Carl Hiaasen is a vivid writer, and there are a number of examples of figurative language in chapter fourteen of Hoot. I personally was struck by the alliteration he uses throughout the chapter. There were many instances of alliteration, so this literary device stood out to me while reading.
Alliteration is the repetition of letter or sounds at the beginning of words close together.
The description of the boat is particularly vivid, especially as Hiaasen describes how it has changed over time:
Each season she grew more shrunken and dilapidated, surrendering her sturdy hull...
We can see repetition of the letter s, and reading this sentence aloud makes it more noticeable.
I found the letter b was often repeated in this chapter, such as describing Dana's "baggy boxer shorts," or the "blue button sized bruise" on Mullet Fingers' arm, or:
The boy was holding a bright blunt-headed fish that sparkled like liquid chrome.
In addition to alliteration, the above sentence has an example of a simile. A simile is a comparison using the words "like" or "as." At the end of the chapter, the author compares the fish to metal. Simile should not be confused with metaphor, which is also a comparison. In the next sentence, the fish is then compared to a ghost.
How he had snatched such a slippery little ghost from the water...
Similes and metaphors can help us paint the pictures in our heads. There are other instances of vivid comparisons earlier in the chapter. When Mullet Fingers get up, he starts "stretching like a cat." This is a simile because he is compared to an animal using the word "like." The description of Lonna, however, contains a metaphor:
She had a sharp nose, beady, suspicious eyes, and a wild fountain of curly auburn hair.
There is not literally a fountain on her head, but this comparison helps us imagine her cascading locks.