Review Detail

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Young Adult Fiction 811
Thrilling Kayak Adventure
(Updated: August 06, 2021)
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
IN THE SAME BOAT by Holly Green is a YA Coming-Of-Age story and romantic adventure in which Sadie Scoefield sets out to complete the Texas River Odyssey, the same 260-mile kayak race that her family has done successfully for the last twenty years. Last year, Sadie raced with her father for the first-time, but ended up crashing and sustaining a serious injury that prevented her from reaching the finish line. Since then, her relationship with her father has never been the same. To set things right, she’s determined not only to complete the entire race this year, but to place in the top five. In order to do that, she’s prepped for at least six months and feels good about her prospects— until her brother ditches her the night before the race, leaving her the singular option to team up with Cully, her ex-best friend. Sadie’s desperate to make this work, and once they get out on the river, they have to figure out a way to be partners again— which means addressing some old wounds and finally looking at their past.

I love everything about this book from the characters to the setting to the stakes. It’s wonderful and all I want from a book of this genre. The idea of doing hard things to prove you can is really compelling, and it’s so much fun to live via Sadie’s experience on this intense kayak trip. Part of me wants to be there doing it too— if there weren’t alligators. For such a long race, one might think the description would get monotonous, but it’s the exact opposite. Each turn of the river brings not only a new physical challenge, but an emotional one as well.

Sadie and Cully had the most beautiful childhood relationship, and I really enjoyed getting the relevant flashbacks to how they were before. It made me root for them to come to forgiveness as it’s so clear how much they cared and loved one another. Green does a great job at tugging on the heart strings in their journey back together, and I wish the ending payoff was a bit more! That being said, I cared deeply for them and thought the dialogue Green wrote was not only spot on, but totally realistic. I also wish Tanner wasn’t let off the hook so easily as he had more than one crime to atone for.

Overall, IN THE SAME BOAT is a joyous, grueling kayak ride through a winding Texas river that left me in awe of human endurance and will, and my heart full of love for the two lead characters, as well as the author for gifting us with such a beautiful story.
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