Sharks and Boys by Kristen Tracy shows us somewhere even crazier that a relationship on a ‘break’ can lead than ‘Friends’ did. When the book first stars Enid Calhoun and her boyfriend Wick Jarboe are together – making marzipan sea creatures for a wedding cake, no less –but before their afternoon is over, Wick lets Enid know he thinks they should take a break.
The break, of course, leads Enid to think Wick wants to be with another girl – or girls. So, while she’s with her mother delivering the wedding cake (the one with the sea creatures), she does a very irresponsible, un-Enid like think: she takes off. Not just to anywhere, though. To Maryland.
The boys, including her twin brother Landon and Wick are having a party and Enid is sure Wick is going to use the opportunity to cheat on her. So she’s going to use the opportunity (that she’s made) to spy on him and find out.
Only things go terribly wrong when the party moves to a boat and the boat moves to sea . . . and a hurricane comes. Shipwrecked miles from shore with sharks surrounding them, the teens will have to confront their fears and problems with each other if they hope to survive.
And even then it’s only a hope.
When I first began reading Sharks and Boys I forgot the summary and thought that the sharks on the cover were just referencing the marzipan sea animals and that I’d gotten the real shark/survival part wrong. I was glad to know I had not made it up. (Not because I’m some crazy person who wants teens eaten by sharks but because it had the possibility to make a much different tale.)
Having eight teenagers stuck in the ocean for almost all of a novel is definitely different and very interesting. I really liked the issues that arose due to the circumstances. There was thought put into how they would have to survive, what they would have to do – it wasn’t just used to get them away from civilization and then they were floating pleasantly along.
The characters names were a little distracting, however. Usually I like different names, I think this time because it was only the characters for so much of the book, I just kept wondering why their names were what they were. (Some of them were explained towards the end of the book and maybe if they were explained earlier on, it would have been easier.)
Because the majority of the book is the characters on the water, you really have to like the characters (Enid especially) to love this book. I didn’t dislike the characters, per se, but I did not love them either. I could understand why Enid and Wick were on a break, they didn’t seem to be these to people that should be together. The characters all had quite a few issues (family wise, etc) to make them human & unique but I never quite connected with them.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my eGalley of this title.