Book Review: Unsinkable by Abby Sunderland and Lynn Vincent

Nutshell overview: it’s a decent story, told fairly well, but over-hyped.

I thought that Unsinkable was going to be the story of a young woman sailing around the world. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t. A full two thirds of the book details her preparation and her life before and after her attempt.

You come away from the book impressed with this young lady, and that’s about it.

Here’s what was good:

  • Her story is pretty cool. I’ve never spent more than a couple of hours on a boat, much less attempting to solo around the world as a teenager.
  • The editors were wise: some parts of the story are told by Abby, other parts are told by the narrator. Considering her age, her writing is good, and it gives you a great insight into this young lady. Having said that, I’m thankful for the polish and style of a professional writer in the narrative sections.
  • If you’re a teenager who needs to dream big again, this book speaks directly to you.

Here’s what wasn’t my cup of tea:

  • The book almost felt like a PR defense of her family for sending her around the world alone. The defensiveness turned me off a bit.
  • The book was written by a teen. That’s probably great for a teenaged audience, but it wasn’t for me.
  • I picked it up to read the story of a woman sailing around the world—and by and large, the book wasn’t about that.

I reviewed this for Book Sneeze, and got a free copy, FYI. If you’ve got a teenager who would enjoy this book, great—find it at a used book store. Other than that, don’t pay full market for the hardback. I wish I could recommend it – but it’s just kind of there. Sorry, Abby.