The Island
Link is a fish out of water. Newly arrived from America, he is finding it hard to settle into the venerable and prestigious Osney School. Who knew there could be so many strange traditions to understand? And what kind of school ranks its students by how fast they can run round the school quad - however ancient that quad may be? When Link runs the slowest time in years, he immediately becomes the butt of every school joke. And some students are determined to make his life more miserable than others . . . When a school summer trip is offered, Link can think of nothing worse than spending voluntary time with his worst tormentors. But when his parents say he can only leave Osney School - forever - if he goes on the trip, Link decides to endure it for the ultimate prize. But this particular trip will require a very special sort of endurance. The saying goes 'No man is an island' - but what if on that island is a group of teenagers, none of whom particularly like each other? When oppressive heat, hunger and thirst start to bite, everyone's true colours will be revealed. Let the battle commence . . .From the acclaimed author of S.T.A.G.S.

The Island Details

TitleThe Island
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 25th, 2018
PublisherHotkey
ISBN-139781471407536
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Fiction, Adventure, Survival

The Island Review

  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Island follows Link, a newcomer to a prestigious American school, as he’s thrown into a world of traditions, bullies and rankings. Forced on a summer school trip with the worst of his tormentors, his life is thrown into turmoil as rivalries and alliances come to a head on a deserted island, where only the fittest and smartest survive. I was drawn to this as it looked like a good summer novel, and overall I found it was easy to I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Island follows Link, a newcomer to a prestigious American school, as he’s thrown into a world of traditions, bullies and rankings. Forced on a summer school trip with the worst of his tormentors, his life is thrown into turmoil as rivalries and alliances come to a head on a deserted island, where only the fittest and smartest survive. I was drawn to this as it looked like a good summer novel, and overall I found it was easy to read, written well, and kept me interested enough to want to know how it ended. It’s like a YA version of Survivor and Lord of the Flies which made for an interesting world that’s a little bit different from the average contemporary YA. However, aside from the descriptive settings I found this isn’t really developed well. It’s character driven - which I found to be at the detriment of the plot and pace as it spends too much time setting up backstories rather than telling the actual story. I also found the plot ‘twists’ rather obvious, and I worked them out quite early on - meaning nothing came as a surprise or shocked me during the course of the story. If there had been some kind of mystery or set up that I wasn’t expecting I think this would have propelled my enjoyment of this a bit more. I felt I was constantly anticipating a twist that I knew was coming rather than having the carpet swept out from under me - which is what I wanted. I also found all of the main characters deeply unlikeable with no redeeming features. Link in particular is misogynistic with little emotional depth. Despite being bullied himself, he shows little sympathy for others and seems to take an almost pride in being horrible to his peers. There’s no emotional connection, and with this lack of sympathy, this made me not care about what happened to any of the characters.The biggest let down for me was the far fetched epilogue that didn’t fit with the rest of the novel. It completely changed the outlook and tone of the whole novel, and ruined whatever redeeming features I might have felt towards it. I found it essentially unnecessary and unrealistic in terms of character development. This had the promise of an easy summer read with a hint of mystery, but fell a little flat in character development and pace.
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  • Krystal
    January 1, 1970
    What a ridiculous book.Check my updates - that word basically sums up my entire feelings towards this book: RIDICULOUS The short version: Ostracised nerd Link is stranded on a deserted island with fellow schoolmate stereotypes. They must learn to work together to survive. There are a sh*t ton of pop culture references.'People that are bullied aren't necessarily nice people, just because they're victims.'That quote basically sums up the horror that follows. Link, who is bullied for three years b What a ridiculous book.Check my updates - that word basically sums up my entire feelings towards this book: RIDICULOUS The short version: Ostracised nerd Link is stranded on a deserted island with fellow schoolmate stereotypes. They must learn to work together to survive. There are a sh*t ton of pop culture references.'People that are bullied aren't necessarily nice people, just because they're victims.'That quote basically sums up the horror that follows. Link, who is bullied for three years by his classmates, turns into a total menace on the island. He's actually bummed his classmates survived and proceeds to use mind games to assert his domination over them. It's pretty messed up.I honestly didn't like any of these characters, and the whole thing is just so far-fetched. Firstly, all the stuff at the school. Totally unbelievable that students would be treated in such a manner. It was so exaggeratedly absurd that I was rolling my eyes from the start. How am I supposed to feel sympathy when I just don't see any of this stuff actually happening? Bullying is a very real problem and I feel like this book really undermined the seriousness of it. Then for Link to become an absolute tyrant on the island just seemed too much. I hated the way he thought, and acted, and treated everyone. When we were giving redeeming qualities, they were too little, too late. Then you get to the actual idea of these kids being stranded on a deserted island. Except no one remembers the crash, no one has shoes, and a whole ton of stuff doesn't add up. I was so bothered by stuff these kids didn't even think twice about. Idiots, the lot of them. Also, this scrawny, non-athletic kid gets muscles after like three weeks? On a diet of fish and goat? PLEASE. Dude didn't even lift.The whole overlying theme of this 'Deserted Discs' business did nothing for me, because I've never heard of it. I know maybe a handful of the songs mentioned. Maybe that will be more interesting for English people. *shrugs*The one thing I did love was the book references, particularly the devotion to The Count of Monte Cristo, which is of course written by my favourite author of all time. But I gotta say, watch out for spoilers because this book has now ruined The Mysterious Island for me. There's a ton of references to books that involve islands, obviously, and the natural reference to The Breakfast Club, and a ton of music references ... it's all about that pop culture. It pokes fun at itself with continual references to Lord of the Flies. But ultimately it fails to be anywhere near as intelligent as all the books it references. It's just too strange and unbelievable.Sigh. It wasn't terrible writing, it was just a really weak story. The idea is interesting but it went in strange directions and I just never got into the groove. Overall, it was just kind of disappointing.If you're expecting any of the things the blurb brings to mind (Lord of the Flies, Breakfast Club, Gilligan's Island, etc.) then you're likely to be disappointed. I'd say the key to enjoying this one is low expectations.
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  • Ova - Excuse My Reading
    January 1, 1970
    Unfortunately DNF. Read around 20% before quitting. The story starts by revealing what happened in the end and the main pushing power was to learn why it did happen, and how. Unfortunately the characters and plot didn't grip me enough to be interested in finding out, this is one of the YA books that didn't work for me sadly. The writing quality is good and the setting is Oxford. Might still attract YA readers.
