Thursday, July 14, 2011

ARC Review: Sharks & Boys

Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Published by: Hyperion Book CH
Pages: 272, Hardcover
Young Adult
Source: Netgalley + Publisher, in exchange for an honest review
Overall: Fabulous
|Author Website

When 15-year-old Enid Calhoun follows her boyfriend Wick to Maryland for a party, fearful that he might be intending to cheat on her, she finds herself sneaking on board a houseboat where Wick and his friends plan to have a wild night. But before the boys discover their stowaway, a hurricane strikes, and the teenagers are carried miles from the shore and shipwrecked. What follows is a harrowing, yet heartwarming, story of survival, as the teens battle hypothermia, dehydration, man-eating sharks--and along the way, confront their own deepest secrets, including their catalytic roles in the disaster.

My Thoughts:

Let's be honest here.  We have a summery cover, in blue and yellow, with a guy and a girl holding hands, then we have the title Sharks & Boys.  This title and cover duo wouldn't pose a problem for anyone who actually reads the back cover but for someone who just so happened to skip the back cover wanting to be surprised... well, let's just say they would be surprised.  I was!  When I opened Sharks & Boys, and for the first few pages, I expected something similar to a S&S RomCom that I frequently indulge myself in.  Surprise, surprise when my Summer RomCom turns into a story of survival and an insanely scary emotional roller coaster that no one anticipated, especially not me.

While we start off following Enid, from her point of view, and our thoughts stay close to her, it isn't just Enid that we follow closely and really get a look into their persona.  Perhaps it is the fact that I was emotionally detached from Enid for a good portion of the book, that when the stress intensified with the situation that true natures and feelings started to spill over and despite the fact it was from Enid's point-of-view it felt like I was looking out of the eyes of everyone on the raft.

Sharks & Boys gave us a small scope of very distinct characters.  Perhaps it was the situation which amplified everyone's character but there was no mistaking who was who and what their role was within their group of friends if you had an eye for the detail of their personalities.  If it weren't for how the character's met, in a twin study, I wouldn't have expected some of them to be friends.   The character who impressed me the most was Enid's brother, Landon.  He seemed to hold the perfect persona for a brother, despite his sister's crazy, dramatic, obsessive and whiny ways.  Though he was put into a predicament between his sister and his pal , who is Enid's almost-ex-boyfriend, he took up for her, held her, and didn't let his pig headed ways interfere when it counted most.  As strong as Landon was Enid was weak, which wasn't surprising in seeing the dynamic between all of the others.  He definitely did his job with grounding her and offering her the protection from those with bigger personalities and who were equally as emotionally haunted as her.  Enid definitely played the part of scorned girlfriend well. It was quite interesting to see how Kristen Tracy carried out the dynamic between the twins and the group though it was vague at times.

Who knew being stranded on a raft, with sharks circling all around, could be the result of an obsessed girl and a trip to check up on her almost-ex-boyfriend.  Whether it is winter or summer, Sharks & Boys will quickly warm you up just to give you the chills all at once.  This is not your run-of-the-mill summer romance, nor does it offer you a tidy and swoon-worthy ending but if you happen to come across this it is worth the read.  

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