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Unsinkable: A Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  178 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Abby Sutherland grew up sailing.
Her father, Laurence, a shipwright, and her mother, Marianne, wanted their kids to develop responsibility, to see other cultures, to experience the world instead of watching it on TV. So they took them sailing down the coast of Mexico... for three years.


When Abby was thirteen, she began helping her father deliver boats and soon was sailing s
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 11th 2011 by Thomas Nelson
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 328)
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Nora
Jan 03, 2013 Nora rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
There were three things which prevented me from enjoying this story and giving it more than an okay rating: the defensive tone at the tale's beginning (and the incessant praise given to Abby at every available opportunity later on), Abby's very teenage writing style (different perspectives are sectioned off into threes: Abby's parts are represented by a sailboat, the narrator by an anchor, and rescuers by a cross), and a very weak attempt to give readers a more in-depth look at Abby's voyage (in ...more
Jeff
Feb 23, 2016 Jeff rated it it was ok
Shelves: adventure

In June 2010, the world watched and listened to the news about Abby Sunderland, a sixteen year old who was attempting to sail solo around the world. In the middle of the Indian Ocean, her boat rolled over, tearing off her mast and her communication gear. The boat was equipped with beacons that sent warning signals to a satellite and soon Australia (the closet nation capable of launching a rescue effort), sent out a plane in search for Abby and her boat. Thanks to the precision of technology, the
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Mei Lin  Dye
Jun 16, 2016 Mei Lin Dye rated it did not like it
There was nothing about this book that compelled me to keep reading. While I do not agree in any way with what the sick things critics were saying, I still don't think there was any common sense in sailing in a boat around the world when you have a perfectly functioning house. My same philosophy applies to sky diving...why would you jump out of a perfectly functioning plane?? Abby and her family seemed surprised when critics were talking about her age. No matter how well they personally knew Abb ...more
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
Apr 06, 2011 Aimee (Getting Your Read On) rated it it was amazing
This book follows the epic and heroic journey of sixteen year old Abby Sunderland as she sets out to be the youngest person to sail nonstop around the world unassisted. Setting out from Marina Del Rey, California, Abby sailed a southern route around Cape Horn and become the youngest person to sail solo around the “Mount Everest of sailing”, proving wrong the critics that predicted her trip would last a few weeks at most.

Abby literally battled against the odds as her equipment failed, vicious sto
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Ambra
May 12, 2012 Ambra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Unsinkable is a book best described as a pleasant surprise.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Sunderland family and their daring parenting style. I was also pleasantly surprised by Abby Sunderland’s writing style. It made me feel like a friend come for a casual afternoon visit who quickly found themselves captivated by this 16-year-old’s adventures on the high seas. But, I think, most surprising was the fact that a story about a failed attempt to achieve a goal could read so much like a success.


W
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Care
My feelings regarding this book telling the tale of Abby Sunderland’s quest to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe were rather mixed. Despite being interested in Abby’s experience, I had trouble staying engaged and ended up not finishing the book, largely because I had other pressing review commitments that were more in line with my interests.

In alternating chapters, the book is narrated from shifting viewpoints, including those of Abby herself, her parents, and others involv
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Amanda
Apr 03, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it
This is the semi-autobiographical account of Abby Sunderland, the sixteen-year-old American who attempted to sail solo around the world in 2010. The book is written partly in Sunderland's first-person voice, and partly in third person to describe her background, the preparations for her trip, and the trip itself.

I must start this review by stating that at the time this story hit the news, I absolutely did not agree that a young woman of that age should be allowed by anyone to attempt such a feat
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Melanie
Jun 10, 2011 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
After watching Jessica Watson’s attempt at solo sailing the globe, I thought this would be a great book to read.

The book is told in 3 ways and symbolised accordingly- through the eyes of Abby Sunderland (yacht symbol), the Narrator (anchor symbol) and the rescue team (first aid symbol.)

A change in icon means a change in the speaker or location.

At the age of 13, Abby Sunderland has a dream to be the youngest sailor to sail the globe non-stop and unassisted. Her older brother Zac successfully comp
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Chuck
Aug 12, 2011 Chuck rated it really liked it
The literary level of the book isn't high, but I'm completely comfortable having low expectations about the sophistication of the narrative and high expectations about the content.