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  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    Having been gripped by M. A. Bennett's debut offering 'S.T.A.G.S.' I was excited about getting to read a copy of 'The Island', Both books are from the Teens & Young Adult market, feature prestigious private schools for those with more money than sense, and have thrilling elements and a deceptive darkness to them.Link is a 16-year old American boy who has relocated to the UK with his parents after they're offered lecturing posts at the University of Oxford. Back in the U.S. he received home s Having been gripped by M. A. Bennett's debut offering 'S.T.A.G.S.' I was excited about getting to read a copy of 'The Island', Both books are from the Teens & Young Adult market, feature prestigious private schools for those with more money than sense, and have thrilling elements and a deceptive darkness to them.Link is a 16-year old American boy who has relocated to the UK with his parents after they're offered lecturing posts at the University of Oxford. Back in the U.S. he received home schooling so when his parents enrol him at the prestigious local private school Osney, he is more than a little anxious. When he turns out to be the slowest runner in an activity designed to determine school order, one of the strange traditions at the school, he immediately attracts the attention of the bullies. So when he is offered the chance to go on a summer school trip, voluntarily spending extra time with people who either mistreat or ignore him is certainly not something Link wants to subject himself to. But his parents only agree to let him leave Osney if he goes on the trip and he decides it is worth enduring to be able to leave them all behind for good later. Of course, the plane crashes and they find themselves stranded on an island (à la 'Lost') and somewhat predictably the dynamic shifts considerably. Link may not be an athlete but one thing he is is well read and is the only one who knows the things needed to survive on a desert island such as how to build a fire, how to find food and how to create shelter. What actually is sporting prowess going to achieve in your fight for survival on a desert island with noone but your peers?This book took me back to my school days and a time when I endured a lot. Not only was I diagnosed with two debilitating illnesses at age fifteen, I was going through some pretty horrible bullying too. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of other people who endured far worse but I wanted to highlight that I understand the narrative and the harrowing outcomes this behaviour causes at such a young age. I recognise the home schooling too, having also had the same. All of this meant I had an enormous amount of empathy for Link and his situation. The fact that he ends up becoming bigheaded from the power in the end is sad but not really much of a surprise given the lack of control he's had over his life and happiness in the majority of this novel. We learn a lot of important messages from the story with the statement 'treat others as you would like to be treat' being a moral message to take away from it. I hope that many young people pick up this book for that very reason, the messages it sends out are certainly crucial ones for a well-rounded, happy and upstanding individual to uphold. Other issues the book explores include misogyny, responsibility, abuse of power, revenge/retribution and desperation - the author does this with tact and in a way that is suitable for a teenage audience.All in all, Bennett's characterisation was exquisite, she did a great job of making most of the characters detestable and the twist during the concluding pages of the book was satisfying - I certainly hadn't predicted it. If you enjoyed S.T.A.G.S. then this will also strike a chord with you.Many thanks to Hot Key Books for an ARC. I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.Read less
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  • Umut Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Sadly this book was not what I had expected. I thought it was something like a YA version of Lord of Flies from the premise. It would be a nice, easy summer suspense to enjoy a good read. The book is character driven, but too much. It took ages for the writer to do the set up. I lost my interest to read the rest. 20% of the book is spent to talk about how the main character is bullied by others at school. All characters being unlikeable, in addition. This character development is done at the exp Sadly this book was not what I had expected. I thought it was something like a YA version of Lord of Flies from the premise. It would be a nice, easy summer suspense to enjoy a good read. The book is character driven, but too much. It took ages for the writer to do the set up. I lost my interest to read the rest. 20% of the book is spent to talk about how the main character is bullied by others at school. All characters being unlikeable, in addition. This character development is done at the expense of the plot and pace, which makes it boring. The character development was not in depth as well, to make it a story of characters you'd care about. It was just flat.Also, the twists were quite obvious. You could guess early on.So, with characters not to care for, slow pace and missing the plot in action, this book didn't satisfy my expectations.
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  • Sally906
    January 1, 1970
    When I briefly lived in England – Desert Island Discs was must do listening at my grandparent’s house. We loved to hear what type of music various celebrities would like to listen to. Sometimes the music choices were nothing like we would expect. The theme of Desert Island discs runs through THE ISLAND as Link and his parents are fans – and Link guesses what the choices might be for the others. He states what they might be at the start and as the story unfolds we find out what they actually woul When I briefly lived in England – Desert Island Discs was must do listening at my grandparent’s house. We loved to hear what type of music various celebrities would like to listen to. Sometimes the music choices were nothing like we would expect. The theme of Desert Island discs runs through THE ISLAND as Link and his parents are fans – and Link guesses what the choices might be for the others. He states what they might be at the start and as the story unfolds we find out what they actually would have chosen.Link is an American. His parents are scientists who move from the USA to the UK for work. Link has been home-schooled up until now, but now is enrolled at a prestige school. Link is very smart, however at Osney School the focus is not in the academic talents of the students – but how athletic they are. His very first day, his very first hour, Link is told to run around the quadrangle. The time he takes will dictate his order in the school. The top kid is a one and the lowest is an eleven. Home-schooled, nerdy Link comes in as a 12. For the next few years Link is at the bottom of the school food chain. Everyone picks on him at worse, ignores him at best. He might be the smartest boy in school – but he cannot get himself out of this situation and school is a daily torment for him. Then comes the plane crash.The island changes the group dynamics. The bullies have no survival skills at all – Link is book smart and is able to provide fire, food and shelter. Slowly the victim becomes leader and with leadership comes power. Power can be abused – is it time for Link to get revenge for years of abuse? He makes choices that are quite horrible, he is everything you think of when it comes to a creepy person. To be fair he is copying his literary character, and TV show idols – he even names his coconut after a famous volleyball – and eventually Links true character comes to the fore. Out of this time on the island comes hope – a chance for the teens to change their lives around should they chose to.For most of the book Link is a very unlikable person – at the start when he was the victim he had my sympathy – however, as the leader he changes and becomes – well – not nice. But his character development is terrific, and the epilogue brings out a twist which I personally think is perfect!!! I enjoyed M.A. Bennett’s writing style – was easy to read and evoked the nastiness of bullying going on without delving into it too much – something happens – move on. She has written another book – however this is the first one of hers I have read. I will certainly read more of her work.Rating: Great - I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.With thanks to Allen and Unwin and the author for my copy to read and review.
