A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor
Release Date: August 15, 2017
To tell the truth, when I won this book from the wonderful ladies, Krysti and Sarah from YA and Wine & The Clever Reader respectively, from their epic meme, #ARCstravaganza. I had two choices, and this had such a pretty cover that I totally grabbed it up. And I have to say that I’m shocked at just how well my judging went.
A Fall 2017 Junior Library Guild Selection!
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?
The first time that I saw the summary for this book, I kind of just glazed past it and thought, eh, doesn’t sound like my kind of book. It really wasn’t until I won it that I looked at the summary and I really don’t understand how I could have gone by it that first time and passed it up. While I thought this would just be a cutesy coming of age story where two sisters came back together again and found some love, I was surprised with the story I actually got and how much I loved it.
This book is twisty – twisty good, full of darkness and light but a lot of darkness. These sisters are complex, complicated girls – for what happened to them, for what they did to each other, what they did to others. It’s what makes this story as engrossing as it is.
The story alters chapters, going between the now (the sisters and fellow crash survivor, Alex) and before (detailing how they got to the sour, dark place that they are now). Each part is equal in its engrossing factor. I couldn’t tell if I wanted to go back to the past or present, because I just wanted to know what was going to happen in each part.
The characters were interesting. This is a very character driven story, and with the things that these characters do, they might not be for everyone. But they are brilliantly done and are given these complex, deep characterization that is brimming with psychological overtones and twisty goodness. Emma was definitely my favorite, but I really did enjoy Alex as well. Henri was…well, she was Henri. By the end, you can definitely see where she is coming from.
The ship was adorable. I thought it was realistic, and it certainly wasn’t instalove – which was great, because so many times when characters get smashed together, it turns very much into instalove. But I thought it was realistic and well done and I was so into the swoons.
The setting, too, was sooooooooooo cool. I basically imagined Moana’s island the entire time, so, of course, it made it extra good.
Overall, this was a brilliantly done. There were some times where I did feel a major disconnect from the characters and I thought the pacing really could have been sped up a bit. Other than that, I thought this story was great. I couldn’t stop reading it (I kept telling it to stop being so good and it wouldn’t listen), and the characters, setting, and plot were fantastic. Four high crowns and an Ariel rating, of course, for the water and a visit from Moana!
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