What worked for me had to be the writing style that is courageous in thinking outside of the box. It's fast paced and at times kept me at the edge of my seat. There's just enough backstory of Amy and Somalian pirate Farouz to not hold back the pacing. I do think this helps the reader gain some empathy to the whys behind pirating. Also we see why Amy is numb inside.
I also liked how the protagonist, Amy grows from being a self-absorbed teen to one that is stuck on a yacht out in the middle of nowhere. She's still haunted with the death of her mother and rebels against her father she never sees to the stepmother she resents. I thought the author did a great job showing us how a horrific event can make a character or anyone look inside and re-evaluate what is really important.
I'm not a real fan of books that jump around with different points of view but in this novel I really loved reading Farouz's story about the horrors of war in Somali and what lead him to becoming an English translator for the pirates. The author does a great job of showing us both worlds-that of privilege and that of poverty. When both worlds collide we can't help but gain some empathy toward those who feel that the only way to survive is to be modern day 'Robin Hoods', taking from the rich to help the poor.
What I did have a hard time with had to be Amy saying she was falling in love with one of the captors. Let's just say these pirates or as they like to be called Coast Guards are nothing like Jack Sparrow. There is violence and hints of a near rape in this novel. I think Amy probably suffered from Stockholm Syndrome. Farouz, is closer to her age and shows her some kindness among the horrors they have to deal with. This reminded me of the Linda Blair movie SWEET HOSTAGE where she falls in love with her kidnapper who also ends up suffering a similar fate. But this is just my opinion.
Overall though I enjoyed this fast-paced realistic tale of a teen captive and the emotional journey she takes to find the strength within herself to survive.