Adrift by Paul Griffith
Published July 2015 by Text Publishing
Source: the publisher
Rating: 5 stars
From the blurb: Best friends Matt and John are spending the summer working: Matt to save money for college, John to kill time before trade school. On the beach, the beautiful Driana stops Matt in his tracks. Dri, Stef and JoJo invite the boys to a party at Dri’s Hamptons mansion, and Matt drags John along.When Stef decides it’s a beautiful night to go windsurfing, the others race out on the water to make sure she’s safe. But with no land in sight and a broken boat engine, it’s not just Stef they have to worry about. And as the hours turn into days, the prospect of rescue seems further and further away…
Adrift is an intense survival story that I found hard to put down, even when I wanted to stop reading because it was overwhelming. It's the sort of story that makes you wonder about the clues you'd leave behind if you went missing, and what story would be constructed by those uncovering the clues. What would they assume about your disappearance - would they think you'd done something wrong or would they think you were in danger? If your life is at stake, there's a huge difference.
The story starts by introducing us to seventeen year olds Matt Halloway and John Costello. Though they've been friends since childhood, they have drifted apart since Matt started attending a selective public school in New York, and John stayed at the public school in their working class neighbourhood. They've reunited for the summer to earn money working jobs in Montauk, and John is determined not to talk about his father's murder, something both boys witnessed three years ago. While selling refreshments on the beach, the boys meet three teens, Dri, Stef, and Jojo. They're from Brazil, though Dri lives in Manhattan. The boys are invited to join them at party and they attend, even though they know they'll stand out compared to the rich kids.
Adrift takes a look at quite a few different topics from falling in love, to class, to friendship and mental health and manages to do so well. From the moment these five teens come together, the differences between them are apparent, but once they find themselves lost at sea, they have to try and see beyond this.
If author Paul Griffith didn't spend a couple of weeks at sea on a boat, then he has an amazing imagination because this felt vividly real. It was intense, chilling, and really depicted what it might be like to be lost at sea. Each character handled the situation differently and we got to know more about them from their reactions.
Adrift is a thought-provoking story that examines relationships, human nature, and what it means to survive. It's a story that will stay with you, long after you've finished.
Thank you to Text Publishing for my review copy.