karen's Reviews > Sharks & Boys

Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy
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's review
Jul 02, 2016

it was ok
bookshelves: my-biggest-fear, why-yes-i-ya, shaaaaarks
Read on July 08, 2011


i am the person who will happily be on the receiving end of the question "does this milk taste bad to you??" i mean, what do i have going on that i shouldn't be drinking your spoiled-ass milk?

and wendy darling tried to warn me off with this negative review, but i just had to see for myself.

and she's right, although i hated it less than she did. maybe because i read it in a couple of hours, when i was stranded on the subway platform, waiting for the trains to take me home. or maybe i just have a higher threshold for that which tastes bad.

but this is definitely one of the least sympathetic female leads to come out of YA fiction, ever, really. so this girl gets dumped by her boyfriend (well, he suggests they take a "break" just before going several states away to an all-guy party) she becomes suspicious, finds out where the party is, steals her mom's car, and follows the guys (one of whom is her twin brother) to the party, eventually, jumping aboard the boat they are drunkenly sailing, and hiding out, hoping to catch him in the act of infidelity or of confronting him with her boldness and then they will fall in love forever again problems solved yayyyy.

this is a terrible game plan.

even if the boat hadn't capsized into shark-filled waters leaving eight people (four sets of twins, actually - which already has me rooting for the sharks) with no food and a lotta resentment and bad blood (sharks looove bad blood) even if none of the tragic parts happened, really - your plan is to hide in the bathroom of a boat with seven teenaged boys who have been drinking?? you don't anticipate one of them is going to need that particular room?? worst hiding place ever, seriously.

but even apart from that, ladies - do not follow a man to a party to which you have not been invited. it is not bold and unconventional, it is creepy and stalkery. you weren't invited for a reason, trust me. this is totally a caro move, you lunatic.

and it's not even the big decision to track him there that is her only irritatingly weak and slavish character trait; both before and after then stranded out on the ocean bit, this girl is just... a pain in the ass. i would have dumped her, too.

is that really what my thighs look like" i ask.

because wick and i have been dating for a year, i have asked him questions about my body before, weight-related in particular. he's used to it.

"your thighs? i can't even see them. you're covered in mud," he says.

"so you're saying i look fat."

sigh...nooooooooo don't dooooooo that! just because you have made someone used to something, doesn't mean you should carry on doing it. bad girl, bad!

and that's not even the entire scope of the insecurity: she needs constant reassurance that she is smart and brave and useful.and while i know i get into moods like this, where i need to be told i am good for something or whatever, and even though there is ample textual evidence for why she is the way she is, it is a real drag to read through this character's eyes. really.all the small passive-aggressive pokes at other characters, all the point-gathering as she weighs her actions against the responses of other characters.DID I MENTION THERE WERE SHARKS?? once sharks enter, you gotta stop being petty- it is not relationship therapy time when there are six other people in the life raft, in several inches of bloody water, covered in sea-salt sores and dehydrated and hallucinating. no one wants to hear this shit. it annoys me to be in the same subway car as a fighting couple, and i have the opportunity to get into another car. these people do not want to listen to your whining, and these readers don't want to read about how nothing you are without your man.

or maybe they do. this milk tasted bad to me and wendy, but it might be good for certain self-involved chicklets to see how annoying a character like this comes across to others, and maybe learn to grow a pair, find a hobby, and adapt to life without a man for, you know... a weekend.
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Comments (showing 1-38 of 38) (38 new)

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Wendy Darling NOOOOO.

karen hahahaah i have to - your review made it sound so terrible! i neeeeeed it!

Wendy Darling Well, at least it'll be fun to read your review, hah.

karen i kind of love survival stories - even bad ones.

Wendy Darling I'm holding you to your promise.

P.S. I was in six secondhand bookstores this weekend, several of which had great vintage sci fi sections. Could not find that Killer Crab book, though!

karen six!! how wonderful for you!!

you got five bucks??


karen can you believe they didn't order this into the store?? now i have to wait!!!

message 8: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jul 09, 2011 04:39PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Wendy Darling Spoiled milk, blech. An apt comparison. But really, who likes spoiled milk? Are there enough people who do to merit that extra star?? Thank god it wasn't 5 stars though, I could not have borne that.

This just reminds me all over again of how mad I was that the sharks were in this for so little. Way more boys than sharks.

But on a happier note, I just bought the crab book! I was far too lazy to look it up myself, so thank you for that. I've turned into one of those "let me google that for you" people.

karen i am like that for my own needs, but i like to find things for others. because i am weeeeak and i need people to liiiike me and if i doooo things for them, then they will liiiike me! DOES THIS REVIEW MAKE ME LOOK FAT???

message 10: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jul 09, 2011 07:49AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Wendy Darling You're covered in mud, I have no idea!

I'm the same way though, maybe it comes from working in a bookstore? To this day my ears perk up when I hear someone asking a book question, I always want to jump in with suggestions for boys who don't like to read or people who don't know where to find the ISBN.

karen yeah. i like helping people figure out the order of series titles. and finding the perfect book for their grandfather when they have no idea what he reads, or any of his interests...

message 12: by Greg (new)

Greg did anyone ever think of throwing her overboard to appease the sharks?

karen i'm sure they were all thinking it, but no one expressed it.

message 14: by Greg (new)

Greg nature fact: sharks need to keep moving to survive, so if you give a shark a really big hug they stop moving and die! just something to keep in mind if a shark ever attacks.

karen good tip!! although many sharks are larger than me, and could probably swim through my hug as they ate my arms.

message 16: by Mon (new)

Mon that cover's photoshop is about as realistic as the plot

karen i like the font, though...

karen that's how i know olives are extra gross!

message 19: by Greg (new)

Greg For the record, I've asked Karen to taste something because I thought it tasted bad and she doesn't willingly want to taste something that is possibly bad.

karen which thing is this??

message 21: by Greg (new)

Greg I'm trying to remember, but I know recently I had something that I said tasted funny and I asked you to taste it and you weren't too happy about it.

message 22: by Greg (new)

Greg re 22: awesome story, Greg, keep up the good work!

karen you told me to try your rice pudding if i was feeling adventurous. and i did. and it was good.

i dont know what else you are going on about

message 24: by Richard (new)

Richard G i don't know how long you would read avidly if all books were like this but please read more, as it brings out all your charms. bravo!! oh yes embarrassingly what does dbr stand for?

karen drunken book review!!

message 26: by Richard (new)

Richard G i see. please continue drinking and writing while there is still no law against it.

karen deal.

message 28: by Sam (new)

Sam Boys never pee in boat bathrooms! That's an ingenious hiding spot.

karen good point. i had not considered that the ocean was one giant toilet.

Amanda - Go Book Yourself "Sharks love bad blood" Lol

message 31: by Lynne (new)

Lynne I heard they found a baby shark on a subway in New York...My first thought...aw.. it must be Karen's

karen i wish i had found it. i would have taken it home and resurrected it; give it shark-to-mouth.

message 33: by Arnie (new)

Arnie Greg wrote: "nature fact: sharks need to keep moving to survive, so if you give a shark a really big hug they stop moving and die! just something to keep in mind if a shark ever attacks."

See Annie Hall.

message 34: by Carmen (new) - added it

Carmen Great review, Karen!

karen thanks!

karen hahah don't worry - i have a couple more sharks to float, and a few more sharks to read. shark week will never die!

message 37: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Ingall Perfect review is perfect.

karen hahah thank you!

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