A MAP FOR WRECKED GIRLS
Oh man, y'all. I fucking loved this book. WHEW. I borrowed it from the library, but now I have to buy it because it's definitely one that I want to keep and reread.
When their boat explodes and Emma, Henri, and Alex are stranded on an island, it's hard for Emma to tell which will kill her first: the untouched, savaged island or the unforgiving hatred her sister, Henri, is harboring for Emma. As days and weeks pass without help, Emma must figure out not only how to stay alive, but how to navigate two new relationships: the fragile one with her sister and the growing one with Alex. Told from Emma's perspective, the book alternates between their island-stranded present and the events leading up to the destruction of Emma's sisterhood with her older sister Henri.
This book is full of emotion. It realistically describes what it's like to love a sibling so much, so selfishly, that sometimes it blinds you from who they are and, more importantly, who you are. How sometimes you revolve around them like a planet, and without them as your sun you end up a bit lost and unsure of yourself. How there's nothing more brutal than a sibling hurting you in a way only a sibling can, right down to bones of who you are. It's a raw telling of how strong and how fragile a sibling bond can be. And eventually, what it's like to be forced to choose between the healthiness of your life and the healthiness of theirs.
I've already said it once and I'll say it again: I loved this book. I loved how gritty and angry and morally questionable Henri was as a sister. Were you supposed to love her? Hate her? Sympathize with her? For me, all three. And then Alex, who grappled with his guilt over the things he'd done but you understood why, and how his flaws were in all of us. And Emma, her discovery of her identity on a remote savage island with a boy she'd just met and a sister who was rightfully angry with her. All of it together--the characters, the ending, they land in a way that few other books do. It'll keep you reading until the end and you'll love it the whole way.