Staff Review: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Why I liked it: I actually didn’t like it at first; it paints a miserable picture of a dog-eat-dog society that develops after our world runs out of oil and global warming swallows our coastal cities. Nailer is a likeable main character, but it seemed impossible that he would escape his abusive father and the oppressive reality of his world, where the only way he can make a living is by shipbreaking, scavenging copper wire out of old useless oil tankers.

Luckily, Nailer’s fate changes one day when a “city killer” hurricane shipwrecks a sleek modern clipper with a lifetime’s worth of riches on board…and a girl who apparently owns it all. Nailer must decide whether to save the girl and risk losing the wealth, or let her die and take her belongings. This is where the book gets interesting, and it’s only the start of Nailer’s moral quandaries.

Three words that describe this book: dystopian, action-packed, brutal

If you like this book, you might also like…The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, “Uglies” by Scott Westerfield, or “The Carbon Diaries 2015” by Saci Lloyd.

Ship Breaker” is also a 2013 Gateway Award Nominee. Check out the other must-read titles on this booklist!

About Tricia

Spanish teacher by day, librarian by weekend. Audiobook addict and teen lit enthusiast.
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