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  • Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
    January 1, 1970
    ↠ 3 starsI received a copy in exchange for a honest review. Having quite enjoyed S.T.A.G.S., Bennett’s debut novel, I was interested to see what she would pull out of the hat next. The Island contains some similarities to her first novel (the posh school trope, essentially), but it focuses on a very different main character, setting, and themes.The Island is a bit like Lord of the Flies – a group of teens get stranded on a desert island and have to learn to survive. The seven teens are all chara ↠ 3 starsI received a copy in exchange for a honest review. Having quite enjoyed S.T.A.G.S., Bennett’s debut novel, I was interested to see what she would pull out of the hat next. The Island contains some similarities to her first novel (the posh school trope, essentially), but it focuses on a very different main character, setting, and themes.The Island is a bit like Lord of the Flies – a group of teens get stranded on a desert island and have to learn to survive. The seven teens are all character archetypes on the surface – the jock, the nerd, the emo etc etc – but in all fairness, it doesn’t actually add much to the novel because the only important one is the geek.The geek (whose name is Link, short for Lincoln) is the main character, and after years of bullying at his posh sports school, he can finally reign supreme on an island where his knowledge allows him to thrive.To be entirely honest, he is not the most likeable protagonist. I do feel he has been deliberately crafted this way, and having been bullied for so many years it is not unsurprising he chooses to turn the tables on those who victimised him, but I felt his character redemption came a little too late. Being the one who is undoubtedly the leader on the island, the power gets to his head and he ends up being a general sexist twat at some points. Also I’m not overly fond of his narrative voice – I cannot get around the use of ‘ya’ in places, like ‘ya know’.In addition, I feel the book was slow to start (there was an introductory bit before they actually got to the desert island) and then the twist at the end came a little late. The twist itself wasn’t overly surprising, as I clued in about halfway through, but I did enjoy it (even if I thought it was a bit unbelievable and ethically questionable.) Additionally, the epilogue was interesting, for lack of better words, because it was in a very different tone compared to the rest of the novel, to the point where I wondered if it was just a daydream. However, the book was gripping and I was invested throughout, reading it in a relatively short time.What I did like about the novel was what I picked up from it. I liked the references to other texts like The Breakfast Club and The Count of Monte Cristo, and I did like the actual idea of the novel, with the ‘power corrupts’ theme and how different people take to leadership. So whilst I enjoyed S.T.A.G.S. more, The Island was still a good novel. At the end of the day though, it isn’t the most memorable novel, and likely won’t stick with me for very long.TL;DR: A tense, easily-read castaway novel about a group of teens on a desert island, and what people will do when given a role of power. this review is also available on my blog! <3
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  • Claire (Book Blog Bird)
    January 1, 1970
    This is by the author who wrote STAGS. I read this on the back of STAGS and it's becoming quite apparent that the author is not a massive fan of British public schools and the elitism they foster.The MC is a victim of intense bullying, but throughout the book he turns into a massive wanker so all the sympathy I had for him at the beginning totally evaporated. PLUS his horrible behaviour is brushed off at the end of the book with a load of hand-waving (and he is a proper sex pest, so this was qui This is by the author who wrote STAGS. I read this on the back of STAGS and it's becoming quite apparent that the author is not a massive fan of British public schools and the elitism they foster.The MC is a victim of intense bullying, but throughout the book he turns into a massive wanker so all the sympathy I had for him at the beginning totally evaporated. PLUS his horrible behaviour is brushed off at the end of the book with a load of hand-waving (and he is a proper sex pest, so this was quite uncomfortable).I think the author was aiming for a Lord Of The Flies / Breakfast Club mash-up, but it didn't really work. The plot was a bit too rambling and the MC was a bit too much of a knob.
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  • Cora Tea Party Princess
    January 1, 1970
    5 Words: Power, responsibility, school, resentment, revenge.Take one of each high-school stereotypes and dump them on a desert island, then sit back and watch the horror-show commence. The Island explores the darker realities of humanity, looking at abuse of power, misogyny, desperation, and revenge.I imagine that this book will not be for everybody - the characters as a whole are intensely unlikable ,and it is very much a character driven story. But I loved the power struggles and how the situa 5 Words: Power, responsibility, school, resentment, revenge.Take one of each high-school stereotypes and dump them on a desert island, then sit back and watch the horror-show commence. The Island explores the darker realities of humanity, looking at abuse of power, misogyny, desperation, and revenge.I imagine that this book will not be for everybody - the characters as a whole are intensely unlikable ,and it is very much a character driven story. But I loved the power struggles and how the situations unfolding turned everything on its head. The character development was incredible.My favourite character was (predictably?) Flora. She's not the main character, and Link often pushes her aside and disregards her, but I loved those glimpses that we saw. She's probably the "best" character morally, and I loved that she could stand her ground under intense pressure and in almost unimaginable situations.I think that the only bit of the book that I didn't like was the epilogue, as I'd have liked it to end on the last chapter and keep everything open - but that's just personal preference.Breakfast Club meets Lord of the Flies.First posted on my blog
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  • Elliott
    January 1, 1970
    (This review is full of spoilers. I am angry)I can’t believe M. A. Bennett wrote this book. Bennett, whose book STAGS delivered such a killer plot twist in the final chapter that I flung the book across the room and stormed angrily to yell at a parent. STAGS, a book that I wrote about in such length in a university paper that the marker was ‘concerned’. The Island is a misogynistic, slow paced, tiring book that disappointed me. It took me about three weeks to read it, and I only ended up finishi (This review is full of spoilers. I am angry)I can’t believe M. A. Bennett wrote this book. Bennett, whose book STAGS delivered such a killer plot twist in the final chapter that I flung the book across the room and stormed angrily to yell at a parent. STAGS, a book that I wrote about in such length in a university paper that the marker was ‘concerned’. The Island is a misogynistic, slow paced, tiring book that disappointed me. It took me about three weeks to read it, and I only ended up finishing it because I was waiting at a bus stop after work for an hour. The plot is so drawn out that I started to skip pages, and the characters are so disgusting.Link, the main character, is an awful greedy boy, who thinks that being a nerd makes him oppressed. Oh no, girls don’t fancy him! He reads books! He plays video games! He is every entitled male fan that you hide from at a comic convention. His actions are so gross, making women dress in a slutty skirt for him, starving them, mocking people for their beliefs. The other characters are stereotypes. While STAGS was so clever with its clichés, The Island is basic and tries to play it off as unique. There is the Asian forced to play an instrument, the closeted gay kid in love with the jock (who never comes out at the end), the drug dealer, the pretty sporty girl who dates the jock, and the jock himself, who is a vile bully. There is also Flora, the emo girl, who is a boring manic pixie dream girl.This book goes on FOREVER. 40% through the story and we’re still going through the backstory of Link. Just tell the story in chronological order! That’s what made STAGS fun! Stop switching back and forth between the interesting past and the incredibly mundane present. I don’t want to read about Link going for a wander when I could read about disgusting private schools!Also, the ending. Oh god, the ending. Everything is literally spelt out to us in minute detail, right down to names. I know what just happened Bennett. I read the fucking book. I KNOW WHAT I READ GOD DAMMIT. And then. And then. AN EPILOGUE WHERE LINK IS PRESIDENT OF THE FUCKING UNITED STATES WHO MARRIED FLORA. FLORA WHO IS THE FIRST TATTOOED FIRST LADY. HOLY SHIT. I’M GOING TO SHOVE MY KINDLE DOWN MY THROAT AND CHOKE ON IT.Also, desert island disks isn’t even that good. Suck it bitches. (Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.)
