Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship Breaker 
by Paolo Bacigalupi
read by Joshua Swanson
8 discs
YA Dystopian/Future Setting

Book Jacket Summary
In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life...

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.

My Thoughts
I can see why this won the Printz award! It was a a spectacular world building experience with realistic characters and a nail biting plot pacing. The setting felt real because it seems like a future we are heading toward with a world in a state of chaos and people working hard to get by on their own.
Nailer is on light crew because he is small enough to fit through the ducts of the ship but he has to start thinking about his future. Soon he will be to tall to fit through the interworkings of the ships he is sent into to strip down and he will be of no use to his drugged up father. Nailer is a fascinating character because he is a product of the world he has grown up in. His morals are different than ours because he lives in such a cut throat world. His friend Pima is the same way and when they find a ship laying amongst the rock they plan on making it their "lucky strike" and getting themselves out of the small coastal village. What they find inside changes their fate forever. Nita Chadhury or "Lucky Girl" is caught inside and dying but Nailer is unable to kill her and claim the boat as his own. Instead he helps her and almost gets killed by his father for doing so. Nailer must get himself and Lucky Girl out of the village and back to her family to collect a promised reward but will it be worth the trouble?
This is a violent book and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was listening to this book. Swanson does a wonderful job of making the scenes intense and the voices of Tool and Richard Lopez intimidating.
I would highly recommend this one to those who like dystopian fiction and to the guys because of the violence and action. It gets you right away and keeps you guessing about what Nailer, Lucky Girl, and Richard Lopez will do next. The characters are real and the situations they are put in fit with the disparity of their world. I was impressed with Bacigalupi's work and I cannot wait to read The Drowned Cities

Book Pairings
Hunger Games
The Giver by


  1. I have never heard of this book, but it sounds wonderful! I'm going to add it to my TBR right now :)

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  2. You will love it! I listened to it on a road trip and it made the miles fly by!

  3. don't think i've heard of this one either but thanks for putting it on my radar, the plot sounds interesting.


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