Reviews

Raft of Stars, by Andrew J. Graff

gtbenathan's review

Go to review page

3.0

It was well written but felt like it was trying WAY too hard to win an award. I liked the characters, but really, it was not profound, just ok. If it didn't sound like it loved its own words so damned much I would have liked it much more.

librarydose's review

Go to review page

4.0

I haven’t read a book like this in a long time ! It’s the summer of 1994 and Fischer Branson (Called Fish) and Dale Breadwin(called Bread) find their lives irrevocable changed when they accidentally maybe kill Bread’s abusive father. So they light off for the woods, determined to well, they’re not sure, but they can’t stay put.
Along the way we meet several endearing characters including world weary Sherrif Cal, who maybe shouldn’t be a sherrif anymore, Tiffany, a lonely young woman in search of connection, Teddy, Fish’s gruff but loving grandfather, and Miranda, Fish’s grieving, fiercely religious mother.

There were so many parts of the story that I thought wouldn’t appeal to me: characters talk lovingly about their guns and religion— two subjects I usually have no interest in hearing about. However I was pulled into the story from the very first chapter and could not stop reading it. It is so charming and and full of adventure and takes place in settings that I haven’t read about in a long time: i.e. a forest not populated by magical creatures (lol). Strong vibes of Stand by Me the movie and the story, and literary fiction of the 1990s like Melissa Bank and Jane Smiley. Graff’s writing is really lovely and lyrical.
Read this if you want an uplifting, literary story. It’s great for a wide audience I’d say, but is most definitely a great “Dad” book, as in will make a great Father’s Day gift!

rescuemom's review

Go to review page

adventurous emotional mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

tanguera's review

Go to review page

5.0

I hope my review comes somewhere close to doing this amazing book justice.

Two smalls boys, one bad choice and a river. This book had hints of Huckleberry Finn with the river and the boys. It would be a wild adventure if you didn't think Fish had killed Bread's father and they were afraid and running for their lives.

You have Cal, the sheriff and Teddy, Fish's grandfather, trying to find the boys before it is too late. Cal with his broken past and dreams. Teddy with quiet reserve and deep strength. Both pushed to the limits of themselves as they search.

You have Tiffany and Miranda, Fish's mom, also trying to find the boys before Cal does. Before the river does its worst. Tiffany who is so alone and drawn to the quiet strength in Miranda, who is going through her own struggles with faith and belief as she searches for her son.

And through it all you have faith and hope running like the river, turbulent and chaotic and powerful.

This book made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me inspect my own faith and the places it doesn't run deep and powerful enough.

mac_and_sleeze's review

Go to review page

1.0

This was so drawn out and slow and just so not for me

tashadandelion's review

Go to review page

adventurous emotional inspiring tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

Did you like Peter Heller's The River, or William Kent Krueger's This Tender Land? This is the book for you, if so. The story centers on Fish and Bread, two tweens who run away from home into the wilderness of northern Wisconsin after committing a sudden, violent crime. The adults in their lives who care quickly take off after them, with varying challenges preventing them from catching up to them in a timely fashion. There's the uneasy sheriff, Cal, who teams up with Fish's grandfather, Teddy, and there's Tiffany, a local woman and Miranda, Fish's mother who team up. The story moves around between all three pairings as they proceed through the woods and down a dangerous river with rapids and a water fall looming ever closer in the distance. Graff does a nice job of balancing the inner lives of these scared and desperate people against the taut and building tension and thrills. 

hhslibrarian's review

Go to review page

adventurous emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

Two boys on the run, growth not just for them but for those trying to find them. Reflective for a survival story.

imareader2's review

Go to review page

adventurous challenging emotional reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

I loved this book. In adventure stories, I know the writing is good when I don't notice it. I was absorbed in the characters, the setting, the adventure, and suspense. A bonus: no sex or profanity. I look forward to recommending Raft of Stars to everyone.

umbrella's review

Go to review page

adventurous hopeful fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

marybeth_reads's review

Go to review page

adventurous emotional hopeful inspiring sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0