Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Raft by S. A. Bodeen

Robbie lives on the isolated island of Midway.  As she returns unexpectedly from Honolulu to Midway on a small cargo plane, the plane hits a storm and goes down over the Pacific Ocean.  Now Robbie and Max, the copilot, and floating in the open water in a raft.  No one knows Robbie was on the flight.  Is anyone looking for her?

So at first I thought this book kind of sucked.  It wasn't making any sense.  The characters were acting all weird.  But then, with a dramatic reveal, it actually turned out quite cool.

Spoilers ahead.  There's no way around them.
First, Max is unconscious for like, two days.   If Robbie could get his clothes off to dry them without waking him up, he's not just sleeping.  He disappears when Robbie puts him the water when she repairs the raft, which has a leak, and then suddenly he's there again, and conscious.  And why is Robbie repairing the raft?  And then out of nowhere, Max starts telling her about wrestling and throwing up cookies, which seems like a really personal story and a random one to just tell, especially since what little we got from Max seem to show him as a very closed person.  It just didn't make any sense.  I was annoyed and confused about the crappy character development and the weird story thread.

But then it all made sense and it made the book suddenly good!  Because Max has been dead almost the whole time!  Oh it made so much more sense!  Max, who got hit in the head and was bleeding in fact died the next day.  Robbie pushed his body out of the raft so she wouldn't sink, but because she couldn't deal with being by herself, she continued to talk to Max and have him talk to her and read his therapy journal which had been in the bag Max had brought aboard the raft.  Got it.  It wasn't crappy character development at all!  Well played, S. A. Bodeen, well played.

Besides what she has to do to keep herself alive, Robbie is most scared of being by herself, or having no one to rely on but herself.  She had to make Max still be there so she would have some to ask what to do.  It was a horrible experience, but one that Robbie makes it through.  She is much more capable then she thought.

Also, I am way more scared of sharks after reading this book.  I think I had an average persons wariness of sharks, but now, totally scared of sharks. 

Oh, and that must have been one hell of a waterproof bag Max had.  That therapy journal survived a reef and everything.

The Raft comes out August 21, 2012.


  1. thanks for the info

  2. wait but is he really dead? how did she get the necklace? and how did his fingerprint end up on the back? im very confused

  3. wait was that dead body with the vest on the island his?

  4. Max never physically was on the island, the body that got ate by the shark was in a yellow rubber diving suit, completely unrelated to max or her. Just by chance drifted up, but I don’t understand how the thumbprint got added.


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