By Jessica Taylor
Source Received from the publisher
Published by Dial Books
on August 15, 2017
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:
We sat at the edge of the ocean—my sister Henri and I—inches apart but not touching at all. We'd been so sure someone would find us by now.
Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them.
I'd trusted Henri more than I'd trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I'd follow.
Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in this gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart.
For the first time, I was afraid we'd die on this shore.
To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this—or anything. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?
I was really looking forward to reading this book because it seemed to combine two things I love to read about: survival (a shipwreck, in this case) and a sibling relationship (sisters Henri and Emma).
This was a great story about two sisters, with details about their relationship being revealed in chapters that alternate between their present predicament on the island, and flashbacks to their life at home. Complicating the situation between Henri and Emma on the island is Alex, who is stranded with them. Alex has his own personal issues to contend with and it’s unclear if Emma can really trust him. And while being stranded on an island might make people pull together, for some reason Henri still seems to be pulling away from Emma.
Henri and Emma’s relationship is so intense – maybe too intense, with them too dependent one each other, but that relationship and dependence was really interesting to explore within the confines of being stranded on an island. And I really liked reading about Emma learning more about herself and becoming more confident.
I really liked the story and the structure, with the chapters going back and forth in time, and gradually learning (or piecing together for myself) what had happened before the island to drive Henri and Emma apart. I was less interested in the romantic subplot, but Alex’s presence did lend some tension to the story, particularly because things may not be what they seem where he is concerned.
And on top of that, I loved the survival aspect: how long could they survive on that island? What would they do for food and water? Would they ever get home?
This was a very quick read that I enjoyed. Recommended!