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Ship Breaker

Author: Paolo Bacigalupi

Date Published: May 2010

Publisher: Little Brown and Company

Genre: Dystopia

Book Review by Durowaa, 7th Grade

“‘We die here everyday. Die all the time. Maybe I’m dead tomorrow. Maybe I was dead two days ago.’ He spat. ‘My life isn’t worth a copper yard.’” -page 113-114, Ship Breaker

As a consequence of global warming, regions all over the world are flooded with water. Crews of hard-working people swear loyalty to each other as they work together to take apart grounded oil tankers in the Gulf Coast. On the light crew, a boy called Nailer works stripping copper wiring to help his crew meet quota for the day. The work Nailer does is extremely dangerous, but it keeps him alive. Without the little amount of money he receives from work, he could end up starving and homeless. Although Nailer has a roof over his head, he feels as though he is homeless. His mother died many years before, and his dad is a murderous drug-addict. The closest thing Nailer has to a family is his friend Pima, and her mother Sadna.

After a ‘city killer,’ or hurricane, strikes the Gulf Coast, Nailer and Pima find an expensive clipper ship that has washed up to shore. Aboard the ship, they discover a gorgeous, rich swank girl. She is the only survivor on the ship. Nailer and Pima now have a dilemma- they can strip the ship for buck loads of money, OR, trust the girl to take him someone better than the life he has always known. They have to make up their mind fast because many people are willing to slit their throat with that much money on the line.

I was instantly sucked into the book from the first page. The book was so interesting, I became a bit sad when I realized the story was coming to an end. Readers will not be bored because the intense action never dies down. I think this was a very interesting form of a dystopian world. I have never read a book that made the future look so grim. The one thing I think this book lacked was emotion. Some readers, like myself, might have a harder time connecting to the characters because they all seem kind of cruel. However, I think that the author did this on purpose, and that the book is more geared towards guys. I think this book was great, and probably the best dystopian book that I have read.

I recommend this book to people:

  • Who loved the Hunger Games.

  • Love action packed books.

  • Are over the age of 12. There are some pretty gory parts in the book. Younger readers might be slightly frightened.

I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book, Drowned Cities!


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