‘The sea and the sky were our universe, and the boat was our world.
A planet that had broken gravity and left its start.
Drifting in the inky blue….’
This is the first book I had read written by Chris Vick and it certainly did not disappoint. We follow the tale of survival and unlikely friendship during the most difficult time and a situation you would never dream of.
We follow the story of Bill and Aya who find each other shipwrecked after a terrible storm. Initially, there is almost an uncertain friendship, but through the power of storytelling, Bill and Aya come together to form a beautiful and strong bond which in turn you witness friendship blossoming between them. Aya tells the most beautiful stories which has Bill hooked and wanting to learn more. Storytelling is the one thing that seems to get them through such terrible circumstances and be able to cope and make decisions that no young person should have to make. There are many themes covered within this simply story and the themes which are reflected are incredibly complex, what we also see is Aya has limited English but they both learn one another’s language to learn more about one another and be able to understand each other. I didn’t feel they needed it, as despite this seeming to be a barrier, they were able to make their needs known one way or another.
Chris’s writing is simply enchanting and beautiful and reflects that no matter what sex, culture, background or language barrier – storytelling is the one strand that brings us together. The stories I adored, they were my favourite part of the novel and it simply did not disappoint. Another favourite part of the novel was Bill and Aya always looking at the stars, it makes you want to look up a lot more and really look into the night sky, just as we may do during the day.
Both Bill and Aya were relatable characters with such depth and beauty, Chris was certainly invested in the writing of both and wanted the reader to be with Bill and Aya and go with them on the journey of survival.
I am a fan of Lord of the Flies and this is a great updated version of that classic novel. Girl. Boy. Sea is probably a more relatable novel for young people at this time and one I would recommend to all. I also believe it would make a great book for parents to read with their children as the stories are simply magical and for all to enjoy.
Girl. Boy. Sea is a beautiful exploration into unlikely friendships with complex undertones, such as cultural differences and language barriers, and the impact positive friendships and companionship can have on survival.
About the Book
Bill is a British boy at sea with the Youth Sail Challenge when his yacht is caught in a huge storm off the coast of Morocco. Separated from his teammates, he narrowly survives shipwreck in a tiny rowing boat. After many days and nights Bill rescues a girl clinging for her life to a barrel. She is Aya, from a nomadic Berber tribe. Aya was escaping to Europe when her migrant ship was destroyed in the same storm.
Through endless days and star- spangled nights, they drift – mere specks on the vast, empty ocean. Weakened by fear, hunger and the unforgiving sun, Aya tells Bill about The Arabian Nights, and Shahrazad, who told 1001 stories to save her life. As hope of rescue begins to fade, they find strength in these tales of magic, brave heroes, wily thieves, greedy sultans, and courageous girls. When they land on a desert island, they’re surprised to be confronted by a stranger who is not what he seems….. and back out on the waves once more in the dark deep, a shadow follows…..
About the Author
Chris is a graduate of the Bath Spa MA in Writing for Young People. He lives near Bath and splits his time between writing, teaching and working in marine conservations. He is the author of Kook and Storms, both published by HarperCollins.
If you would like to purchase a copy of Girl. Boy. Sea, please click here.