Rated Reads

Ship Breaker

by Paolo Bacigalupi

Rated: Moderate

In a future where the seas have risen and we’ve stripped the earth of so many of its resources that we are forced to search and reuse, teen Nailer is on “light crew.” His job is to strip washed up old oil rigs of their wiring and useful parts. Life on his beach is precarious and violent. Jobs on light crew are hard to get, and if you miss quota, you’re out. Luck is on Nailer’s side, though, more than once, and when he finds a seemingly wrecked and abandoned yacht, he thinks he’s had his luckiest moment yet. It’s what he finds inside that really picks up the pace in this story — and Nailer has to decide where his true loyalties are going to lie.

This was a great ride! Nailer is complex and conflicted — he wants so much to be strong enough to do things on his own, but I loved that he realized how important it is to have people. People you can count on. This book is a lot about loyalty and friendship — and what family really is. It deals with the topic of parental abuse with a firm hand — recognizing that the abused feels such hard and opposing feelings of hate and love and fear at the same time. But it’s also about a future time that’s a scary and violent place to be that made me think about the road our civilization is on and how far off stories like this are from a future truth.

I like that this was a stand-alone book. I don’t need a sequel or anything else. A thrilling ending to a nail-biter story.

Rated: Moderate for many, many (70+) uses of mild and moderate language. Also, there are some really violent moments.

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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ship-breaker
  • Ship Breaker
  • by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: