Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Nailer and his crew work to scavenge valuable parts from old oil-tankers run aground on the stretch of Gulf Coast known as Bright Sands Beach. The people of Bright Sands Beach know nothing but ship breaking and poverty. They often wonder if they’ll be able to scavenge enough to pay for their next meal and if the next storm will destroy the rough shacks along the beach they call home.

After a particularly big storm destroys the whole beach, Nailer finds a luxury ship run aground, but when he discovers the ship’s owner still alive, Nailer has to decide whether to look out for his own interests or to help this girl, who claims to be the ship’s very rich and powerful owner.

This book was action-packed. From the dangerous work of scavenging in old ships, to surviving a hurricane, to the running for his life Nailer has to do for the last half of the story, there is always something happening. The contrast between Nailer’s hard life of poverty and the privileged life of the girl he finds also plays out interestingly as both begin to walk in the other’s shoes and understand just how different their lives up to this point have been.

A sequel to Ship Breaker recently came out and I can’t wait to find out what adventures lay ahead for Nailer.

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