Series: Shipwreck Island #1
Author: S. A. Bodeen
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, Macmillan
Publication date: July 29th 2014
Target Audience: Middle Grade
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Length: 192 pages
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|Book Depository
Sarah Robinson is deeply troubled in the wake of her dad’s second marriage. She now has to deal with a new stepmom and two stepbrothers, Marco, who is her age, and Nacho, who’s younger. Even though they’ve all moved from Texas to California to start life as a new, blended family, none of the kids seem remotely happy about it.
Sarah’s dad and stepmom then decide to take the whole family on a special vacation in order to break the ice and have everyone get to know one another. They’ll fly to Tahiti, charter a boat, and go sailing for a few days. It’ll be an adventure, right?
Wrong. Dead wrong.
Shipwreck Island is the first installment in a series from S.A. Bodeen.
“Sarah wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t seen it for herself. The stars had been there above her, the sky full of them, and then they’d just blinked away”
I don’t know what it is about SA Bodeen’s writing, but she captured me again. I generally have a really hard time losing myself in MG reads….but Shipwreck Island was definitely the exception to that rule. I was caught up by the first page and this book never let go. Great family dynamics and lots of intrigue, mystery and a touch of woowoo make this the perfect read. Whoever described this as a cross between Swiss Family Robinson and Lost got it spot on.
The writing style and pacing are perfect, the dialogue realistic and believable. The plot keeps one interested and invested. What appears to be a simple story about blended families and learning to change and adapt becomes a mysterious story of survival where family lines are redrawn and new bonds are formed.
My only complaint would be that the book was too short, but then I remind myself that it is MG and is probably the perfect length for the target audience. That said I am confident that anyone…male or female…middle grade to adult… would enjoy this one if adventure and mystery is your thing.
I haven’t loved a Middle Grade read in a long time and this one was so enjoyable. I can’t wait to see what is in store for the family in book 2.