There were many points in the story when I had to remind myself that this young woman is only 14 years old. Her maturity in choices and wisdom is beyond her years.

The story begs the question again and again, "What other great things will this family show us about sacrificing love, trust and strength of character?"

One o
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Jon
Aug 03, 2011 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story about Abby Sunderland's quest to solo sail around the world at the age of 15. It's fairly well written, although Abby's homeschooling needs to spend some additional time on the proper use of "me" and "I". Either that, or work with an editor who wasn't involved in writing Sarah Palin's "goin' rogue" book.

In Unsinkable, we learn the Sunderland family's side of this controversial solo sail. It certainly seemed to me that Abby was fully capable of sailing around the world solo, had great
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Keith Bowden
Apr 28, 2013 Keith Bowden rated it liked it
I liked the book, more Abby's portions than her co-writer (who couldn't set her personal agendas aside long enough to simply tell Abby's story).

I followed the end of Abby's adventure "live" as it was unfolding online. It was engaging and she's an amazing young woman who will likely do whatever she sets out to accomplish.

The book gives background to Abby's family, life and prelude to her trip, then covers her journey. In a way, her attempt to circumnavigate the world solo is s miniature Moby Dick
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Mark
Jul 19, 2011 Mark rated it liked it
Expectations are a terrible thing because so often they let you down. I started this book really wanting to love it. I mean what's not to love here. A wonderful story of grit and determination in a teenage girl, who at sixteen isn't even a woman yet, striving against all odds to break the world record as the youngest female to single-handedly sail around the world non-stop. That she does not succeed is not the story here the story is thee fortitude and perseverance she demonstrates having to rep ...more
Darren
Jan 06, 2012 Darren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who's into stories of sailing, survival against long odds, or people achieving their dreams.
I was very impressed with Unsinkable: A Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas, both with the quality of the writing and even moreso with Abby Sunderland herself. It takes quite a lot to hold to a dream for long enough and as tightly as she had to in order to make her trip a reality, especially in the face of the sort of organized opposition that she encountered at many points. The fact that, in the end, she didn't set any records isn't in itself a failure -- as with so many things it ...more
Stephanie Ziegler
Aug 21, 2012 Stephanie Ziegler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stephanie by: BookSneeze
Shelves: booksneeze
Surprisingly, this was a good book. It is very inspirational and shows how a 16-year-old, or at any age, can be driven and passionate about something she loves to do. Her work ethic is exceptional for her age. This would be a good book to read in schools to show the kids that if they put their mind to something, they can do anything. The way that her family supported her made my heart leap with joy. The love that her Dad has for her is touching. Going to the ends of the Earth on every type of tr ...more
Dwight Karlsen
Aug 25, 2013 Dwight Karlsen rated it it was amazing
I followed Abby's journey shortly after she had begun it, when the media obsession with it reached a peak fervor. I have been meaning to read her book for quite some time, but I hesitated because I was afraid I would be disappointed. Because after all, I knew Abby was not a professional writer. But my desire to find out more of the details of her amazing journey finally overcame my doubts, and I bought and read Unsinkable. I am pleasantly surprised at the excellent quality of Abby's writing skil ...more
Tabitha
Sep 09, 2013 Tabitha rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda Gray
Aug 01, 2012 Amanda Gray rated it liked it
The book was definitely interesting from the standpoint of getting a firsthand account of what Abby went through during her attempt to sail solo around the world. She did a great job at explaining what her thought were going through the different trials and tribulations of her attempt. I really felt for her when she made the decision to head to port in South Africa, for anyone that had to be tough. She is definitely wiser beyond her years and she more than proved that.
The one thing I didn't lik
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Erin O'Riordan
Mar 23, 2015 Erin O'Riordan rated it really liked it
Abby Sunderland is truly an amazing young woman. A sailor from a very early age, she realized when she was 13 that she wanted to attempt to solo circumnavigate the world, and she set out to do just that at age 16. She didn't quite make it, but she did log more than 12,000 miles from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to the middle of the Indian Ocean. She not only faced the ocean alone, in a boat that would eventually lose its mast in addition to several other problems, but she also faced a storm of critic ...more
Julie
Apr 25, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
This book reads very fast. I would have loved to see the book written in conjunction with her brother's trip around the world, as her story is so short.