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  • Atlas
    January 1, 1970
    "My transformation was complete. Humbled Edmond Dantes had become the Count of Monte Cristo"* * *3 / 5I think I might have actually liked this one better than S.T.A.G.S! The Island is just as psychological and disturbing as Bennett's first book, but I felt that the writing was better in The Island and the characters more compelling.There was clearly no getting off of my own personal, desolate, islandLink has moved from America to England and is enrolled in an old and prestigious school; he hates "My transformation was complete. Humbled Edmond Dantes had become the Count of Monte Cristo"* * *3 / 5I think I might have actually liked this one better than S.T.A.G.S! The Island is just as psychological and disturbing as Bennett's first book, but I felt that the writing was better in The Island and the characters more compelling.There was clearly no getting off of my own personal, desolate, islandLink has moved from America to England and is enrolled in an old and prestigious school; he hates it. Osney School is ridiculous and groups its students by how fast they can run around the courtyard. When Link runs the slowest time in years, he becomes the new lowest rung on the social ladder and his life becomes living hell. I really did feel for Link during all this bullying, as he's quite a pitiable figure at the start. Then he strikes a deal with his parents: if he takes part on a summer school trip, he's allowed to transfer out of Osney.Then the plane crash lands on an island. Link is surrounded by a bunch of characters that are (intentional) stereotypes: we have the jock, the pretty girl, the bully, the emo, and a few more. Having spent all his school year being tormented, Link realises that here, on the island, his knowledge of survival is power. And that's the main message of The Island: power corrupts. It's a classic message, not particularly original, but I thought it was executed really well."You don't choose women. We're not chocolate bars"Link becomes absolutely hate-able. This is on purpose, obviously. He's your "classic nerd": thinks girls hate him, inferiority complex, the whole shebang. The moment he gets a hint of power he's all about taking his revenge and turns into a raging misogynist; it's cleverly done though, as the reader you are fully aware that he is meant to be disliked and that his behaviour is reprehensible. Like in S.T.A.G.S, Bennett's writing is lovely and smooth.Whilst clever, The Island does run on a lot of stereotypes and that got a bit boring. The twist at the end was easily guessed and didn't pack much of a punch, Link's parents were "wtf worthy", and the epilogue was cringe-worthy. Despite this, I absolutely tore through The Island and was enthralled by it.My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of this bookRead this review and more on my blog: https://atlasrisingbooks.wordpress.co...
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  • Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
    January 1, 1970
    Started off promising, but I got bored about a quarter of the way through. It’s a bit Breakfast Club/Lord of the Flies but it just didn’t do anything for me!
  • J. Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. If you want a book about a shitty group of people who do fucked up stuff to one another that all gets forgiven in the end and get given everything they ever wanted then you're welcome to this book. But none of them, even the adults, deserved shit and I am so mad that nobody made the price. (view spoiler)[These are some things that pissed me off about this book because I'm too mad to write a review:1. Seriously Seb who treated Gil like a slave, who bullied and harassed him until another vict Wow. If you want a book about a shitty group of people who do fucked up stuff to one another that all gets forgiven in the end and get given everything they ever wanted then you're welcome to this book. But none of them, even the adults, deserved shit and I am so mad that nobody made the price. (view spoiler)[These are some things that pissed me off about this book because I'm too mad to write a review:1. Seriously Seb who treated Gil like a slave, who bullied and harassed him until another victim came along they later end up together? And then Link who starved Flora because she wouldn't perform for him later gets married to her? Gil and Flora where's your respect for yourselves? Also, what a bad, bad message to send to teens since this is a YA book that you should end up with someone abused you. 2. I can't believe these kids all ended up in the careers they wanted. They don't deserve it. Like what's the life lesson here-be awful and you're still get what you want? Fuck off. 3. Link as president. Are you having a laugh? Seriously? He's gonna run the states? Fuck me, I feel for the American public. (And I mean, there already fucked and when they think it's over, nope they got Link next.) 4. Are private schools really like what? How horrific. 5. Worst parents ever. What kind of parents approve for their kids to be drugged, dropped out of an airplane into a deserted island, watched by cameras without their consent and forced to hunt, kill and be treated like shit for a experiment. Shitty ones that's who. Especially Link's parents being behind it all, who does that to their son when you know he is already getting bullied (though you swear you don't know how bad which fine whatever you say) they don't ever apologize and Link hardly gets mad at them, they are forgiven like in a instant. I am so angry on behalf of these kids. 6. Where are the ethics in such a experiment? There's none. And at the end of the novel, this experiment is not even portrayed as a bad thing. What the fuck? (hide spoiler)]
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  • Basyirah
    January 1, 1970
    'People that are bullied aren't necessarily nice people, just because they're victims.' Not gonna lie, I started this book with a slightly high expectation. The blurb was nice. The cover was nice. School kids stranded on an island after a plane crash? No rules applied? Interesting! But as soon as I started reading, the expectation went down by a lot. And halfway through, I got bored of it and just wanted to finish it for the sake of my own satisfaction of knowing exactly how the ending would be. 'People that are bullied aren't necessarily nice people, just because they're victims.' Not gonna lie, I started this book with a slightly high expectation. The blurb was nice. The cover was nice. School kids stranded on an island after a plane crash? No rules applied? Interesting! But as soon as I started reading, the expectation went down by a lot. And halfway through, I got bored of it and just wanted to finish it for the sake of my own satisfaction of knowing exactly how the ending would be.The concept of the story was nice. I liked it but not enough to like the whole book. They found themselves on a deserted island after the plane crash, and they were alone. All 7 of them. Link, the main character, was always being bullied. In their school, their ranks were determined by sports. And well, Link was a nerd who couldn’t play a sport to save a life tbh. Having treated like a slave during school, he found himself gaining power over the 6 other kids because of his knowledge and ability to adapt in such situation. They kinda depended on him for survival, because he seemed to know what he was doing. But Link, istg, he was annoying since the start. I was so sure I had to feel some sort of sympathy towards him you know, what with him being bullied and everything, but I couldn’t feel it. He had a little bit of Sheldon Cooper vibe, but I could tolerate Sheldon Cooper. Unfortunately I couldn’t say the same for Link – especially when he was being such an asshole while they’re on the island. Towards the end, he kinda sorta had some time to reflect back on his bad attitude, but I felt like it’s not enough. Let’s talk about the other characters; Flora, Sebastian, Miranda, Ralph, Li, and Gilbert. While on the island, they called themselves The Breakfast Club. I never watched the movie (okay, my bad, everyone seemed to have watched it but I never got around to it yet) so I can’t comment much on that. But to be perfectly honest, none of the characters were likeable. Understandable, because they’re all bullies. So they had the kind of personalities that really irked me. Especially Sebastian and Miranda. They’re like on top of the chain. Everyone would have been stupid to say otherwise. But on the island where they’re powerless, they’re completely unreliable. They’re all annoying in their own ways. At this point, I felt like they all deserved to be stranded there. I expected better from Flora. But she proved to have a way to disappoint me. Although I have to say she’s the only character that I was willing to put up with. I wish the author gave a stronger character development to all of them. Ralph, Li and Gilbert were basically just there for the sake of it. They had their roles, but I didn’t see them as significant at all. Okay, maybe a little bit. I almost liked Ralph, but at the end of it, I decided none of them was worth it.The plot development was weak imo. The author tried to tackle the bullying issue and I expected something was to be done to show that bullying was bad, but the school condoned bullying, even the teachers didn’t do anything. They must have realised about the bullying but nope, no action against it at all. And after realising their son was being bullied at school, Link’s parents didn’t do anything about it either. They still sent him to the same school to finish his education. It took me a while to wrap my head around this whole plot. After they escaped the island, none of them seemed to have learned their lessons. The ending really frustrated me. After I finished reading, I just sat and stared at the book, wondering what to make of it. I decided that it’s just not for me. It’s a little bit problematic for me and it’s a shame because I think it could have been a good book. If only it’s given a stronger plot and stronger character developments.This one’s going on my “never again” list. Disclaimer: I would like to thank Pansing for sending me a copy of The Island in exchange for my honest review. In case you want to give it a try, you can find it in all good bookstores.
