August 9, 2015 by Bernadette ~ The Bumbling Bookworm
Adrift by Paul Griffin
Publisher/Year: Text Publishing, 29 July 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the Publisher
Rating: 3 stars
Other books from author: Burning Blue, The Orange Houses, Ten Mile River, Stay With Me and more…
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Five of us went out on the water that night.
None of us came back whole, and not all of us came back.
Best friends Matt and John are spending the summer working: Matt to save money for college, John to kill time before trade school. On the beach, the beautiful Driana stops Matt in his tracks. Dri, Stef and JoJo invite the boys to a party at Dri’s Hamptons mansion, and Matt drags John along.
When Stef decides it’s a beautiful night to go windsurfing, the others race out on the water to make sure she’s safe. But with no land in sight and a broken boat engine, it’s not just Stef they have to worry about. And as the hours turn into days, the prospect of rescue seems further and further away…
What I Thought…
My feelings about this book are a bit mixed; on the one hand there were elements I enjoyed, but on the other there were things I found a bit annoying or hard to pass over.
I’ll start with the positives, and one element I enjoyed was the survival aspect of the story. This was well written, and the fear and tension was almost palpable. I don’t know how I’d react if I was put in this situation, none of us do really, but each character manifested a potentially typical reaction while on the boat. John is the levelheaded one, almost robotic in his desire to survive. Matt and Dri are the positive ones, believing that they’ll make it out alive no matter what obstacles are thrown their way. Stef doesn’t have a care in the world, meanwhile JoJo is slowly driven insane, putting everyone’s lives at risk in the process. I like to think I’d react like Matt and Dri, but chances are I’d probably go a little bit mental… Let’s not find out, shall we!
I also enjoyed elements of the writing, particularly the level of detail. I actually felt like I was out there, on the water, and it was NOT pleasant. I have a very real fear of being in an accident or natural disaster of some sort (years of Australian Summers and many bushfires will do that to you), and Adrift played right into that. There were parts that made me gag, parts that made me cringe, and parts that were downright distressing! Also, the mental health issues that JoJo face were accurately depicted, and his quick decline without his medicine was only too real.
Conversely, there were elements of the writing that I didn’t enjoy. It was a touch superficial, in the sense that I never found myself truly lost in the book. Nor did I really connect with any of the main characters on any level other than superficially. The detail was there, but I just couldn’t get in deep enough. I’m not quite sure why, but it was disappointing. The concept was such an original one, and I really wanted to get lost in the book but I never got there in the end.
I also struggled with how the main characters found themselves in their predicament to begin with. I mean, really, come on! Stupid girl goes windsurfing at night, you don’t immediately jump in a random neighbour’s boat to go rescue her! You call the police (which they did) and you wait for them! Of course the police are going to think it’s a prank if you’re not there. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, could’ve been avoided had they thought with their heads and not other parts of their various anatomy. As difficult as John was to connect with as a character, he had the right idea out of all of them, yet none of them listened to him, and then he was the only one with the skills to help them try to survive. Grrrr!
So, yeah, I’m a bit on the fence with this one and my rating reflects that. There were bits I liked, and bits I didn’t like so much. All in all, it was an interesting read, and if you’re into the survival aspect then you should give this book a shot.
What did you think of this book? Did you enjoy it?