I felt there was a great of defense going on, due to the attacks on the family. Having read about the adventure on Abby's blog- before and during her trip, I felt many of the accusations against the family were unwarranted. However, I did feel that part of this book continues to defend their choices, and they seemed to have been burned quite badl
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Mandi Friedman
Sep 21, 2014 Mandi Friedman rated it really liked it
Unsinkable is a huge adventure book. Abby set out with a big sailing dream and had many people supporting and helping her mission. This book is not only an enjoyable story but written in an enticing way. It captured my attention from start to finish. She is an inspirational girl that lives an interesting, alternative life.
Tricia
Mar 30, 2011 Tricia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: share
I received this book shortly after I finished Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston, and was worried that another survival against the odds book wouldn't hold my attention. Unsinkable did much more than just hold my attention, I felt compelled to finish it and enjoyed every page along the way. The story, told from three points of view (each change marked by a unique icon), flows smoothly through both back-story and the main plot.

To me Abby's story is very much a reminder of the fact t
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Vanessa Hernandez
Apr 28, 2014 Vanessa Hernandez rated it it was ok
I didn't enjoy this book very much. Probably because it was non-fiction. I'm not one for reading someones journey unless it is more on the historical side. I thought I would try something new, but in the end it was a terrible change.
Alisa
Apr 17, 2016 Alisa rated it really liked it
I am a sucker arm chair sailor and personally adore books about young woman sailors so this was a delightful quick read for me. Folks who do not enjoy reading about the subject will not rate it as high as I do most likely.
Kent
Jan 20, 2015 Kent rated it liked it
Good tale. Co written by Lynn Vincent (Heaven is for Real)

The authors highlight their Christian faith frequently, and almost seem to ask the reader to believe too, I found it distracting.


Exciting, but brief.
Sharon
Jun 08, 2016 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014, read-2016
Wow, what a story, what an adventure, what a woman!! Well, what an amazing girl.

This book is written in 3 voices, Abby Sunderland, her mom and dad, and the technicians who answered her many calls for technical assistance when issues arose on the boat.

Abby is a 16 year old in love with the sea. She decides to be the youngest person to circumnavigate the world and with the help of her parents, leaves Marina del Rey in January 2010 with her boat Wild Eyes.

Unfortunately Wild Eyes was knocked down
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Jo Linsdell
Jun 26, 2011 Jo Linsdell rated it really liked it
Unsinkable takes readers on a journey around the world as it follows Abby Sunderland from her family holidays on her family boat as a young child to her incredible battle on the high seas.

It's amazing to think that the adventures in this book are actually a true story. Abby is inspiring both for her bravery and her abilities. It just goes to show what can be achieved when you have the courage to follow your dreams.

I learn't a lot about life at sea and sailing from this book but also about making
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Bruce Cline
Apr 11, 2013 Bruce Cline rated it it was amazing
Unsinkable, 199 pp. A great book, especially for young people (and esp. young women) about a 16 year old's attempt to circumnavigate the world by herself. After sailing from Marina Del Ray, CA past Cape Horn and Cape Town, S. Africa her boat was dismasted in the Indian Ocean. She was then rescued by the Australian SAR and a French fishing vessel. Her family was roundly criticized for letting her make this attempt, but she argues it was her decision. She later testified to congressional staff and ...more
Teresa
Dec 29, 2015 Teresa rated it it was ok
Interesting biography of a 16 year old sailing around the world.
Dana
Jun 05, 2013 Dana rated it liked it
I'm well overdue reading this one. Overall I enjoyed the adventure, but I was disappointed by how obviously rushed this book was. I followed her blog as she was making her solo attempt, and worried when she was lost at sea. Relieved when she was found, safe, and returned home. Most of all proud of her for making the attempt and proud of her parents for not holding her back. It seemed that the media (and a large percentage of the world) did not agree with me, so unfortunately this book had to ans ...more
Solitarysoul
Feb 04, 2016 Solitarysoul rated it liked it
I enjoyed the alt parenting style and the story was interesting enough.
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