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  • Lydia Hephzibah
    January 1, 1970
    After loving Bennett's first book, I was so excited to hear she was bringing out a second and over the moon when I won a pre-pub copy. YA mystery is my favourite genre to read and I'm a sucker for any story that involves a plane crash. This novel was so well-written, with so many clever hints and clues scattered throughout but not so many that the average reader will figure it out. I absolutely loved this unique take on the stranded on a island tale, which was masterfully written and left me wis After loving Bennett's first book, I was so excited to hear she was bringing out a second and over the moon when I won a pre-pub copy. YA mystery is my favourite genre to read and I'm a sucker for any story that involves a plane crash. This novel was so well-written, with so many clever hints and clues scattered throughout but not so many that the average reader will figure it out. I absolutely loved this unique take on the stranded on a island tale, which was masterfully written and left me wishing I had another hundred pages to go. The first hundred or so we're a little slow but set up the characters and relationships. I loved how Link wasn't made to be a loveable character but a realistic one, and this story was a triumph.
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  • Hannah-lynette Hunter
    January 1, 1970
    The book is an epic rollercoaster from the first page. There are layers and twists within the plot and narration that will ensure you’ll want to read it again.Such a refreshing change having a male main character within a first person narrative. You’ll feel a little like a helpless Jiminey Cricket as Link’s story develops and he faces challenges on the Island. I found myself shouting as the pages one or twice.Full review to be posted on www.queensofgeekdom.com
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  • Diana Iozzia (Bookworm Banter)
    January 1, 1970
    After reading "S.T.A.G.S." by M.A. Bennett, I was thoroughly excited to read her newest release, "The Island". This book is branded as a mix of a boarding school mystery and "Lord of The Flies". I was intrigued by both counterparts, because one of my favorite genres is dark academia, and I also enjoy readings survival stories. Link is our eccentric, self-branded nerd. We learn about him, his hobbies, his interests, and many of his dislikes. I am not a fan of link. I understand the author consult After reading "S.T.A.G.S." by M.A. Bennett, I was thoroughly excited to read her newest release, "The Island". This book is branded as a mix of a boarding school mystery and "Lord of The Flies". I was intrigued by both counterparts, because one of my favorite genres is dark academia, and I also enjoy readings survival stories. Link is our eccentric, self-branded nerd. We learn about him, his hobbies, his interests, and many of his dislikes. I am not a fan of link. I understand the author consulted her teen children and then wrote a perspective based on these thoughts and ideas, but the character feels very manufactured, as in he's an alien or a robot, only spouting out references to video games and current pop culture icons. These references date the book in an uncomfortable way. After growing tired of his bullies, Link wants an escape from the school where he doesn't fit in. His parents are flabbergasted, surprised how horribly he was treated, even though from the absolute start, they knew he was terribly bullied. His parents make a deal, that if he can spend two weeks at a summer camp, they will let him withdraw from the school and find one he likes more. He gets on a plane, with the only characters we've known from his school so far. Suspiciously only these characters. His bullies, the girls he likes. The plane crashes on a strange island, but none of the characters can remember the crash. We have a large portion of the book where Link establishes power over the group, by first teaching them to hunt, cook, and make shelters. He starts to manipulate those around him, threatening that if they do not obey, they will not eat. We eventually find out the major point of the crash, the whole explanation why the story has taken place. It is one of the worst reveals I have read in a book. I understand that this book is for teens and young adults, but as a twenty-two year old, I don't think I'm reading too far out of my age group. My younger brother is eighteen, and he never acted in any way that these teens do. I personally rarely encountered these types of teens. So, I do understand the ending, that this might appeal to teens, but I was exasperatedly unimpressed. I do not recommend this book, but I highly recommend "S.T.A.G.S", the first book by this author.
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  • Nikki
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed the middle part of this book, where they were beginning to sort things out and before it started getting weird. But I have issues with the start and the end. The start, mostly because I didn’t feel that Lincoln’s parents would send him to that school in the first place! They’ve done no sports with him at all and send him to a sports centric school? I get that there’s a deal with the universi I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed the middle part of this book, where they were beginning to sort things out and before it started getting weird. But I have issues with the start and the end. The start, mostly because I didn’t feel that Lincoln’s parents would send him to that school in the first place! They’ve done no sports with him at all and send him to a sports centric school? I get that there’s a deal with the university but just didn’t seem right at all. Other than that though, while it was a little long winded, I really liked how well it showed the impact of the bullying. The end is more complicated. I’ll talk about the middle first - I loved the start on the island. I liked how Lincoln took charge, and I even liked how he was pushing to keep it and how he dealt with every thing initially. I liked how the team pulled together (mostly!) and settled into island life. I’m not going to spoil anything, but it’s hard to talk about the end without doing so! I saw part of the twist. I didn’t see the main bit, though wasn’t that surprised by it. But I sort of liked how far things all went, even if I was busy being creeped out by it all. The main issue I had was with basically everything post twist. I would NOT have been okay with that reveal. Also the epilogue was definitely ott for me. Unnecessary!The other thing I want to mention is that, for a British author, there were definitely some moments that weren’t. Not just cause of link either - one of the others says High School at some point which threw me. Oh and also, in year 9, when Link would have started, Seb was already toppers? Ahead of all the other people in the entire school? Seemed unrealistic even if he is the only quarters man in the school. And I know private schools are odd, but the whole system being based on one race time, down to what unrelated clubs you could join? Ugh. This is a lot of rant for a book I didn’t hate, and I think that’s because I really wanted there to be more to it.
