Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release Date: 3rd June 2013
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
Betrayal and forbidden love, beneath a seething sun...
Grace Delaney and her fellow dance students are en route to perform on a South Pacific cruise ship when a freak storm hits and they find themselves stranded on a seemingly deserted island.
With the tropical heat rising, passions and tensions swell to breaking point. And the island itself is quietly steaming with a terrible secret...
I’m a big fan of Siobhan Curham’s first two novels and when I heard about this, I got extremely excited. Shipwrecked looked totally different to Dear Dyland and Finding Cherokee Brown and I knew I was in for a treat!
Being marooned on a deserted island isn’t a unique idea and has been done many times brilliantly but I thought Siobhan Curham may out an individual spin on it and I was right. I was really, really hoping that there wouldn’t be any supernatural elements to the novel and there were, kind of, but I actually think they made the novel stand apart. It wasn’t a typical form of the supernatural, but an old, mythical, voodoo story that gave me chills. It’s a shame we don’t see more of that in YA!
As I’ve come to expect from Siobhan, she also tackled some serious issues in Shipwrecked. There was illness, social class, divorce, pressure to have sex, betrayal and bullying. I loved that they weren’t in the foreground of the story, apart from the bullying maybe, as that was present from the very beginning, but instead these problems formed parts of Grace, Cruz, Jenna, Cariss, Dan, The Flea, Belle and Todd. Siobhan really has a gift with making characters multi-dimensional, relatable and sympathetic. Part of this also came in with The Fle’s sexuality; it wasn’t part of the storyline, it just was. There was no coming out, shock revelations or homophobia which I think is equally as important as kids reading and questioning their sexuality also need to know that they’ll be accepted and that their sexuality won’t define them.
With such a vivid cast of characters comes strong feelings about them and I have to say that there were very few of them that I liked in the beginning and that only changed slightly by the end! Jenna, Cariss and Todd made me really angry. They’re the type of people who make life miserable for others for seemingly no reason at all and every time they threw a jibe at Grace, Cruz or Belle I wanted to give them a smack. However, after their shock actions at the end of the book, I’m very intrigued as to how they’ve faired...
My only teeny, tiny niggle with the whole of Shipwrecked is that I sometimes felt that Cruz slipped from a native Spanish speaker who had adorably stilted English into a fluent American. Honestly though, he was so perfect I soon got over it! Speaking of American-ness, I thought Siobhan Curham made all of her characters feel authentically American in a way that they never manage when they try to be British!
After the super creepy epilogue, I’m dying to know what happens to Grace and co in the next book, but I also think it could have ended before the epilogue and remained as a standalone with a slightly mysterious ending. Saying that, I’m very much looking forward to being reunited with the gorgeous Cruz and seeing just what Hortense is up too...
For my 2013 British Books Challenge
Thanks to Electric Monkey for providing me with a review copy.