Book Review – The Island by M.A. Bennett

the islandLink 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…

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My rating: Cyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Full starNo-StarNo-Star

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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Buy The Island from Amazon UK (affiliate link)

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