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    People getting stranded on a deserted island has been done many times before across all media types. Thrown into the mix here is a school where sports outrank academic achievement and one race determines your place in the school hierarchy. If you lose, the other students treat and harrass you simultaneously like dirt and like a slave.As a non-athletic person, my idea of sport is a marathon reading session so I too would be a Twelve (maybe an Eleven at a push). I did resonate with Link's predicam People getting stranded on a deserted island has been done many times before across all media types. Thrown into the mix here is a school where sports outrank academic achievement and one race determines your place in the school hierarchy. If you lose, the other students treat and harrass you simultaneously like dirt and like a slave.As a non-athletic person, my idea of sport is a marathon reading session so I too would be a Twelve (maybe an Eleven at a push). I did resonate with Link's predicament because I know what it's like to be an outsider and a geek. However, as narrator, Link can be so pretentious at times. (view spoiler)[(He is like this before events on the island take over) (hide spoiler)]. It puts me off a little bit when the narrator is arrogant. In addition, I spent a lot of time during the slow build up contemplating my Desert Island Discs choices (see below) rather than focusing on the story.The Island by M.A. Bennett was good. The main reason for deducting stars, though, was that I don't like the message that comes across about bullying. It's a bit toxic. I can't believe it seems like the adults turned a blind eye and even condoned it. Bullying is NOT OK and does have consequences. So, that's -0.5 for the arrogant narrator, -0.25 for slow start and -1 for handling of bullying. Oh, and -0.25 for unoriginal stereotypes. A 3 star book (I'm probably being a bit generous).---My Desert Island Discs8 favourite pieces of music: (in no particular order)1. That's How You Know from Enchanted (2007)2. The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News3. Holding Out for a Hero (the Jennifer Saunders version from Shrek 2)4. Pachelbel's Canon5. Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne6. Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons7. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen8. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri1 book: (in addition to the Bible and complete works of Shakespeare which you are already given) This was a hard choice for me. I finally decided on Northern Lights by Philip Pullman1 luxury: My Kindle because then I could read all the books I wanted, mwah ha ha!
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  • Kirra
    January 1, 1970
    After a creepy and mysterious debut book, S.T.A.G.S, author M.A. Bennett is back with her second novel, The Island. I love that this book follows the theme of the black, white and red cover because it's so striking and it really catches your eye. Then when you open up the book you find out the storyline is crazy. The Island is another book from the author that deals from an outsider perspective with a kid that doesn't fit in and an elite group of tormentors from a preppy school. I had an idea of After a creepy and mysterious debut book, S.T.A.G.S, author M.A. Bennett is back with her second novel, The Island. I love that this book follows the theme of the black, white and red cover because it's so striking and it really catches your eye. Then when you open up the book you find out the storyline is crazy. The Island is another book from the author that deals from an outsider perspective with a kid that doesn't fit in and an elite group of tormentors from a preppy school. I had an idea of where this book would go having read her previous book but even though the central theme was the same it was still a completely different book that was thrilling in a new way.The premise of this book is seven teenage students, a plane crash and a fight for survival that, obviously,  not everyone will win so instantly I was wondering, who will come out on top? Clearly, you're most sympathetic to the person you're reading about and everyone wants the underdog to come out triumphant but I also love cheering for a villain in a book and the perspective of the novel changed throughout. I wasn't particularly fond of Link at the start of the book or the others really but all the characters had at least one thing that was enjoyable or humorous about them.What I did love about this book was the very Battle Royale feel to it that The Island initially had just with the small blurb I read. Then once I started reading it I unfortunately had a difficult time picking it up because I just wasn't getting pulled into it like I had with their previous novel. It wasn't a terrible novel at all but I guess my expectations were just too high after how fantastic her debut novel was but it's horrible to compare one book to another because that always ends up happening! Judging this book purely on its own though I would still say that I don't think the plot was dense enough to make a proper impact on me and the idea fizzled out early on. However, I still enjoyed reading it the once and I look forward to seeing what Bennett writes next!(Thank you to Allen & Unwin for sending a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Island is out on the 25th of July in Australia!)
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  • Kiki
    January 1, 1970
    As a disclaimer, I thought STAGS was ok but suffered from High Concept Syndrome. Great concept which gives good jacket copy but meh follow through. However if you loved STAGS then you may love this one too so don't take my lukewarm review as gospel or anything. Spoilers follow. The Good: I loved the idea of 'just because someone is a victim doesn't mean they're a nice person' so much so I really wished the author had gone all in on this theme. I adored the part of the book where Link is showing As a disclaimer, I thought STAGS was ok but suffered from High Concept Syndrome. Great concept which gives good jacket copy but meh follow through. However if you loved STAGS then you may love this one too so don't take my lukewarm review as gospel or anything. Spoilers follow. The Good: I loved the idea of 'just because someone is a victim doesn't mean they're a nice person' so much so I really wished the author had gone all in on this theme. I adored the part of the book where Link is showing his true colours and becoming someone just as spoiled and entitled as his bullies had been all along. I loved that the author did not shy away from having link do genuinely terrible things.*I enjoyed the desert island discs motif which I thought was pretty unique and quirky without being a gimmick. The Neutral: The 'twist' was obvious to me early on, but I don't actually care about that at all. I don't need an author to spring one on me. I'm more interested in how things unfold than trying to work out the mystery. The Bad: First of all the huge exposition scene with Link's parents at the end. Not all of that stuff needed to be explained. *I was really disappointed that the truly horrendous things Link does are just brushed off as 'oh power corrupts but you've learned your lesson now so nevermind'. It felt like a cop out. Second, dude that epilogue has to go. I read this in an arc and I hope they take the epilogue out before it's published because it's really silly. Link is the president and he's married to Flora and he's appearing on desert island discs? No. Sorry, total cringe. Overall I did enjoy the book despite it's flaws, in fact I stayed up late two nights in a row while reading that middle section on the island because it is really good. It's only really the ending that let it down unfortunately.
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  • Orla
    January 1, 1970
    Having read STAGS, I was excited to see what The Island would be like. This book gets off to a good start and I found Link to be relatable. As someone not very good at sports I sympathised with his situation. As the book continues, some parts in the middle can feel predictable but the characters are enjoyable enough for it not to drag. At some parts I felt Link to be irritating but under the circumstances, his actions were understandable. Up until the end I was enjoying the book and while I woul Having read STAGS, I was excited to see what The Island would be like. This book gets off to a good start and I found Link to be relatable. As someone not very good at sports I sympathised with his situation. As the book continues, some parts in the middle can feel predictable but the characters are enjoyable enough for it not to drag. At some parts I felt Link to be irritating but under the circumstances, his actions were understandable. Up until the end I was enjoying the book and while I wouldn’t say it was my favourite, I would reccomend the read. However, the end And the prolouge were disappointing at best. I liked the plot twist of the people in charge of the island being his parents but their reasoning was almost too unbelievable, but then I suppose it is a fantasy book. The prolouge again seemed almost too predictable but it wouldn’t stop me from telling others to read it, and it won’t stop me from reading this author in future.
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  • Orláith
    January 1, 1970
    Despite not previously having read S.T.A.G.S by the same author, I had read many reviews praising her writing style and her storytelling ability. So, when I saw that she had another young adult novel being published I was very excited to get a copy. I don't know if it was just me or if this book isn't as good as the last, but i found it to be incredibly mediocre. The premise of the story was fantastic. I mean, who doesn't want to read an up-to-date retelling of 'Lord of the Flies' merged with 'T Despite not previously having read S.T.A.G.S by the same author, I had read many reviews praising her writing style and her storytelling ability. So, when I saw that she had another young adult novel being published I was very excited to get a copy. I don't know if it was just me or if this book isn't as good as the last, but i found it to be incredibly mediocre. The premise of the story was fantastic. I mean, who doesn't want to read an up-to-date retelling of 'Lord of the Flies' merged with 'The Breakfast Club'? But unfortunately, for me, it just did not live up to the hype Don't get me wrong, I didn't actively dislike it, nor will it cause me to rule out reading more from this author but I do think it was sadly over-hyped.
