Genre: YA Contemporary, Survival
Publication: March 1st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Length: 336 pages
Source: eARC from publisher
Some people might say that Denver had a death wish. Why else would she have dared to sneak into a Malibu beach party where she’d be surrounded by enemies, namely including her ex-BFF Abigail?
Oh yeah. Croix. Denver never thought in a million years he’d ask her out, but who was she to question this miracle of fate? Well, that wasn’t the only surprise fate had in store.
During the party a tsunami hit the coast of California, wiping out everything in its path. Denver and a handful of others escaped death by holding onto the roof of the house and were swept out to sea. Of course, one of her fellow castaways was none other than Abigail, who could barely stand the sight of her.
Now that she’s floating in the ocean, stuck on a small boat with the most popular kids in school and waiting to be rescued, Denver wonders what might kill her first-dehydration, sunstroke, or the girl she used to think of as a sister?
A hilariously dark and twisted story that sparkles with a remarkably fresh voice, The Lifeboat Clique is Kathy Park’s irreverent yet insightful novel about how to survive in the most unthinkable circumstances.
Thank you to HarperCollins and Katherine Tegen Books for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.
THE LIFEBOAT CLIQUE starts off as a result of somewhat outlandish situation, a tsunami which washes out Denver, the main character, and a group of “cool kids” out to see without resources or sanity. At first, I didn’t have a very good impression of Denver because she was so shallow and superficial about popularity and her bitterness about EVERYTHING. Honestly, she complained so much, I considered DNF-ing, which I really do not like to do. Nevertheless, I continued, and this book became more and more enjoyable.
Although, Denver is somewhat annoying, Parks shows that there is more to Denver than her unrelenting whining. On the water, with four “cool kids,” Denver goes into flashbacks that show why she is so awkward and upset with Abigail, her old best friend. As a fellow sarcastic teenager, I loved the change in Denver’s personality from a whiner to a survivor. She basically saves everyone, although some didn’t make it.
We learned that out there on the ocean, there's no such thing as popular kids and unpopular kids.
What I really liked about this novel was Denver’s voice. It was sarcastic and teenager-y enough that it was believable. Additionally, it encompassed many different survival skills as well as expresses love and friendship and how to grow. Denver’s personality growth expresses the fact that despite certain levels of popularity or “coolness,” your worth isn’t any less. You still matter.
We are all equal and valuable.
What I didn’t like about this novel was that it was slow in the beginning; not to mention Denver’s consistent whining. Throughout the book, my view on this book definitely improved, and I was content in the end, despite a few character flaws.
Final thoughts: A sarcastic, but sweet survival read. Be prepared to hate Denver in the beginning, but I think you’ll learn to like her by the end.