Wrecked by Elle Casey
Self-Published by Author
An ill-fated Caribbean cruise and four teenagers: a nerd, a jock, a mouse, and a beauty queen...an island, a treehouse, some nefarious interlopers...life and death...fear and loathing...love and laughter. Follow Jonathon, Kevin, Candi, and Sarah as they find their typical high school lives and their worlds totally Wrecked.
(Summary from Goodreads.com)
This was a free download from Amazon.com at some point and I finally got around to reading it...and now I wish I hadn't waited. I really enjoyed this YA adventure/romance story. Two families are going on a cruise, Sarah and Kevin's father is desperate to get his hands on an invention created by Jonathon and Candi's father. There are some applications of this invention that could bring in big money in some shady dealings. Sarah has no interest in going on this cruise, she wants to stay home and spend time with her boyfriend, Barry...until she finds him in a compromising situation with Gretchen, Sarah's brother's girlfriend. Even with this setback to her plan, Sarah is not crazy about spending time with Jonathon or Candi, neither of whom are in Sarah's social circles. To further complicate matters, there is no love lost between Sarah and her father who are locked in a cold war with each other. Kevin isn't crazy about the idea of the cruise either but figures that free buffets and cruise chicks can't be all bad.
Meanwhile, Jonathon and Candi have their own reservations about the cruise. Jonathon is fairly socially awkward. Candi has long yearned to be in Sarah's social circle and hopes to use the cruise to develop a friendship with her...and if she happens to catch the eye of Kevin, the recipient of her crush for the past two years, so much the better. Things get off to a rough start on the way to the cruise itself, however, when the four teenagers realize they have been assigned rooms next-door to each other, things begin to change. Kevin realizes that there is more to Jonathon than he first gave him credit for, and Candi begins to see glimpses of a nice girl hidden deep under Sarah's careless attitude and sarcastic comments.
Before these new friendships can be completely cemented in place, a storm arises causing damage to the cruise ship...The four teens, the only ones who board their lifeboat when the alarm sounds, are cast adrift in severe weather with rogue waves and the few supplies they were able to gather (at Jonathon's level-headed insistence). Eventually, and not without some mishaps, the four teens wash ashore an island and then the real work begins. Each of them have to come to terms with their new reality and none of them remain unchanged. The relationships that develop between them, both familial and romantic, felt realistic and unrushed. The evolution of their characters into who they are when all of the trappings are stripped away felt realistic and fair. None of the characters suddenly became perfect nor were their lives easy although I was amazed at how well they managed to survive considering their backgrounds before the cruise.
I very much enjoyed this book and felt the author did a great job of balancing humor and action. There were times when parts of the book felt a little predictable but it did not lessen my enjoyment of it in any way. I was excited to see a sequel, Reckless, available at Amazon. I have downloaded a sample and have a hunch that I will be sucked back into the world created by Elle Casey before long.
This book rates a 4.5/5.