A while ago, I read another of Bodeen's books, The Gardener and loved it, as did all the students I lent it out to. This book, The Raft, is entirely different from The Gardener, which I liked - I love when authors are able to pull off all genres and types of stories.
The Raft is about a girl named Robie who lives in the Midway Atoll, a group of islands somewhere near Hawaii. Midway is extremely isolated, and when Robie gets sick of the lack of civilization, she goes to visit her aunt "AJ" in Honolulu. Robie's return trip to Midway, though - via cargo plane - goes terribly wrong and she finds herself surviving a plane crash (or, as the airlines would call it, a "water landing"), trying desperately to survive in the middle of the ocean, hopefully making it to shore. To make matters worse, Robie's parents did not know she was on the flight, so they don't know to look for her. Robie's sole companion is the co-pilot of the plane, named Max, who fared much worse than her in the crash. The relationship between Robie and Max made me think a lot of Pi in Life of Pi...I couldn't tell throughout the novel if Max was really there with Robie, or if he was a hallucination, or just a coping mechanism. You'll have to read to figure it out!
For me, this book wasn't one of my favorites. I can't really put my finger on why, it just didn't do it for me. But, my kids are obsessed with survival stories, so I'm sure this one will be a hit in my classroom when school begins in August.