Reviewed by Giselle Carlos, age 16
In the Same Boat by Holly Green
Sadie Scofield is finally ready to accomplish her dream of crossing the finish line in the 265-mile canoe race, the Texas River Odyssey. Ever since her childhood, she’s dreamt of sharing stories like the ones her family members told about their own races, and after letting her dad down the previous year and not finishing the race, Sadie has a lot to prove. However, on the eve of the race, her brother/partner abandons her. Now she has no choice but to team up with her best-friend-turned-enemy John Cullen. Within the first miles, Sadie can’t fathom how they’ll make it through the race, much less make the top 5 like Sadie promised her brother she would. But then again, the fact remains that John was Sadie’s best friend… and maybe she still has a little love left over to make it through.
In the Same Boat is a pleasure filled love-fest, bound to serve greatly on cozy days spent curling up with a book. Holly Green’s fast-paced storytelling skills spill out onto the pages, and her character development flows easily. In the beginning, Sadie is stubborn, level-headed, and angry. Throughout the novel, Green is able to accomplish a surprising feat in developing Sadie’s character. Given that the course of the novel takes place on a boat in a river, the events and conversations keep the story moving forward. It’s important to note that at times, the novel’s delivery falls flat. At some parts, the obstacles Sadie has to overcome are cliche and worn down. However, in the end, Green’s novel is a feminist love story. Sadie battles her feelings of wanting to act “girly”, and the urge to indulge in both sporty activities and those deemed more fit for girls. The boat is where Sadie truly discovers her identity and is able to accept herself, her failures, and her weaknesses. Green’s storyline is a unique one, and is a captivating read, especially on hot summer days. Recommended for those 12 and up.
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