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  • Sara Jabeen
    January 1, 1970
    The Island was a rather interesting read, it reminded me of Lord of The Flies but was unusually interesting. The plot was definitely the most intriguing part with the main character’s and his peers being left on this island alone. The enigma was one of the reasons what kept me hooked and turning page after page, although maybe it’s my age but there were quite a few old style inter textual references that I felt I didn’t understand, but honestly it made the book all that more entertaining. I’d sa The Island was a rather interesting read, it reminded me of Lord of The Flies but was unusually interesting. The plot was definitely the most intriguing part with the main character’s and his peers being left on this island alone. The enigma was one of the reasons what kept me hooked and turning page after page, although maybe it’s my age but there were quite a few old style inter textual references that I felt I didn’t understand, but honestly it made the book all that more entertaining. I’d say the writing style is very captivating and interesting, just when you think you’ve reached a point where you can stop a massive plot twist or a tense enigma is thrown at you (probably why I read it in less than two days). It’s a novel you either really like or really dislike, I don’t think there’s an in between with how niche of a style and occasionally cliche (which some people love i.e. myself).
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  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really good book but the reason I am giving it 3 stars is because I struggled to get through the first 100 pages but it really picks itself up when they are on the island! :) The ending was really good too!
  • Luna
    January 1, 1970
    This was very surprising, I like these kind of castaway stories but the slower build up and the heavy use of stereotypes was kinda throwing me off. But believe me it all makes sense in the end and it is really worth reading. The ending was so clever and the amount of popculture and references is great. Even Harry Styles got mentioned hehehe
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  • Carol Chu
    January 1, 1970
    I got this physical book from #Pansing in exchange for an honest review. This book can be got from any good bookstore.This book was absolutely brilliant! It legit brought me on a helluva wild ride. To be honest, comparisons have been made by readers between this book and The Lord of the Flies, for good or for bad. However, I’ve never read Lord of the Flies yet, so I can’t really do a comparison between these two books but I truly do enjoy The Island by M.A. Bennett.For one thing, it was awesome I got this physical book from #Pansing in exchange for an honest review. This book can be got from any good bookstore.This book was absolutely brilliant! It legit brought me on a helluva wild ride. To be honest, comparisons have been made by readers between this book and The Lord of the Flies, for good or for bad. However, I’ve never read Lord of the Flies yet, so I can’t really do a comparison between these two books but I truly do enjoy The Island by M.A. Bennett.For one thing, it was awesome that there’s many playlist of songs, one for each character called Desert Island Discs. I find that really interesting as it says and tells a lot about a character. Link or his full name Lincoln (named after a certain President of America), the main character is ‘a geek’ who got transferred to his new school, Osney School in the UK due to his parents’ work.His parents love him very much. They’ve listened to Desert Island Discs together with him. Desert Island Discs is a BBC programme where castaway guests share the soundtrack of their lives. Throughout the book, we get to read about the other characters’ Desert Island Discs which are rather enlightening.Other than the quite predictable plot where I kind of figured the ending, it was such an enjoyable read if you don’t expect too much of it. I expected more gore and mystery to this book and I disappointedly didn’t get those. Link is also too knowledgeable about stuffs and easily survive everything and every situation it was a bit unbelievable to me. However, I do like Link when he is a likeable character in the beginning until he turned horrid due to power. I practically rolled my eyes at ‘The Amazing Skirt’, because that was really such a silly thing. It made me think guys are too desperate and cared more about pretty girls, nothing much else except looks scores the points. Anyhow and anyway, I’m glad later on Link realised his errors and his misuse of power and mended his ways.A character I absolutely adore is Flora, also known as ‘an emo’ in the book for her badass attitude and for standing up to Link and all his nonsense. Other characters who made up the group are Sebastian Loam, ‘the jock’ also known as The Quarters Man in Osney School and his loyal partner-in-crime Gill Egan ‘another geek’, Miranda Pencroft who was Sebastian’s girlfriend in Osney School also known as ‘The Beautiful Girl’, Miranda’s best friend Jun Am Li ‘a prodigy at violin’ and lastly Ralph Turk a swaggering dude, ‘someone who knows about chemical properties of plants’. All these characters, as Flora puts it forms ‘The Breakfast Club’ in The Island.Prior to this, I never knew what are Desert Island Discs and The Breakfast Club but after reading this, I googled those phrase words and learnt a lot about things I have never known yet at that time. It was interesting too to search for the songs in each characters’ Desert Island Discs, so this book was really such a treasure trove of information that pirate me is very lucky to find and read.All in all, this book is really worth my time, I find it truly entertaining. I laughed, rolled my eyes and sometimes snorted in disbelief at what the characters did and how the plot unfolded (if I haven’t predicted it already) but I had a great time and it was so much fun. Therefore this book comes greatly recommended by me because I truly, and greatly enjoyed it.I enjoyed one quote especially, because I greatly relate to Link in one matter because I have lots of geekness in me and have seen bullying in its many forms throughout my schooling time and throughout my university and teaching days. The bullying theme in this book is greatly useful for students and whoever who reads this book to know that it’s not okay to be bullied and never okay to be a bully. At the end, the quote, ‘the geek will inherit the earth’ greatly enforces that no any small creatures considered weak should be ignored or bullied for they actually can be powerful one day due to their scoffed at abilities such as resilience and intelligence.Another quote that I find relevant is ‘No man is an island’ for everyone inherent of their weaknesses and their strengths do play their part in building the world and The Island. Definitely, everyone is important. Those who realise this, as Link realised at one point, holds the power and are able to manipulate the situation to his or her advantage.In conclusion, this book was definitely a 5 stars from me and made me greatly curious about other book(s) from this author, namely her first book, S.T.A.G.S.Thank you to Pansing for this book. I enjoyed it a lot.This review originally first appeared at https://cmyreads.wordpress.com/2018/1...
