Book Review: In the Same Boat

Title: In the Same Boat

Author: Holly Green

Pub. Date: July 20, 2021

Pages: 368

Pub: Scholastic Press

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


In the Same Boat is the hugely entertaining blend of romance and thrilling adventure that you never knew you needed.

Sadie Scofield is just a few days away from the race of a lifetime. The Texas River Odyssey may be 260 miles and multiple days of arduous canoeing where every turn of the river reveals new dangers-downed trees, alligators, pitch black night-but those dangers pale in comparison to going another year knowing that her father is ashamed of her.

Last year, Sadie caused a disastrous wreck that ended her father’s twenty year streak of finishes, and he’s never looked at her the same. Now, she knows that finishing the race with her brother, Tanner, is her one shot to redeem herself. She’s ready for anything…except Tanner ditching her for another team at the last minute.

Sadie grits her teeth and accepts that she has to team up with Cully, her former best friend turned worst enemy. It’s irritating enough that he grew up to be so attractive, but once they’re on the river it turns out he’s ill-prepared for such a dangerous race. But as the miles pass, the pain of the race builds, they uncover the truth about their feuding families, and Sadie’s feelings for Cully begin to shift. Could this race change her life more than she ever could have imagined?

With an unforgettable heroine and an immersive setting, Holly Green’s captivating debut promises heart-stopping action and a swoony romance that will leave you cheering. 

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to Scholastic for reaching out and offering me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. The email was honestly such a nice surprise and I’m really grateful.

This was a new find for me, and I included it in my Most Anticipated 2021 – Quarter 3 post. I’ve been loving YA contemporaries this year – as you’re probably aware. Honestly, I haven’t shut up about that fact. And this book hooked me the moment I read this line in the synopsis –

Sadie grits her teeth and accepts that she has to team up with Cully, her former best friend turned worst enemy

I mean…best friends turned enemies?

Sign me up.

And then this line absolutely sunk me.

It’s irritating enough that he grew up to be so attractive, but once they’re on the river it turns out he’s ill-prepared for such a dangerous race.

Like, best friends to enemies to more? AND he’s ill equipped but attractive.

Hell, sign me up for this race as long as I have someone to stare at LOL

Sike, I’d die doing this race. As cool as it sounds, I’ve only been in a canoe once, and it ended poorly.

But Sadie and Cully are so fantastic. I loved their chemistry and the flashbacks to their past and their friendship. I loved how they still knew each other, but also learned so much about the other person. It made for a really interesting and emotional dynamic. Sadie is a badass, she is so driven, so motivated. She’s out to prove herself and it’s pretty inspiring. When everything and the person she wants to impress the most is seemingly against her, she doesn’t back down. Even when it gets hard and she wants to quit, she pushes through.

Her journey of self-discovery and what the race means to her – what finishing means – is so good.

Like Sadie, I loved Cully. He had his own demons, his own struggles which are shown in the flashbacks. His reasons for doing the race are pretty similar to Sadie’s. He has something to prove. The history they share – the history their families share shaped who they are, who he is. They have so much baggage, it’s amazing they work so well together.

I loved that this book was a journey of self-discovery and what it means to persevere. I love that it was about figuring out who you want to be, and the lengths you’ll go to get there. Do you stop and help people along the way, or do you push forward no matter the cost, no matter who you hurt? Do you burn bridges and dismantle tree houses, or do you lend a hand to those who would rather see you fail? Do you take what’s offered strings attached, or do you stay true to who you want to be?

Sadie and Cully’s journey in figuring out how to navigate the world is mirrored by the way they run the race. It’s hard and bumpy at first, but soon they find a rhythm and it’s smooth sailing. I loved that as the race went on, the two of them started to dust off the past, and reform their bond. They’re two sides of the same coin, they balance each other out. Theirs is a softer kind of chemistry, founded in best friendship, and despite the turbulence they faced due to a fight that wasn’t theirs, they came out stronger in the end.

Overall, I loved this book. It’s a strong and steady read that sucks you and keeps you reading. I can’t wait to see what Holly Green writes next, but I’m pretty sure she just became an auto-buy author for me. I loved Sadie and Cully so much, and I’ll definitely be recommending this book to everyone. So, go pick this book up and fall in love with these two persevering idiots as they navigate dangerous waters and find their way back to each other.

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