I was a bit disappointed in the way it was revealed. I thought it could have been drawn out more and maybe explained in a more exciting way. However, those were small issues in an overall great story.

The cover is perfect, though the model is older than Robie and I don’t see her nose piercing.

The sum up

The Raft is an intense look at a teenager’s fight to survive against all the odds.

Connect with S.A. Bodeen



The Book Depository
Amazon hardback
Books A Million hardcover
Barnes & Noble hardcover

Other opinions

Comfort Books
Book Twirps
Into the Hall of Books

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  1. Claudia says:

    I’ve never read anything like this before and like I said I was so in love with this book! I’ve seen TV shows about plane crashes like this (Lost which she actually talks about in the book) but I’ve never read anything about it so I can truthfully say any plane crashing books are going to be very appealing to me know so you can all thank Bodeen for that!

  2. Thanks for participating in the tour. Glad you liked the book as much as I did.