publisher: Square Fish
content: nothing to worry about
summary: Stripped and marooned on a small island by their fellow campers, a boy and a girl form an uneasy bond when they decide to run away and disappear without a trace.
experience: My coworker is the one who buys all the YA books for our library. Every few weeks she emails me a list of new YA I might like. In return I give her my reviews. The Goats is one of the books she suggested. I actually picked it off of my library book pile because a) it was so much shorter than all the other books, and b) it had an intriguing cover. I went in not knowing anything about it except there was an island and a few stranded kids. I expected it to be like Lord of the Flies
The first thing I noticed as I began to read was that the typeface looked old. The second was that it wasn't written like contemporary YA are written. It felt different. When I got to the part where they buy a hot dog and chips at the beach for under a $1.40, I knew something was up. I flipped to the front and found that it was originally published in 1987. It's 23 years old. With a spiffy new cover. Which explained a lot. The boy and girl did seem a little naive for 2010, even for thirteen-year-olds.
The oldness of it not withstanding*, I found myself sucked in. I wanted to know what would happen to this boy and girl as they tried to stay hidden and alive off the island. I cared about them. I liked them. I wanted them to succeed.
It wasn't like Lord of the Flies.
I found it interesting the author called them "boy" and "girl" through most of the book. They don't even know each other's names until half way through. There is no sexual anything, though they do see each other naked--they were stripped by bullies at the beginning. They don't even think about each other in a sexual way, though some of the adults they meet can't see anything but a boy and girl alone together, what else could they be up to?
I liked it. I was surprised I liked it. It's not the type of book I normally read.
*I have nothing against books written 23 years ago. I just wasn't expecting it. The newness of the cover led me to believe I was reading a new story. Because I liked the book, I'm okay with being deceived.
Check out these old covers: