Friday, May 25, 2012

Rough Waters by S.L. Rottman

Scott can't believe that his parents are dead. They were killed in a car accident and now his entire life is changing. He and his older brother Gregg are moving away from their home state of California and going to live with their uncle in Colorado. They've never met this uncle and have no idea why he was estranged from his brother (their father). In order to earn their keep, both brothers start working at their uncle's rafting company, learning the ropes and making trips down the rapids. As Scott struggles to make the best of his new life, Gregg becomes increasingly out of control. Torn between loyalty to his brother and his growing relationship with his uncle, Scott will have to make some difficult choices in order to keep his family afloat.

If I was going to booktalk this book for teens, I would describe it as "Ponyboy goes rafting." Despite being set in a different time period and involving different characters, there was a lot in this book that reminded me of The Outsiders (which happens to be one of my favourite books). Scott is facing a number of difficult situations; he makes a lot of important choices, both good and bad, throughout the novel. It's easy to forget that he's not yet fifteen because he is responsible and hardworking, but he also has a hard time standing up to his brother and learning the difference between snitching on someone and telling the truth. I've never had a desire to go rafting before, but this book makes it seem really appealing (while not toning down the fact that it can be a very dangerous outing). When I first read it I didn't know that it was originally published in the 90s; in hindsight this helps to explain the lack of modern technology (cell phones, the Internet, computers) but truthfully I didn't even really notice this while I was reading. I would definitely recommend this to any reader who likes action-based books but also enjoys reading about relationships between people.

See more about the author at S.L. Rottman's website.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Peachtree Publishers.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Stalker by Gail Anderson-Dargatz
The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
Hero by S.L. Rottman

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