The aftermath of a tsunami finds an unlikely group of teens adrift together on the Pacific in a lifeboat.
Sixteen-year-old Denver is surprisingly blasé about her dire plight, maintaining a snide and sarcastic narrative tone throughout. She's stuck in a lifeboat with the two girls who are at the top of the teen totem pole, Sienna and Hayley; her used-to-be best friend, Abigail; and Trevor, a surfer dude and drummer in a garage band. At least they are alive following the huge earthquake and tsunami that struck during a Malibu beach party that Denver crashed. Many of their friends are dead, and they are facing death themselves, but Denver's tone never changes from her opening line: "Trevor talked quite a bit about his man part just before he drowned." Denver’s the only one with any initiative to try to solve their situation. Mostly her ideas are based on watching television, since without friends, she's had lots of time to watch. The abrasive tone, meant to be funny, is off-putting and works against suspense, even as the situation becomes increasingly dire. Due to Denver’s disdainful commentary, it’s hard to work up much sympathy for any of the characters, who all seem to be white. Adrift (2015), by Paul Griffin, offers more nuance and diversity to boot.
Save for the most jaded readers, as it will fit their worldview perfectly. (Fiction. 12-16)