Thursday 4 February 2021

REVIEW: The Island by C.L Taylor

The Island
Author: C.L Taylor
Publication Date: 21st January 2021
Genre: YA Thriller
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?


Disclaimer: I received a copy of *The Island* in exchange for an honest review.

I was really excited to dive into this once I got my hands on it. The mistake I made was reading right before bed because not only could I not put it down, I scared myself in the process as well.

The Island takes a hold of you and won't let go and there are three factors that contribute to this: 

1. The pacing of the story - it's quick to pick up and remains intense until the very last moment. I was captivated and didn't realise I had kept turning the page until 2 hours later, I had finished the entire book. 

2. The setting, which created a creepy and suspenseful atmosphere - a tropical island is usually known as paradise but Taylor is able to convey how quickly it can also turn into an isolated and threatening place. I was awestruck by the vibrant and lush setting, much like the characters, before starting to see the dangers around every corner, the longer the characters spent on the island. 

3. The characters' observations - this is another tick against Taylor's writing as she was able to manipulate my emotions through the lens of the narrators (there are two in this story). I'm still contemplating why she chose to include those two perspectives but it did make me stop and think as to who was the more reliable narrator. 

I was shocked by the ending and thoroughly enjoyed my reading experience at the time. I felt like beyond just being a thriller novel, Taylor was also able to address some really important themes such as trauma, grief and mental health, bringing awareness to these topics and how we should be generating conversation and showing more care to the people around us. I will say though that looking back now, as I finished this a few days ago, the plot wasn't as "hole-proof" as I thought. There are some moments where I can now say didn't read as well or were a little questionable. In fact, I can pinpoint a moment where the characters could have made a different call and things would have turned out for the better. It didn't really make sense to me why the characters never pointed it out. 

Overall, I think if you are a thriller fan, *The Island* will be right up your alley. It's got the suspense, mystery and engagement a thriller needs.

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