A story about sisters, first love, growing up, and what it takes to survive, A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor is the must-read book to cap off your summer.
Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them.
I’d trusted Henri more than I’d trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I’d follow.
Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in this gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart.
For the first time, I was afraid we’d die on this shore.
To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this—or anything. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?
This book really does have it all, and let me count the ways …
1. Romance. I mean, how could you not have romance in a shipwreck story? Unlike the schmaltzy “Blue Lagoon,” the love story between Emma and Alex feels real and wrought with tension. The two don’t really know each other very well, and they clearly don’t trust each other, so the road to romance is rocky and complicated and real.
2. Sisters. Emma and Henri were once everything to each other — but a rift has opened between them that seems irreparable. Trough a series of flashbacks, we slowly learn how the two sisters ended up so distant. And through the present-day chapters, we see how they may yet struggle to reconcile against all odds.
3. Survival. At its very core, A Map for Wrecked Girls is, indeed, a story about three teens being shipwrecked on an island during a trip to Puerto Rico. Left to fend for themselves with very little resources at their disposal, Taylor does a good job of showing their struggle to find food, water, and shelter believable — as well as doing everything they can to try and aid their own rescue.
4. Coming of age. A Map for Wrecked Girls is also very much a coming-of-age story, not just for Emma — though she is the focus of the narrative — but also for Alex, who has his own struggles to overcome, and also for Henri, who must face want kind of person she wants to be in the world after high school.
The three main characters face a mountain of challenges — both those they left behind at home, those they face internally, and the basic necessities of survival. Seeing how these challenges interconnect, and how the characters tackle them, is the heart of what makes A Map for Wrecked Girls so special. It’s not just a shipwreck story. It’s not just romance. It’s not just about sisters or growing up. It’s all of these things and more; it’s messy and real and it’s life, and Taylor has captured it so well.
Look for A Map for Wrecked Girls in stores on Tuesday, and make it the perfect beach read to cap off your summer.
PS. Enter to win a copy of the book HERE!