Four teens forced to spend a week river rafting find friendship through extreme circumstances in this The Breakfast Club–meets–the outdoors adventure.
Indie, 17 and cynical, likes having options, and right now, she has two: spend a week rafting the same rapids that killed her mother or forfeit her chance to take the journalism class that might launch her out of Tetonia, Idaho. Begrudgingly, she goes along only to find her crew for the next week are Skye, the star soccer player with a prosthetic leg who’s been MIA for the past year; Shelby, the seemingly vain girl who only cares about getting social media followers; and doomsday prepper Wyatt, whose family’s trailer is near hers. Already expecting the week from hell, she sees Nash, the man responsible for her mother’s death, who is to be their guide. Each teen reveals hidden aspects of themselves, bringing them closer just in time for a harrowing ending. This fast-paced first-person narrative is filled with copious references, often poetic, to rafting, fishing, and physics that readers may find overwhelming if they are not familiar with the subjects. Indie’s narrative is the only one that is fully fleshed out; the other three just barely break the surface. The messages of being your whole self and facing problems head-on are reinforced often and without subtlety. All characters are assumed white except brown-skinned Skye.
A lackluster attempt at a commonplace narrative. (discussion questions) (Fiction. 13-18)