After a sailing camp owner's suicide on board, eight young people from diverse backgrounds band together, give the owner an impromptu burial at sea and take command of the boat. The sixty-eight days of summer remaining are full of incredible experiences: yacht races and pirate raids, crazy encounters with local characters and wildlife, a potentially fatal hunt for treasure, and many onboard parties. But their freedom also leads to struggles for authority and power, and questions of who they will be and what consequences they will face lie darkly at the end of their journey.
Two words describe this novel perfectly: summer fun. I loved this book, though it wasn't really deep or thought-provoking in any way. I got the feeling that with the way she made Dawn, the spiritual girl, and Joy, the Christian, have their discussions about faith and whatnot, the author was going for something a little more deep than the end result was, but I didn't like the novel any less for it. While the beginning is a little too convenient, it was just the right amount of ridiculousness to keep it from being stupid, and to keep it interesting at the same time. Arthur, while I loved him, got a little annoying, but by the second half of the book, he had loosened up and was just as funny and fun to read about as all the rest of the cast. Crystal was my favorite, and it doesn't take long to figure out why--she's most definitely the most smart-ass-like of all the Dreadnought crew. While every story has to have its villains, Marrieta I found to be a little overdone, though I didn't hate her as much by the end. Overall a great read, and it most definitely had me anxious for my own summer adventures. By the way, I loved the general concept of the knots of freedom, and how each chapter stated how many were left.
3.5 stars, and a recommendation to pirate fans, along with adventurous types.