Sarah Peterson is appalled at having to go on a cruise with the deeply uncool Buckleys, Candi and Jonathan. Her father is working on some kind of business deal with the Buckley parents, so she and her brother Kevin won’t even be able to ignore them. To top it off, she just caught her boyfriend cheating on her with her best friend! She is so not in the mood for this trip.
The four of them are just starting to figure out there may be more to each other than meets the eye when their boat is hit by a rogue wave and begin to sink. Suddenly it’s not just about tolerating each other- they have to learn to work together fast if they want to survive.
Billed as “The Breakfast Club meets Swiss Family Robinson”, Wrecked starts off following that formula a bit too literally. The characters begin as stereotypes, and in Sarah’s case, not particularly likeable ones. Luckily this is a book all about character growth, so by about the middle of the book they’re starting to feel like real people. The dialogue is still a little awkward in places, though.
Another issue is the constantly shifting point of view. In some places this happens several times on the same page. We even get the thoughts of minor characters, like the guy Candi flirts with on the cruise. Since this is a book with four main characters, it would make sense to change the point of view perhaps every chapter, but so much switching back and forth without clear separation is confusing. Also, the author seems to use this technique as an easy way to tell us what’s going on, rather than showing us through the characters’ actions.
My favorite part of the book was their time on the island. The character dynamics were well done, and Casey clearly put a lot of thought into what they would need to do to survive, not just physically but emotionally. This was the part of the book I felt had the most depth. I actually found myself hoping they wouldn’t be rescued!
This was a fun book and a promising debut novel. Casey still has some room to grow as an author, but if she keeps developing her writing style, her future stories should shine!
Author: Elle Casey
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: Elle Casey, 2011
Price: $0.99 (e-book, all formats)
Author’s Website: http://ellecasey.com/