I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Cast Off by Eve Yohalem
Published by Penguin on May 19th 2015
A tale of pirates, mutiny, and friendship on the high seas, perfect for fans of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
It’s 1663 and there is an extra passenger on board a Dutch merchant ship setting sail for the East Indies. Twelve-year-old Petra has stowed away to escape her abusive father. But she quickly realizes that surviving for months at sea will be impossible without help. So when Bram, the half-Dutch / Half-Javanese son of the ship’s carpenter, finds her hiding spot, Petra convinces him to help her stay hidden . . .and help disguise her as a boy.
If Petra is discovered and exposed as a girl, she could be tossed overboard, or worse . . . returned to her father. And if Bram is exposed for helping her, he could lose the only home—and family—he has. As tensions rise on the ship, with pirates attacking, deadly illness, and even mutiny, Petra and Bram face impossible decisions that test their friendship and threaten their dreams of freedom.
Told in alternating voices and filled with secrets and intrigue, this richly researched novel is historical fiction at its best.
Cast Off interested me right off the bat. I love books that take place on the sea and involve girls pretending to be boys. I like when there are two point of views as well and was very much interested in both Petra and Bram from the very first pages. Both have had troubled backgrounds but end up banding together despite their differences in gender, class and ethnicity.
Petra is being abused at home and runs away, ending up on a ship while hiding from her father. Bram is the one who discovers her, a boy who is the son of the carpenter for the ship and a mixed ethnicity. He works extra hard to earn the respect of the captain in hopes of gaining a letter that may allow him to finally be a legal Dutch citizen. Until then, he cannot step foot on Dutch soil.
Add in pirates, mutiny and gold and there’s more than enough to keep reading until the end. I really enjoyed the character development and the twists and turns throughout the book. There’s enough blood and guts to keep you reeling a bit from it all, but not overly so. Cast Off seems to balance it’s harsh background with some moments of hope and I really enjoyed the adventure that Bram and Petra embark on.
For lovers of the high seas and strong female characters, this book is a must-read!