We were thrilled to have the opportunity to review Girl. Boy. Sea (released on 8th August), the latest offering from YA author Chris Vick who previously penned novels Kook (longlisted for the Branford Boase Award) and Storms (shortlisted for the Premio Anderson.)
This isn’t a place. This is nowhere.
I’m in a rowboat in the Atlantic.
I’m 15. I’m not sure I’ll make 16.
A breathtaking story of storm and shipwreck about a girl and a boy whose lives are oceans apart. Thrown together they survive on tales of magic and legend… until the shadow lying in wait rises from the deep…
When we spoke to Chris Vick about writing he mentioned that his new book differed from his previous novels in that it was mythical and mysterious rather than contemporary.
It’s been said Chris’s books are ‘dark, dramatic, gripping and heartbreaking,’ and fans will be pleased to know that despite moving away from the contemporary all these elements are very much present in Girl. Boy. Sea.
Girl. Boy. Sea is narrated by Bill, a British ‘Boy’, and his story begins on a yacht called the Pandora, 12 miles north of the Canary Islands, where Bill is sailing with a crew of seven.
Suddenly they find themselves in the midst of a storm with the yacht taking on water. The crew inflate the life raft and climb in but before Bill can join them the rope snaps and he finds himself alone on the sinking yacht.
His quest for survival quickly commences. Bill grabs supplies and sets sail in the tender before the yacht sinks.
After three days drifting beneath the blazing sun Boy meets Girl – Aya, a Berber girl - clinging to a barrel, also a victim of the storm, and hauls her into his boat. He revives her by sharing his dwindling supplies of food and water.
They are from completely different worlds and Chris Vick skillfully depicts the language and cultural barriers they face, thrown together in close quarters. While Bill is open about his background Aya is more guarded and seems to have something to hide.
As they face foe from all directions: nature, the sea, and their own kind in the form of sinister survivor Stephan, Aya keeps their spirits up telling stories of Shahrazad, which Chris Vick weaves seamlessly in to the narrative. And as they unite against these obstacles Bill and Aya’s bond strengthens.
The big question is will they survive and return home?
I couldn’t put down Girl. Boy. Sea until I knew the answer.
Girl. Boy. Sea is available from Amazon and other great book shops.
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