Monday, May 2, 2016

The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks-- Review

When Denver sneaks into a party to meet up with a popular guy, she knows it could potentially go very bad.  How bad, well.... that she definitely didn't know.

It's a party thrown by the popular crew in her school, particularly her ex-BFF Abigail.  She knows they aren't going to welcome her in with open arms, but she's hoping to blend in long enough to see if Croix is really interested in her.  As the party goes on, Denver actually does run into Croix and it actually does seem to be going well.... until a major tsunami hits the California coast where the party-house is.

As the wave sweeps everything away, Denver and a small group of her school peers manage to survive by clinging to the remnants of the house's roof, and then a small boat that floats by them.  After things calm down Denver finds herself stuck with Abigail and 3 other members of the popular group that hate her.  She also realizes that help isn't coming.

"Trevor Dunham talked quite a bit about his man part just before he drowned."

I gotta say, this book was love at first sentence-sight.

I was super excited for this because it's so rare that I find a dark comedy in YA, especially one with a premise that interests me.  This book definitely had the premise.  What would you do if you were stuck on a broken-down boat in the middle of the Pacific w/ a bunch of kids you hate?  It would be nice to think that you'd all just forget about your differences and Kumbaya and stuff, but would that REALLY happen??  Well, on this boat it definitely did not!

I think that adding comedy and lightness to a life/death situation can be really tricky to pull off, and I was so happy that it was done to perfection here.  It was silly and funny in parts (mostly flashbacks), totally sad and serious in others (mostly when life/death situations happened), and had a great use of satire in the everyday things that happened on the boat.

Right away, I loved Denver.  She was equal parts funny, snippy, and smart.  She was all-alone after being dumped by BFF Abigail, and yet I didn't find her bitter.  I think she wanted her friend back, but she didn't become an angry person over it (as I surely would have).  I also loved how resourceful she was.  She was always thinking and it saved their butts more than once.  The other characters were like a Regina/Gretchen/Karen-mix and surfer-dude who wasn't near as annoying as I first thought he would be.  This book is a total character book, so if you're not feeling the characters, you won't be feeling this book.

The BEST part was that-- SURPRISE, this book has heart!!  I really found a touching story in all the high school drama and mean girl antics.  And there was a surprise thing that happened before the ending.  I totally did not see this one really big revelation coming.  It wasn't shocking in the way I was expecting either (I was expecting dark comedy stuff, and I got real-life realities).  My only real let-down was I didn't love the ending.  I don't like "lessons" in general, but I especially didn't like it when the lesson was something really frustrating.  Although some good things happened, it still gave me a really downer-vibe.  This story is not going to be one of my life-long favorites, but it's definitely up there on my fave 2016 books list.

OVERALL: I loved this dark comedy that featured an unpopular girl trapped on a boat w/ popular people that hate her during a natural disaster.  It was funny, but also truthful and emotional at times.  I loved the characters (which is really what this book is all about) and can't wait to read more by Kathy Parks!

Date Published: 3/1/2016
How I got this book: I bought it
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Children's Books

Add it to yourTo-Read List!!!

This Book Contains:
  • So-Cal
  • A Texan
  • Divorce
  • Friendship
  • Soccer
  • An irritable cat named Sonny-Boy
  • A parrot named Mr. Shriek
  • Parties
  • Drinking
  • Little to no sexual situations
  • No Romance!
  • The dreaded rope-climb in gym class

My Rating: 4.5/5

Character: Abigail
Book: Shane by Jack Schaefer

  • It's not set in Texas, but it's the only Western I've read and somehow I feel Abigail would appreciate the classic Westerns :)

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  1. Oh man I snorted so hard during this book. It was a little TOO satirey I think for everyone to love but it was a fun read and the voice was great, I agree!

    1. Glad you liked it!! I was sort of confused when I read reviews from people who didn't get it. I guess satire isn't the type of stuff that works for everybody... but I love stuff like that when it's done right!

  2. Oh I am so glad you enjoyed this book. I absolutely adored it but I don't think everyone will get it and appreciate it. Looks like it hit the marks for you. great review.

    1. I feel like it's the characters. If you don't like the characters, you aren't going to like the book. I'm glad you liked it :)

  3. Yey something without romance! I don't mind romance in books of course I really love it most of the time. It's so nice to see one that has none though. Wonderful review! :D

    1. There's a small crush at the beginning of the book, but yeah, literally NO romance :) That's nice every now and again!

  4. Haha, thankfully I never had to climb that rope in gym class. I've seen it in movies, though, and it does not look fun ... at all. I've been interested in this one for a while. It just seemed so silly and fun, but then I started seeing more negative reviews come in. So I'm super happy to see you enjoyed it! That is an AWESOME first sentence, lol. I like romance in my stories, but I'm hoping the comedy of this one will make up for it! Great review! :D

    Sarah | Kerosene Lit

    1. I hear you... romance does kind of make the stories more fun. I think this story is strong enough for there not to be any and it's okay. And thankfully I never had to climb the rope either!!! I would have hated that!

  5. This sounds like a great read! I would miss romance but I might still want to check this one out!

  6. I’ve seen this book around and found the premise interesting, but I had my doubts. As you said it’s not an easy task to add comedy and lightness to a life/death situation. I’m glad to hear the author managed to add the right amounts of funny and serious with a dose of satire. Wonderful review, Michelle!