Harrison’s Letter Essay #4: Adrift

I recently finished reading a 224 page book, Adrift by Paul Griffin. This thrilling adventure was published recently in the past year. I chose to pick up this book at the book fair this year because of it’s interesting name, cover, and how much the critics raved about it. Paul Griffin wen to college to study Film to hopefully one day write screenplays and novels – which he accomplished with now having five books published.

In this thrilling story there is Matt who is the main character and John who is Matt’s best friend. They are both teens from Queens. while they are selling cold drinks on a hot summer day at the beach they meet Driana, JoJo, and Stef. They are all rich kids who get whatever they want and never worry about anything. Stef is big into surfing and one night when they are all at a party she sneaks out to go surfing in that night large waves. However, when she hits a rock her fin on the board snaps leaving her practically stranded 500 feet from shore. She struggled to paddle back to shore but with the tide going out and the large waves made that an exponentially harder task. About an hour or so later her friends realize that she has been gone too long and they go to look for her. They quickly realize that one of their surfboards is missing from their vehicle room. They get their small motor boat out and carry it down to the water…a boat only made for 5. They all hop I and start the search for her. JoJo hears faint screams off in the distance and they race out only to find Stef floating on her board. However, as she was getting onto their rescue boat a large fish takes a bite at her arm…cutting it open leaving her bleeding in the water. You probably already see where this is going. Sure enough, a minute or so later a shark takes another large bite at her arm causing it to almost fall off. They get Stef into the boat and tie her down so she can’t see it and panic. With Matt having just finished his lifeguard training he knew how to handle these type of situations. He wrapped up her arm and began to go back to shore to get her to a hospital. However, only a few seconds later there engine runs out gas. This just keeps getting worse. For a few more days they drift further and further out to sea. Every now and again seeing a boat in the distance and trying to get their attention. But it never worked. All the while as Stef’s arm is dying and turning more and more black by the minute.That is as far as I will go because any further will spoil it.


I like how the author gave so much suspense and gave you more information then the characters know leaving you to try to call out to them telling them not to do this or that. However, I dislike how the author ended the book. In my opinion it was too abrupt and I feel as if It was done too fast or like he ran out of good ideas and just ended it there.


In this scene it is a total turning point in the store as they are still adrift much later in the book: “JoJo was gone. Dri and John scanned the water. ‘What happened?’ John said. ‘You didn’t see?’ Dri said. ‘You were on watch,’ John said. ‘I nodded off.’ Dri said. ‘How could I do that? How could I desert him like that? He needed to be looked after.’ ‘The splash that woke me up,’ John said. ‘I think it came from the left.’ Sure enough JoJo rose to the surface not far from where John pointed. He groaned. There were four sharks after all. JoJo was jerked down, but he didn’t go all the way under. Blood spread out from him. He looked confused. He stared at John as a shark bit his shoulder and shook him to tear away the skin. He didn’t have time to scream before another shark clamped it’s mouth down over his head. Tail fins whipped the water into pink froth. I think the sharks started to attack one another too. I had to sit. Me legs went weak and I plunked down on the bench seat. Dir sat next to me and dry heaved. John stood tall and kept looking in to the water. He nodded for a while. Then he looked at Dri and me and nodded some more. Maybe a few minutes passed before Dir’s stomach settled and I noticed a light was strobeing weakly in the morning glare. JoJo’s phone was on the floor of the boat, in the corner. It blipped S-O-S. ‘Happy now?’ Dri said. ‘Sure, Dri,’ John said. ‘I’m having the time of my life.'” (Page 175)


I quoted this passage because it shows how situations can just keep escalating and how when you start to panic it just gets worse.


If I had to rate this thrilling novel I would give it an absolute 10 out of 10. Although it had a bad ending the rest of the book made up for it. The book really had me hooked and it was the best $8 that I have ever spent on a book. I couldn’t put it down.




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3 thoughts on “Harrison’s Letter Essay #4: Adrift

  1. Harrison,
    I liked how you gave away just the right amount of information, and then said that was as far as you would go because if you went any further you would spoil it!
    Awesome job overall!


  2. Harrison,
    It appears you put a lot of effort into this letter-essay. In the future, less information in the summary, and more elaboration in the reflection. Thank you.

  3. Dear
    Harrison, I really liked how you put so much description into your letter essay, and effort into it. It seems like a really good book, and I will probably read it because I liked to read action-packed survival books. I like reading about stranded boats and things like that, and your summary make me really want to read that book. The quote was very well done. Was there anything that you really did not like about the book?


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