Title: The Island
Author: M A Bennett
Published: July 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Thriller, Contemporary
Rating: 3/5 stars
‘People that are bullied aren’t necessarily nice people, just because they’re victims.’
When you finish this book, you will realise how much of a ridiculous plot this is, a little (a lot) unbelievable. However, I still found it an enjoyable read.
First of a few reviews have mentioned, that the book reveals what happens at the very beginning. It does not. It has a prologue, which opens up what happens in the book, but it is no more information than what you get from the synopsis or the information on the cover. Other books follow a similar style. It creates intrigue for the reader and makes them want to read the story and find out what happens to lead to the events described in the prologue.
There are themes of intense bullying particularly in the first half of the book. Link our main character has started at a prestigious English school in Oxford, previously being home schooled and living in America, he struggles to fit in. The school focuses on fitness and sports rather than academia, Lincoln is a self-confessed geek and not sporty in the slightest.
His peers are not likable, the school is divided by how fit and athletic you are and Lincoln is the lowest of the order. This all changes on the island, Lincoln is able to showcase his strengths that come from knowledge. However, through the developments on the island whatever sympathy you felt for Lincoln in the beginning vanishes. His character changes, he becomes controlling a bit of a bully himself. In England, we’d call him an ‘arse’ (excuse my English)
I figured out the plot twist way too early, it was around page 105, the book is 366 pages long. While Lincoln’s character develops backwards, you get to see more to some of the supporting characters (the bullies). The slight development does not excuse them from bullying. The book does lack in character development, while we see more and see a slight change in characters they revert to their old ways and their stereotypes. I thought this was disappointing.
One thing I did love is that the book was set in England, and a modern England. The language and terminology used was familiar and recognisable. I think I appreciated this a little more than, if the book was set elsewhere or in a different time.
I know I’ve said the plot is ridiculous and unbelievable but it is and easy read and enjoyable in places. It provided an escape and is that not one of the reasons we like to read.