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The Island


The Island Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 2 based on 3
3 Reviews
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Seven students. One plane crash. No rules.

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 . . .

The Island Reviews | Toppsta

  • ISBN: 9781471407536
  • Pub Date: 25th July 2018
  • Publisher: Hot Key Books
  • Imprint: Hot Key Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 304

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11th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Island 9781471407536
3 stars
Three years ago, life changed for homeschooled American Link Selkirk - he started school for the first time. Not just any school, but a posh private school in the heart of Oxford. Unusually for a school associated with a university like Oxford, Osney prizes sports and games over academic ability - so much so that students' status in school is determined by how quickly they can run around the school's square. The fastest students are 'Ones', the slowest are 'Elevens'. Link does so badly that he becomes a 'Twelve' - a magnet for bullies.

After three years of misery at Osney, Link decides to quit school after his GCSEs - if he could just convince his parents. They eventually agree, but only if he spends the summer on the school's overseas camp. On the way, their small plane goes down on a desert island, and seven Osney students find themselves stranded and alone. Link - who has grown up reading desert island 'Robinsonade' adventure stories - sets about establishing a new pecking order, and plots revenge on his tormentors...

I enjoyed M.A. Bennett's STAGS last year, and The Island has similar preoccupations. Both books feature scholarship students coming into posh private schools, facing institutionalised bullying by privileged rich kids. The Island, however, flips this to ask what could happen when the meek inherit the earth.

The writing in The Island was easy to read and engaging, although I found it a much harder book to like than STAGS, primarily because the protagonist was deeply unpleasant for much of it. While the author makes it clear that this was a deliberate decision, it didn't make for an enjoyable read.

The mystery element of the plot was well done, although the resolution was ridiculous and over-the-top. This is definitely NOT a realistic, contemporary YA story! 

Overall, The Island was an easy-to-read thriller let down by an over-the-top ending and an unlikeable protagonist. 
12th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Island 9781471407536
2 stars
I felt this book was rather muddled up and was very in depth with the main character link and focused a lot on him and had a couple of side characters.

It had a lot of social issues with bullying and feeling left out.

I would have liked if there was an equal amount of it focusing on the other characters as well.

The characters were all written very well and in touch with how people who have been through this would have felt.

I think it didnt have much drama or comedy bits in it and was a bit of a drag to keep on reading.

it would suit the younger teen young adults as they would be able to relate a lot more to this book.
20th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Island 9781471407536
2 stars
A very strange and unique book with a new kind of storyline. 

I like that it is easy to read and has a good paced running. 

I do find it rather confusing halfway through and all a bit muddled up 
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About M A Bennett

M. A. Bennett is half Venetian and was born in Manchester, England, and raised in the Yorkshire Dales. She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialised in the study of Shakespeare's plays as a historical source. After university she studied art and has since worked as an illustrator, an actress and a film rev...

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