“It’s human instinct to survive…but Mother Nature has other plans.”
Author: Melinda Bruan
Publication: August 25th 2015 by Simon Pulse
Source: Publisher at ALA
Summary from Goodreads:
Plagued with guilt after surviving the car accident that took her sister’s life, Emma ventures into the rugged and mysterious wilderness of the Boundary Waters in search of some much needed peace. But when a freak windstorm kills her guide, Emma and a handful of other campers are forced to fend for themselves. Lost, hungry, and exhausted, the small group must rely on their survival instincts as they travel through the forest towards Lake Superior.
But the Boundary Waters is vast and unpredictable, and as the days drag on, it becomes clear that the group is no match for what Mother Nature has in store—and time is running out.
As they continue to battle the elements, Emma realizes that nature isn’t her only threat: there’s one camper who will do whatever it takes to make it out of the Boundary Waters alive. Even if he’s the only one…
With ripped-from-the-headlines drama, this stirring story of heroism and survival will have you at the edge of your seat until the very last page.
Okay, I just have to say that I absolutely loved this book. I have to admit, I was afraid that this was going to be too much like The Hunger Games when it came to surviving in the forest – but Stranded completely blew me away. It was real, raw, and an all-around page turner in the truest sense of the word. I needed to know what was going to happen next, I felt their hunger and their fear – it was brilliant.
A lot of people are complaining about the repetitiveness of the chapters, of how it is the same struggle every day to find food, shelter, and water – but I loved it. To me, it was completely realistic. I think that was one of the things I loved the most about this book, none of it was glamorous. They stank, they struggled to use the restroom, and basic everyday things became the biggest hardship and battle. When you’re stranded like they are, of course you’re going to have to find food and water everyday if you don’t have enough. They only had small canteens to fill with water, four canteens for four people – that is a lot of necessary refilling. The drama with certain characters was the same yes, but that was also realistic. Bruan kept the drama centered around a particular character’s attitude – and the fact that it didn’t change impressed me, it shows the ability to keep things consistent. I know, character development and all that jazz – but this had nothing to do with that.
I don’t really know what else to say, this book was so amazing that I find myself at a loss for words. The characters were wonderful, each one had a distinct personality and all of them changed over the course of the book. Being stranded out in the wild changed them, as it rightfully should.
Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading, hiking, or the outdoors. Stranded really is entertaining, I loved it so much I can’t think of what to say right now. Maybe, one day I’ll come back and add more once I have had time to truly process the beauty that I just finished reading. I would leave this book for ages fourteen and up, there is some mild sexual harassment, cuss words, and the graphic nature of their situation could frighten people. I know this review is really short, but all I can say is this, go grab a copy before your next hiking/camping trip!