Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: 68 Knots by Michael Robert Evans

Overall impression: 

Source: Netgalley and library

Publication Date: Oct 2007

Short synopsis (Goodreads)This edgy novel about a diverse group of teens who commandeer a sailboat and support themselves by pirating during one summer full of adventure and discovery, is also a subtle yet powerful novel of awakening, of coming to grips individually with the issues they face as they are on the cusp of adulthood. Written with restraint and authenticity, this powerful debut will appeal to older YA readers.

My Review: Even though this book took me a little while to get used to and to finish, overall it was 4 stars. At first it was a little difficult for me get a handle on the point of views changing with now warning. About every 5 paragraphs or so it changes perspective and I wasn't used to this style of writing. After the first 50 pages or so I didn't notice it any longer and it became the most obvious way of making sure the story was told in a full of a way as possible.

Again, it took me a little while to get used to the crew and to tell them all apart, but by the end I felt that I had spent the fun, dangerous, and enlightening summer along with the rest of them. What first drew me to this book was the fact that I myself have been sailing on a schooner before and reading the experience of these kids doing the same thing was nostalgic and invigorating at the same time. None of them were perfect but they all were able to grow and learn more about themselves and about how to interact with others. Not sure if I would have had the same guts to do the things that they did, but it was great to read about.

One kind of irrational fear I had that kind of prevented me from reading this book was that someone was going to die. Not a minor character, mind you, but one of the main kids. I don't think I'm giving too much away when I say that no one does. I hate it when books are unnecessarily morose and such, trying to be 'realistic'. This book achieved that realism through the characters, their choices and decisions, and how they eventually spend their summer. It was a read that I wasn't expecting to like as much as I did, but am now glad I read it through. It gains momentum and I recommend it to those who have sailed before, who want to sail eventually, and for those  who want a good read.

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