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  • Cassandra MADEUP BookBlog
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely brilliant!!From the very start and throughout this story was easy to read, witty and entertaining. I laughed, cringed and glared at the pages throughout, although for many differing reasons.The first section of the book, we see the characters at school, and we begin to see the different personalities. The typical groupings of students, the nerd, the bullies etc, and it’s very easy to see which is which. We feel sympathy for the Narrator and disgust at the bully. This seems a fairly no Absolutely brilliant!!From the very start and throughout this story was easy to read, witty and entertaining. I laughed, cringed and glared at the pages throughout, although for many differing reasons.The first section of the book, we see the characters at school, and we begin to see the different personalities. The typical groupings of students, the nerd, the bullies etc, and it’s very easy to see which is which. We feel sympathy for the Narrator and disgust at the bully. This seems a fairly normal reaction, but then we reach the island, and that is where the Authors Talent truly begins to shine through.Up until this point, i was enjoying the story. From here I devoured it: I couldn’t read fast enough! By the second section, the book gets gradually darker and we start to see the personalities of the characters begin to take a shift. Peoples social status changes, adapts to the new situation, and the choices our narrator makes aren’t jus self preservation. They can be down right MEAN! But, it fits.The shifts in our Narrators personality follow a brilliantly conceived logic that makes the transitions for each person seem effortless. The further into the story we get, the more our characters shift and change, their personalities clashing in very different ways, and their roles taking an entirely different stance. The Characters were brilliantly created so that the shifts in personality made perfect sense for the new situation, and the changes were believable. The changes to attitude and social status were brilliantly done, and I have to admire the Authors talent in doing this in a way which maintained the humour of the first section, whilst building a darker, sharper edge to the tale that wasn’t entirely comfortable! And I mean that as a compliment. The story effortlessly transitions from humorous tale to sinister.I loved the layout, and the way each section is titled by use of a song. These songs were a very clever, witty way of telling us roughly what the section is about, whilst telling us nothing about what would happen. The continuation of the theme of music in the plot was genius, and individual. I won’t say more for fear of spoilers, but... this was a very clever element to the plot and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The Bully vs Victim elements to the tale were perfectly handled. This alone should make this something to be read in schools. There were so many lessons within the tale, with role reversals and situation flips that serve as great life advice for children. Example, the person you bully today for their individuality may be your boss tomorrow. I loved how we find out more about certain characters lives, which again I lived for the lessons which could be learnt from it. There are several moments within the story in which there is a very clear change of power or situation, and these were very cleverly thought out. I thoroughly enjoyed how characters acted for their own interests, and the reader ends up question their initial likes and dislikes of characters.In short... this is and easy and entertaining yet very powerful book. It gives a lot to think about, and is entertaining for many different reasons. Although this is the Authors second book, I have not read the previous, but I certainly will do now! Amazing. And wholeheartedly recommend for teens and Young Adults alike, especially for teens as I feel they can learn many vital lessons from this story! Perfect for anyone who enjoys anything funny, realistic, individual... or lovers of YA Fiction/ Thrillers
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  • Kirsty MacKenzie
    January 1, 1970
    Lincoln Selkirk is an American attending a prestigious English school called Orsney. He is a fish out of water, clever but not adept at games. When he records the slowest time in years that’s been run around the school quad, he becomes the butt of every joke. Miserable and downcast, he feels totally alone.His only way out is to agree to his parents’ wish which is to attend summer camp. Only then is he allowed to leave the school forever. However, to Link, this seems a good idea and his exit out Lincoln Selkirk is an American attending a prestigious English school called Orsney. He is a fish out of water, clever but not adept at games. When he records the slowest time in years that’s been run around the school quad, he becomes the butt of every joke. Miserable and downcast, he feels totally alone.His only way out is to agree to his parents’ wish which is to attend summer camp. Only then is he allowed to leave the school forever. However, to Link, this seems a good idea and his exit out of the school. Surely being with his worst tormentors for one last time will be worth it?The last thing he remembers is being on the plane. Then he wakes up, stranded on ‘The Island’. After initially thinking his classmates are dead, they appear, much to his horror. After days and weeks with no adult supervision, hunger, thirst and the heat start to bite and tempers fray. Who will last the distance?What I loved is how Link comes into himself when landed with a huge problem. Our anti hero starts to come into himself and use his superior intellect to overcome the bullies and he realises they all have their weaknesses too, which are very much on the surface now they are facing new challenges.The humour and intelligence in this book shine through, and I really started to root for Link and give a silent fist pump when he starts to wreak revenge on his classmates after three years of feeling miserable. I know many people will relate to this book.There are nods to other books, and films, relating to being stranded on a desert island, and this is done with tongue in cheek with ‘Wilson’ appearing (from the film ‘Castaway’) and Link names the mountain ‘Monte Cristo’ after his favourite book. Each section of the book is named after a song as Link is fascinated by 'Desert Island Discs'.I really hoovered this book up. It’s a young adult book but the characters are engaging and the interaction interesting so it's a very easy read. Link thinks of himself as a geek but we see him emerge into a different character on The Island and start to take over as leader which not everyone else agrees with. The reader can see the shift in status as roles are reversed. We see that these people individually don’t necessarily like one another but have to learn to live together and work together for survival. I will definitely read the other book by this author. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and, while it has comparisons to ‘Lord of the Flies’ this is very much a modern version, based on a theme, and is a one off original. Highly recommended!
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  • Paige
    January 1, 1970
    A full review can be found onThe Girl With All The BooksLink is a 16 year old American. He moved to the UK with his parents when they were offered lecturing jobs at the University of Oxford. Before moving to the UK, Link was home schooled but now his parents have enrolled him in a prestigious private school. The school works in partnership with Oxford University. His parents are keen for him to benefit from teachers with expert knowledge in their subjects, as well as socialising with other kids. A full review can be found onThe Girl With All The BooksLink is a 16 year old American. He moved to the UK with his parents when they were offered lecturing jobs at the University of Oxford. Before moving to the UK, Link was home schooled but now his parents have enrolled him in a prestigious private school. The school works in partnership with Oxford University. His parents are keen for him to benefit from teachers with expert knowledge in their subjects, as well as socialising with other kids. So, they enrol him at Osney School.Whilst Link is very smart, he does not have an athletic bone is his body, which is extremely unfortunate because Osney focuses of the students sporting abilities, not their academic knowledge. On the first day of school, Link has to run around the school grounds and the amount of time that he takes will determine his place in the school order. Link turns out to be the slowest runner and from then on, he’s at the bottom of the school chain. He is either getting picked on or completely ignored. He has no friends and he can’t see a way out from the living hell that is his school life. That is until a select few students go on a ‘life experience’ trip… but their plane crashes. When the students find themselves stranded on the island, the group dynamic changes. Although Link isn’t good at sports, he’s read a load of books in his lifetime. So, he knows how to make a fire, he knows how to get food and he knows how to create shelter. And what’s more important on a desert island.. being a good rugby player or having the means to stay alive? Suddenly, Link is the person who the rest of the group depends on. But, unfortunately the power starts to go to his head….Initially, I felt so sorry for Link… but then I couldn’t stand him. Normally, I really struggle to get into books if I don’t like the main character, but it worked perfectly. After years of having to put up with his tormentors, is it surprisingly that Link relishes being the one who has the power? The development of all the characters is EXCELLENT. It shows how they react in group situations both at school and on the island and it shows how you don’t have to just settle for an allocated role in life. I also loved the plot twist. I picked up on some hints that suggested there was something weird about the island, the ‘Big Reveal’ still shocked me.This is the first book of M.A Bennett’s that I’ve read, and I can’t wait to read more!
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