Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Out of My Comfort Zone: Hostage Three by Nick Lake

Librarian M's entry for a book that's not in her wheel house is up today. She says, "I wouldn’t normally read a ripped-from-the-headlines realistic fiction story like that, but the author won the Printz last year, so I thought I’d give it a try."

Hostage Three by Nick Lake

Release Date:  November 12, 2013

After Amy self-sabotages her final exams by flouting her school’s rules (she’s allowed to continue with her last exam despite her new facial piercings, but when she lights up a cigarette after her physics exam she’s given the boot) her father decides to take the family on a summer-long world-wide cruise on a yacht he’s just purchased. This is not exactly what Amy was going for with her rebellion--weeks at sea with her dad and stepmother sounds terrible.

Amy fills a lot of her time on the boat thinking about her mother’s mental illness and suicide. She feels guilty about not saving her mom and resents her father for the job that takes up so much of his time. The days are all pretty much the same until the yacht is overtaken by Somali pirates hoping to score a big ransom. One of the younger pirates, Farouz, translates for the two groups and Amy forms a bond with him as they wait for a resolution to their situation.

Amy is a bit grating at first, but her self-deprecation goes a long way towards making her an interesting main character and once you get used to her tone it becomes easier to identify with her. Her conversations with Farouz are the best parts of the book and his back story will make you empathize with him even as he takes part in his pirate duties. If you are looking for an exciting and tense read this fall, check this one out!

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