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Review of Adrift

by Paul Griffin
Middle School, High School   Scholastic   231 pp.
8/15   978-0-545-70939-2   $17.99   g
e-book ed. 978-0-545-70941-5   $17.99

Narrator Matt and his friend John have left their native Queens to take summer jobs in Montauk on the easternmost tip of Long Island. There they meet a trio of wealthy Portuguese teens — Driana; her cousin, Stef; and Stef’s boyfriend, JoJo — and attend a party with them. When Stef impulsively decides on a little midnight windsurfing, the others borrow a neighbor’s ill-equipped and poorly maintained motorboat in order to bring her back to shore, leading to a string of mishaps that turn this into a marine variant on the classic wilderness survival adventure. The teens brave medical emergencies, shark attacks, the scorching-hot sun, and the monster waves of a tropical storm. They also must stave off hunger and thirst, and as tensions naturally rise among the group members, the exposition of their backstories is seamlessly woven into the plot. If the resolution isn’t quite as satisfying as one might hope — it’s hard not to want to see the romance between Matt and Dri in full flower — it’s also realistic that the trauma of the ordeal has taken a toll on the relationships among its survivors.

From the July/August 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

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