Monday, July 18, 2011

Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy

Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy
Hyperion, June 28, 2011
Read for YA Contemps Challenge
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I first found out about this book through the YA Contemps Challenge, so it was automatically on my to-read list. The whole “lost at sea” thing was another reason I wanted to read it—when I do read nonfiction (which is infrequently, I’ll admit), I gravitate towards those kinds of stories, so naturally I thought I’d enjoy a fictional tale, as well. And finally, months ago I attended a webinar of upcoming releases that only piqued my interest more.

I finally got around to reading it! (I think that if I own a book that I know I’m going to love, I tend to put it to the side. I’m not sure why I do that, except maybe I’m saving it? Anyway.) I have to say that I loved this story, but I also have to say that I didn’t expect it to be as dark as it was. I’m not complaining that it was dark, because you know I love my dark fiction, and I don’t know why I was surprised that it was dark—it IS a story about a group of teens shipwrecked and left adrift in a lifeboat that tends to attracts sharks, after all. There’s just something about the book that led me to believe it would be a little lighter. Again, NOT complaining!
The events that lead Enid to be adrift at sea with a group of boys (her brother included, so right away you know this is not going to be a steamy-and-possibly-dirty-lost-at-sea book, so get your mind out of the gutter) are completely realistic. Basically, almost everyone makes a small mistake or two, but when you put all those little mistakes together, you get a ginormous catastrophe. 
I love that the characters were all twins, but I have to say that I hated Enid’s boyfriend Wick. I feel he was misnamed—his real name should rhyme with Wick. He’s just not a nice kid, and I struggled to understand why Enid was attracted to him. I did love the relationship between Enid and her twin brother Landon. You can tell that they’re each others’ best friend, it’s so sweet.
I felt Sharks & Boys was a great novel. There are a few twists that I was so not expecting, but ultimately I’m glad Kristen went that way—it added to the realistic aspect of the story. I’m no expert on lost at sea adventures, so I don’t know if everything that happened to this group is something that really could happen, especially with the sharks. Do sharks really antagonize people like that, without attacking? (I must pay closer attention to Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, which starts July 31 for those who are interested!) However, Kristen’s writing makes all of the events seem realistic and believable.
ARC received from publisher, but Sharks & Boys is out now!
Enjoy your reading!


  1. I didn't know the characters (all of them) are twins. And yeah, I get what you mean when you really want to read a book but you don't (saving it). I do it,too. I still have to read the new Sarah Dessen book.

    Your review was entertaining to read, specially now at 7 AM! :)

    Mary (mfay2) @ Anxirium


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