Girl Boy Sea

Bill hasn’t been out at sea long when the yacht he is learning to sail is hit by a storm and starts to take on water off the coast of Morocco. Whilst everyone else on board is able to make it to the emergency raft in time Bill’s thinking of others cost him precious seconds that see him rather unfortunately left behind. Unable to stay on the yacht as it will sink he takes the rowing boat and launches, his fate left entirely to the waves and severity of the storm.

The storm was severe but miraculously Bill manages to stay alive, ill prepared and lacking supplies with the full heat of the Moroccan sun beating down on him. Certain that he will be rescued before too long he thinks nothing of rationing his small amount of resources he fortunately does have, only realising they will last for half as long when he happens across a girl clinging on to a barrel and rescues her, and there are now two people needing food and beverages in order to survive.

The girl is in a poor way and it takes lots of feeding her water and her sleeping before she starts to come round and Bill is less worried for her. When Bill tries to get the girls name he learns some of her native language and discovers she has a way for them to create drinking water. The two form a bond over time

The two form a bond over time and organise themselves to utilise what they have to create water and where allowing food such as turtle that they feel blessed to have come across. Reading about the killing of the turtle makes you momentarily sad but they are humane whilst doing it and it is totally understandable why they would given they are starving and have such a limited choice of food source.

When the pair come across land you breathe a sigh of relief with them, surely they are now safe. It turns out they have happened across an island and after some exploration come across someone else that has sought shelter there. Neither Bill nor Aya – he finally finds out her name – like the guy on the island and they keep their guard up when dealing with him. It feels as though Bill wants to protect Aya and he intervenes on her behalf several times during their time together, maybe it stems from the times when Aya tells stories to Bill who is unfamiliar with The Arabian Nights to pass the time. Hearing tales of Shahrazad is a welcome distraction in the ongoing ordeal of survival.

It really is beautiful to see the relationship between Bill and Aya grow over the time they are together. There are certain milestones on their journey that strengthen their resolve as well as test them to the extreme, and it is the exceptional circumstances they find themselves in that make a dead whale as an island all the more feesable, imaginable and interesting in this gripping adventure story.

I was completely enthralled reading Bill’s story from the very offset as the story gets straight into the action, and you commit to seeing his inadvertent adventure at sea through, and hoping he survives long enough to be rescued. When he combined efforts with Aya I had mixed emotions as to whether this latest act of kindness from Bill would once again see him struggling and punished as a consequence but as time when on I warmed to his new companion in the same way that he did too. I really enjoyed the stories within this story that are given there own chapter which helped differentiate the welcomed distraction in the boat and allowed you as the reader to relax and enjoy Aya’s version of The Arabian Nights with them.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Girl.Boy.Sea because it has a raw, powerful and intense feel to it that the authenticity to details brings. Throughout the story I would be on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what was to come and the story never failed to deliver. I got vibes of Castaway (Tom Hanks) at times, especially during their time on the island and realised I had never read a children’s book with that storyline and this level of intense depth and as such I am excited to promote this story to established readers once we return back to school very soon.

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