The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
Robie, 15, lives with her family on the Midway atoll, a group of islands in the middle of the Pacific. Her parents are scientists; it’s an isolated life. Robie enjoys visiting her aunt in Hawaii – she gets back and forth on a cargo plane that brings supplies to Midway.
During a visit, her aunt is called to the mainland for a work emergency, leaving Robie to get home on her own. On her flight back to Midway the cargo plane hits nasty weather, and goes down. It’s just Robie, the pilot, and Max, a co-pilot she’s never met till this flight, on board. Robie is pulled aboard a raft by Max, who is injured and slipping in and out of consciousness. They have a bag of candy and very little water between them. When they finally reach an island that seems abandoned, Robie hopes they’ll be found quickly. But she’s not sure she was even on the flight manifest. Her parents must be looking for her…aren’t they?
In THE RAFT, S.A. Bodeen creates a hair-raising suspense story that will have readers agonizing over the same question as Robie -- how long can they survive?
When describing this book to friends I call it "Castaway for teen girls" Castaway,the movie in which Tom Hanks who is the sole survivor of a crash and ends up on a deserted island to survive.
I found it a very intriguing read. It was pretty short and I read it in one sitting. I liked the main character Robie. She dealt with the situation very well, she does not whine or complain or cry about what has happened. She feels despair and loss and the whole story has an overcast feeling of dread that something bad could happen at any moment.
Robie's parents work on the island of Midway which is famous for it's nature conserve. So Robie is familiar with some of the animals that are around her and the special attention she pays to their behavior and specific breed they are. As there is not much more to do when found stranded on a raft/island.
The novel is a pretty short one, but if it were extended at all it may have become really boring as not much can happen when stranded with no possessions, so overall I found it a nice, fast contemporary read. Pretty tame for teens, nothing to horrible happens except there is one scene in which an animal does die.