This past weekend brought some very good weekend reading…
Lost meets The Hunger Games in the thrilling new young adult novel from C.L. Taylor, the Sunday Times and million-copy bestselling author.
Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…
It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.
But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare.
Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re coming true.
Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.
Who will make it off the island alive?
I love a remote setting and even though I have never read any of C.L. Taylor’s books I have heard great things, so I was exceptionally intrigued to hear about The Island, and can I say this was such an addictive read that I ended up reading it in one day. I was pretty much captivated from the first page and even though I was desperate to find out what was going on I was at the same time always a little bit terrified at what was going to happen next, that is how amazingly tense the atmosphere of the book was.
It is mainly told from two points of view, Jessie and Danny, but you get a good sense of their friends Meg, Milo, Honor, and Jeffers from their viewpoints. I really enjoyed the awkward chemistry of this group, their parents met at antenatal classes and have been holidaying together pretty much every year since, so they have known each other a long time but don’t see each other very often and to add to that the dynamics between the group have changed as they have become teenagers and the platonic friendships have in some cases morphed into something more.
What was great though is that you can tell that they are all holding something back and that is causing these slight fissures in the group which really makes you question everyone’s motives, it means there is a lot of wondering why these things are happening and whether they are all going to turn on each other. Of course, I had characters that I was more drawn to than others and tensions were high so it was interesting to see how they worked together and the power dynamics shifted when they realise that they only have themselves to rely on but even when some were under suspicion I was still rooting for all of them.
Obviously, this is the kind of book that I can’t say too much about the plot line because the joy is in having that reading experience yourself but it was very clever and unexpected. I liked that it was fast-paced and gave me that feeling of imminent danger at every turn but I also liked that it explored a lot more than that as well, they have to deal with grief, exploring loyalty through fear and paranoia, their survival instincts, their response to danger and how they deal with the fractures in the group as things intensify.
The Island is a very enjoyable and intense thriller with some unexpected turns, I am definitely looking forward to reading more books by C.L. Taylor.