Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Review: Ship Breaker

A gritty high-stakes adventure set in a futuristic world where oil is scarce, but loyalty is scarcer...

I got this book from my Library as a prize for their Teen Summer Reading program. They had a bunch of ARC books to choose from and this was the only one that I really thought I would end up reading. What tends to happen with me and free books I get is that I tend to put them aside and think "Oh I'll read that eventually its not going anywhere anytime soon" and then I forget about it. Its actually pretty sad.... So I always try to pick something that I think I will actually take the time to enjoy. And I am definitely glad I chose this book!

In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are begin disassembled for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota and hopefully have enough to eat. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life.

The setting felt almost like a cross between Pirates of the Caribbean and Disney's Treasure Planet. A random but wonderful combination. There weren't actually any pirates in the story but there were definitely some elements that felt piratey. The book even ended in a showdown between two mutinous ships and their crew! But ultimately this book wasn't about treasure and adventure on the high seas. It was about relationships. Family, friends and loyalty were all prominent themes in the book. Nailer struggled with his definition of family. His only living blood relative was his abusive and drug addicted father. Nailer loved his father, but at the same time he hated him. He couldn't trust his father and he definitely didn't feel safe with him. Whereas Nailers friends and crew mates had sworn blood oaths to protect and look out for each other. Nailer could always count on them to help him. They were more of a family then Nailer's father would ever be. By the end of the story Nailer comes to realize that his family wasn't just the one he was born into. His family was also the people that he chose to surround himself with. His friends ultimately became his family because families aren't just related to each other. They look out for each other. I thought that was a beautiful message to portray.

Ship Breaker was a fascinating and exciting book. The setting was awesome, there was plenty of adventure and suspense and to top it all off the book had a great moral. I give it 4.5 ice cream cones out of 5!

Julia :)

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