Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Wrecked", by Elle Casey

Great premise—teenagers shipwrecked on a deserted island, learning to survive together.  To make it juicier, two are popular and attractive and the other two are rather geeky and unpopular.  The premise is great and the plot isn't bad.

Unfortunately, the writing needs polishing.  We see more details than we need to, especially about who is looking at whom with what expressions on their faces.  The sections are told from different points of view, but not distinctly enough for me to always remember whose point of view I'm supposed to be in.  I feel like I'm head-hopping a lot.  

The most trying thing, however, is how Casey over-explains so much of the dialogue and action.  In writing, we talk a lot about "showing" versus "telling."  This book suffers from a case of telling after showing.  Here's an example from the all-important first line:  "'I can't believe you roped us into this stupid cruise," Sarah said in a tone of voice that clearly carried her frustration…"  Uh…the words themselves tell us how frustrated Sarah is.  Telling us only weakens it.  From the second page:  "'Oh, please.  Like being stuck out in the middle of the ocean with you guys and those loser Buckley kids could ever possibly be fun.  Not in a million years, Mom.  I'm not in the damn chess club, you know.'  The thought of being on a cruise with the two Buckley nerds was too much."  Great dialogue.  It shows us Sarah's personality and her feelings about the whole situation.  Then Casey ruins it by explaining.  Taken separately, these aren't so bad, but when there's one after another after another, it gets tiring.

That said, I did enjoy the story.  There was some good action, especially in the life boat scene and the chase toward the end.  I also loved the interesting bits on the island about how they learned to survive and make different things.  I'm also a sucker for stories where people who don't initially like each other start learning to get along, work together, and even love each other. 

If you can ignore the corny bits, a couple plot holes, and the unpolished writing, you'll enjoy it.  Despite my annoyance with certain aspects, it kept me reading.  I even wished the island part would go on a little longer. 

My rating:  2

If you want to give it a try, download Wrecked here for your Kindle or other e-reader.

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