Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff
Raft of Stars is the story of two young boys from a very small town in Wisconsin. They believe that that they have committed a crime and so flee into the woods locally. They stop off first at one of the boys granddad’s farm to pick up supplies. Dale, the grandson, collects essential supplies while his friend, Bread, leaves a note explaining things for Teddy, the granddad, to find. The boys then leave for the forest. Fairly soon the local sheriff, Cal, and Teddy agree to go after the boys on horseback. Also on the scene, mentally or physically, are the fathers of both the boys. Miranda is Fish’s mother and is desperate to find her son. The final real character in this is Tiff and she really is quite a character – gas station attendant and poet.
I really liked the start of Raft of Stars. The boys dilemma is very clear as is their friendship. The other main initial characters – Cal, Teddy and Tiffany – all are interesting and worked for me. The family backgrounds of the fathers particularly are well thought out and used – believable too. Having come from the city Cal’s views on being a small town sheriff are nicely worked as well. This was set up to be a very appealing story.
However as the story developed it seemed to change in character for me. Some of the edginess left it and I often felt I had an idea what was going to happen next (and was usually right). At times it felt far more like a YA read than an adult one. I must stress that it would probably be a good YA read but it wasn’t quite what I thought it would be.
There are good characters in an entertaining story here. There is some depth in it – the boys stories are quite powerful at times. The setting both small town and out in the wilds is nice. In the end I think this is a better YA read than an adult one maybe. Raft of Stars really is not a bad read really but just not quite the one I thought it was.
Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review