Skip to main content

Ship Breaker


Ship Breaker is an award-winning YA sci-fi/dystopia novel by Paolo Bacigalupi.

Nailer is a teenage boy working as a ship breaker in America’s Gulf Coast region. His small size is prized as he can go into the smaller, tighter areas that others cannot in order to scavenge valuable metals and other materials out of the old, grounded, rusted oil tankers they find.

Making quota is extremely important – because if you’re fired… well, you’re probably not going to last long. The climate and culture leaves very little wiggle room for a non-useful person. So, Nailer does what he needs to do to survive. Only problem? He won’t stay small for much longer. Natural growth will soon leave him without value. Then what will he do?

But then he finds a new, gorgeous clipper ship beached from a recent storm. At first his mind races with trying to figure out how he could possibly claim this wreckage as his (and coming up empty), but then when he and Pima, one of the only fellow crew members he trusts, board it they find that there is one survivor onboard – a young, beautiful, obviously wealthy girl. Pima and Nailer have never even imagined so much wealth as she wears decorated on her fingers and clothes, let alone the food stored in the clipper.

And she may be their ticket out of this hopeless, futureless life of ship breaking…

At first I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a more male-oriented novel, but no – this well-written, taut sci-fi novel is a bleak glimpse into an unhappy future, scary, and thrilling for either male or female, in my opinion!

Ship Breaker surprised me. I’ll admit, sometimes when a book wins awards and gets heaped with praise – I am a little leery. The reason why is that in the past I have read books that I’m told by all the critics blurbs and award-givers is fantastic, only to find it stale and tedious. Or maybe a little self-important.

But then you also sometimes totally agree. This time, with Ship Breaker, I am in the latter category!

We have a sympathetic, yet edgy, main character that has an abysmal way of life – both at home and at work. In this absorbing, original adventure we see Nailer war with his instincts of protecting himself and his conscience. Almost no one can be trusted, as everyone is just looking at for themselves at any cost – which we are introduced to from the get-go in an adrenaline-thumping first couple of chapters.

Ship Breaker is an extremely well though-out and excellently plotted novel that comes off as a unique coming-of-age story in a frighteningly different world.

One thing that was strange to me, though, was that I felt like the last fifty pages or so were erratic and rushed. However, I was still satisfied and happy with the novel, which in the end I found quite exceptional and readable for any age.

I will be keeping my eyes open for a sequel!

*I received a copy of Ship Breaker from Hachette Book Group. Their generosity did not influence, nor seek to influence, my opinion of this novel.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Real Live Boyfriends

Real Live Boyfriends is a YA contemporary novel by E. Lockhart, and the fourth novel in the Ruby Oliver quartet.

Here we are on the last day of “Ruby Oliver Week” and if you aren’t already reading these books – well, why not?

But I’m more than sure most of you are – and hopefully you’re all caught up, and therefore not at risk of being spoiled by my review of Real Live Boyfriends. You’ve been warned!

Ruby Oliver is beginning her senior year of high school with a real live boyfriend: Noel.

At least she thought she was.

After having spent the rest of junior year and the beginning of summer being fully in love (okay, they never actually said the word, but the vibes were strongly in that direction), Ruby is now confused.

Again.

When Noel went to visit his brother in New York for a while, almost every day they talked on the phone and exchanged funny emails. She never once felt insecure.

Until all of a sudden – communication stopped. Ruby would call and he wouldn’t answer. She’d leave a voice mai…

Interview with Joanna Philbin!

Today we have an extra special guest! Joanna Philbin, author of The Daughters series, is here to tell us about the fourth and (*sniff*) final book in the series - The Daughters Join the Party - as well as answer some other questions!

Welcome to the Bibliophile Support Group, Joanna! We're happy to have you!

So, for anybody who hasn't read the first three books in The Daughters series (read my reviews here: The Daughters, The Daughters Break the Rules, The Daughters Take the Stage) can you give everybody a general idea of what they're about?

Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson are best friends who are normal fourteen year-old girls in almost every way. Except for one: each girl has a parent who is incredibly famous. And her parent’s fame complicates her life in a big way. Lizzie’s mom is a supermodel, but Lizzie isn’t what most people would call “beautiful” – in fact, she’s what most people might call “unusual-looking.” How do you deal with having a supermodel mother when you don’t …

#YAStandsFor Daily Social Challenge... Day 5!

In my final day of participating in the I Read YA Week celebration (you can keep partying, it goes on through Monday!), I found myself presented with a new challenge of: Create a graphic showcasing an inspirational YA quote.

I'm not super tech savvy and I've never created a graphic before. But with just a little Google searching and a download of an app, I was able to create this:


Thanks for joining me this week! I hope you all enjoyed it! Please follow or subscribe for notifications of new posts and reviews upcoming on the Bibliophile Support Group!

#YAStandsFor
@IReadYA