Lost in the River Grass Review
Hardcover, 264 pages (I was provided with the digital edition from the publisher.)
Expected Publication: March 28th 2011 by Carolrhoda Books
A science-class field trip to the Everglades is supposed to be fun, but Sarah’s new at Glades Academy, and her fellow freshmen aren’t exactly making her feel welcome. When an opportunity for an unauthorized side trip on an airboat presents itself, it seems like a perfect escape—an afternoon without feeling like a sore thumb. But one simple oversight turns a joyride into a race for survival across the river of grass. Sarah will have to count on her instincts—and a guy she barely knows—if they have any hope of making it back alive.
Lost in the River of Grass takes on the classic survival genre using one of the country’s most unique wild places as a backdrop. In this tense, character-driven thriller, Sarah must overcome prejudice and the unforgiving wilderness in a struggle to survive.
This book truly surprised me. I honestly thought I’d be up late at night jumping whenever I heard a strange sound while reading. (It’s all Ginny’s fault for saying “I hope you like snakes” before I read it . . .) Luckily enough for my heart (and nerves) this wasn’t the case. Ginny Rorby must have magic fingertips that float across her keyboard for her to show us such a beautiful, stunning, and intriguing story. Really, there is no other explanation. Want proof? Read Lost in the River Grass. This is a story of survival after the two main characters, Sarah and Andy, are left stranded in the middle of the Everglades with ten miles separating them from civilization. This may not seem like a lot, but when all you see is marshes, alligators, snakes, and muddy water, you might reconsider.
One of my favorite things about this novel was the way Ginny focused less on the useless details and more on the important (and interesting) parts. You see, Sarah is an outsider at her school where her mother works in the cafeteria. She’s stranded on a field trip with a bunch of girls that loathe her just because she isn’t rich, and the only thing she’s able to look forward to is an airboat ride that Andy offers her. When the airboat sinks due to Andy’s mistake of forgetting to put the plug in, everything in Sarah’s life—school, the mean girls there, the fact that she’s black with a southerner whose father sports the confederate flag—disappears to be replaced with the primal instinct to survive. What would one do to save their life? In this situation, you’d either rise to the occasion or sink below waters to be swallowed whole by a ‘gator hole. (Or by a ‘gator . . . or snake . . . ekkkk!)
This is a powerful story that shows a young girl rising above it all, with no knowledge of how to live in the Everglades, and stepping out alive. Though Andy shows little to no fear and helps guide Sarah, it’s Sarah that actually becomes the brave one, facing truly magnificent—and deadly—scenarios in nature. At first with spine-chilling fear, and later with awe and amazement. When all the odds are against her, Sarah pushes through her uncomfortable boundaries to be the victor. I truly applaud Ginny for providing us with this brilliant novel. (Cue the clapping!)