Jul 31, 2015 - Book Reviews    No Comments

Book Review: ADRIFT by Paul Griffin

From critically acclaimed writer Paul Griffin comes a fast-paced young adult novel about five very different teens lost at sea with no one to count on but each other.

Matt and John are best friends working out in Montauk for the summer.  When Driana, JoJo and Stef invite the boys to their Hamptons mansion, Matt and John find themselves in a sticky situation where temptation rivals sensibility.  The newfound friends head out into the Atlantic after midnight in a stolen boat.  None of them come back whole, and not all of them come back.

Adrift is a very interesting and very unsettling novel. While you know pretty much exactly what’s going to happen (it’s right there in the blurb after all), it’s the “how” and the “while” that makes it a great read, rather than the “what”.

I didn’t really connect with the characters, and I think a large part of that is due to the slightly disconnected tone used. It reminded me very much of how someone recounts a traumatic experience without engaging emotionally, making it ideal and authentic for this story, even if it does cause a few tender moments to have less impact.

However, seeing how they interact with each other and how they cope with being stranded at sea is quite fascinating. Each of them react in a different way, and I found Jojo to be the most chilling in how his behaviour and attitude changes.

The progression and pacing of the story was done really well, especially in regards to the foreshadowing and how Matt and John’s past in particular was shared. I liked the way it switched to police/rescue communications to give an idea of what was happening back on land – especially the assumptions made about why they’d disappeared.

This theme of first impressions is something carried through the whole book. As we learn more about each character, we see that the initial impressions often turn out to be false, and not always in the expected way.

In all, a really enjoyable book and one that I think will appeal to all ages.

Purchase: Booktopia | Book Depository | Dymocks

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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