Friday, December 23, 2016

THE LIFEBOAT CLIQUE BY KATHY PARKS - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks.


This book was pretty much exactly what I thought it was going to be - a group of teenagers from different 'cliques' stuck on a boat trying to get home. While there was a deeper level message, that was pretty much the story. And I was okay with that.

Basically, that is the synopsis. After being asked by a guy she thought didn't even know her name to her ex-best friend's party, Denver and a group of fellow party-goers end up stranded in the Pacific Ocean, floating on the house's roof after an earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit. The group includes Denver, said ex-best friend Abigail, popular girls Hayley and Sierra and a random semi-popular guy, Trevor. The group is reeling after seeing their classmates get taken out by palm trees flying through the water and a grand piano sliding through the collapsing house. It's late, they broke into a house to have the party and no one knows if or when they will be rescued.

I will say one thing about Parks, she is ruthless. I guess part of it was the fact that a natural disaster has occurred, but she was killing people off all over the place. This isn't a spoiler because you find out in the very first sentence of the book, but Trevor drowns. I think this fact really sets the tone for the novel that no one is really safe. We lose more main characters along the way, and I think it wasn't as shocking to read because you were aware of the direness of the situation.

The story is told in two 'timelines' I guess you could call them, one is the present, what's happening on the boat, etc. and the other is the past, looking at Denver and Abigail's friendship and how they broke apart. The former was more interesting for me personally, while enjoyed the back story, I was more focused on whether or not they would survive to be found. The latter gave insight into why they stopped being friends, which was helpful in seeing their current dynamic, but I think life on the boat was a more engaging story.

I mentioned earlier that this book was exactly what I expected of it. And it was a group of teens stuck on a boat. But there was the issue of the clique that was the driving message of this book. Denver isn't a 'cool' kid, she was shunned by Abigail and subsequently, the rest of the popular kids avoid her as well. Trevor is kind of a popular kid, but he's also in a band which makes him a music kid maybe? The other girls were pretty much all popular kids. I thought there was going to be a bit more diversity with the cliques, a drama kid, a jock, etc. I guess the message was still the same in the end, but I think the whole idea of disbanding the cliques would have been better if it was more widely portrayed. At the end, though, the message of working together and surviving was still the same and it would have been with other depictions of cliques.

I didn't really love the end when they tried to spread the message of breaking the cliques, it didn't really work. I don't know if that's a comment on the fact that these cliques never really get broken, and we just have to live with that, but I felt like it kind of undermined the whole book, saying that it takes a life or death situation for people to join together as equals.

I enjoyed this book's humour and dark comedic aspects, I felt like they were helpful for lightening the mood, but still keeping the seriousness of the situation. Denver was whip smart, but I felt like she should have SAID some of the comebacks she thought up to fully add to the story.

Overall, a decent story with a good message but not a new favourite.