This action-packed historical novel focuses on the lives and romances of two teenage couples aboard the doomed Titanic
. All that first-class passenger Elizabeth Farr wants is a chance to truly experience life. She dreams of attending Vassar College, but her parents have forbidden it; what's more, they have betrothed her to a "suitable" man she doesn't love. Then Elizabeth meets Max, a wealthy but rebellious artist. Max is everything Elizabeth has ever wanted, especially since he encourages her to strike out on her own and make what she wants of her life. Meanwhile, in third class, Katie Hanrahan, a talented singer, meets Paddy Kelleher, a handsome Irish rogue, and the two share their dreams of the lives that await them at the end of the voyage. The two couples live in parallel worlds, with occasional glimpses into each other's lives — and while Katie envies the seemingly trouble-free life of the rich, Elizabeth wishes she could share in the lively freedom of the third-class passengers.
As Diane Hoh skillfully weaves together the two plot lines, she also provides accurate historical details that make the fragile world of the ship come alive. The book moves naturally from romance to adventure when the ship hits the iceberg, and the scenes of chaos in the Titanic's final moments will have readers turning pages frantically. A gripping read, this exciting book is an excellent choice for reluctant readers.