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August 20, 2012

Review: The Raft by S.A. Bodeen - Juhina

The Raft
Title: The Raft
Author: S.A. Bodeen
Publication date: August 21st, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary, Survival)
Challenges: Contemporary
Source: NetGalley
Format: Digital ARC
Pages: 231
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 was such a fast read. I was gobbling up the book and finished it in one sitting. While I was on a 7 hour airplane ride. Now I only mentioned where I read this book because The Raft is about an airplane ride gone wrong. The airplane crashes and the main protagonist ends up having to survive using only a raft and Max. So imagine how my nerves were every time we hit turbulence; my stomach would drop down to my feet. However I believe that actually made me enjoy the book even more! 
Robie always takes flights from where she lives to Honolulu whenever she feels like taking a break from her town and visiting her aunt. However due to some circumstances, her aunt had to leave and Robie stayed home alone at her aunt's house with the condition that her aunt's friend would check on her everyday, but what are the odds when the friend calls AFTER the aunt leaves and tells Robie she can't come and to tell her aunt that she's sorry. Of course Robie wanting to experience freedom says thank you to the friend and never mentions it to her aunt. One night Robie almost got robbed at night and was so scared that she went to the cargo airplane that was about to take off and asked if she can ride this flight. However when the air turbulence got so bad to the point of crashing, the co-pilot Max, throws Robie off the airplane and into an inflatable raft and jumps after her. This is when the survival lessons begin. 
I am always fascinated by the survival stories. How can a person survive through days without water? or alone in a place no one will find you without losing your mind? How can a sheltered girl somehow becomes strong in thinking and skills when it is required? Our bodies seem to always surprise and exceed the limitations we put on them during these times, and our brains also seem to know how to act in such situations. Robie is an example of that. She took care of Max, he was always asleep because of his concussion, she learnt quickly how to get food, water, to keep her mind busy before she lost it and to never lose hope. From time to time Max would wake up and talk about himself, which seems to be the only connection she had to human life. She was a true survivor. The way S.A. Bodeen wrote The Raft with just one setting, one person, and barely another conscious one was just addicting. When I first started The Raft I had my reservations: How can I read about one person thinking throughout the whole book in one setting without much interaction? let me just say again that I could NOT put the book down no matter how sleepy I got. It was pure enthrallment. 
As for the ending, boy was that an emotional ending, you might think this is a simple survival novel, but what S.A. Bodeen through at the end totally shocked me and had me shouting "WOW! Genius!!". I will not post any spoilers in case you want to read it. The Raft was another amazing survival novel that strengthened my love for survival novels even more! With so little to work with, I mean it is set in a RAFT, S.A. Bodeen knew how to keep the readers hooked and unable to stop her novel till the end!


  1. OMG You read a book about a plane crash IN A PLANE!!!?? You're crazy!! bahaha. I have this one to read and really the reviews I had read so far were very negative so I didn't think I would read it, but you've convinced me I need to read this asap! It's such a tiny book, too, it should be a very quick read. Great review! Glad you lived! Ha!

  2. Great review!! :D I'm definitely going to look into this one a bit more!

  3. Soo curious about this now! I'm usually cautious about survival novels, because it can be really emotional, but once in a while, I would love to read them, just to see how the author pulls it off.

    Great review!

  4. LOL I would never have the guts to read about a plane crash while ON A PLANE! You're insane. :D I'm glad you liked this though as I have a review copy that I still need to read. Can't wait now! Brilliant review. :)

  5. Great review, Juhina. I'm pining for this one!! It's on my Wishlist!

    It sounds like you like to scare yourself on planes, so you might want to look into Mayday by Nelson DeMille which is another airplane disaster novel.