Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Puffin (February 7, 2013)
Source: Received From Publisher in exchange for honest review
A family vacation becomes a test of survival!
It was supposed to be a vacation—and a chance to het to know each other better. But when a massive storm sets in without warning, four kids are shipwrecked alone on a rocky jungle island in the middle of the South Pacific. No adults. No instructions. Nobody to rely on but themselves. Can they make it home alive?
A week ago, the biggest challenge Vanessa, Buzz, Carter, and Jane had was learning to live as a new blended family. Now the four siblings must find a way to work together if they're going to make it off the island. But first they've got to learn to survive on another.
As someone who only watched one season of Survivor (I'd rather be reading than watching TV) I didn't go into to this because of love for Jeff Probst. I was simply hoping for an exciting and engaging tale of survival. I felt like Stranded delivered for the most part, but I was a little underwhelmed.
As someone with a son in the age range this book is intended for, I'm always looking for something new and exciting for him to read. Do I think he would have enjoyed this book? Yes, it was fast-paced and you wanted to find out if the kids were going to make it through or not. Do I think that he would have loved it and spent months begging me for the next installment (he does this with his book favorites)? No, I just don't think the characters were developed enough to pull him in. There also wasn't any humor laced in, which is something he loves.
Of course, character development is one of the bigger problems I had. I did love the parts of the story where you see this newly made family working together, and I think a lot of kids would really be able to relate to that. What I didn't love was that I couldn't find personalities for any of the character except young Jane. I thoroughly enjoyed her way too brief moments vlogging for her elementary school project.
Also, I wanted more in this one installment. I felt like they just cut it way too short. Trying to draw out a series? Although, they could just be trying to keep it short for the age range it was intended for, so that may just be a personal peeve there.
Do I recommend Stranded? For boys and girls looking for an adventure that is fast-paced and high-stakes, sure! Just don't expect to get too invested in the characters.