ARC Review: The Island by C.L. Taylor

Good Evening All,

Hope you’re all good and counting down the sleeps for Christmas break (or just Christmas Day). I am so desperate for a decent break from work, I’m looking forward to taking it easy and doing a whole lot of nothing. I haven’t quite decided when I’ll be breaking up from work yet, but either way, it’s soon and cannot come soon enough!

Book πŸ“–

I had no idea that C.L. Taylor had written anything outside of thriller books, so I was surprised to see this book, but was happy to give it a go. Thank you to @HarperCollinsUK and @callytaylor for this advanced audio copy of The Island in return for an honest review. The Island is due to be published on 21st January, 2021 and you can get a copy here.

Description πŸ”–

Five families have a tradition of going on holiday together every year and the tradition has ran long enough for the kids to remain friends well into their teens. This year’s holiday is to Thailand; sounds perfect right?

Wrong. The six teenagers spend a week on The Island which is a remote tropical island where they’re supposed to learn how to survive and enjoy the stunning surroundings. However when their guide dies of a stroke very early on in the trip, the group are left to fend for themselves. That becomes difficult to do because somebody on the island knows each of their worst fears and unfortunately, they’re all coming true.

General Thoughts πŸ€”

I’m not usually a YA reader but I do dip into the odd book every now and again. As this book was from an author that has written non-YA books that I have enjoyed, I thought why on earth not?! I have to say, it was an enjoyable book and I got on with it more than I thought I would. I got quite caught up in the relationships in the group and the teen angst and drama. Took me back! There are some dramatic moments in the book that kept me reading, waiting for the next fear to be realised.

There were a couple of things that I couldn’t get along with in the book. The first was that I didn’t feel like I was there; which sounds odd, I get that. But the setting of the book is this beautiful remote island, but I never really got a feeling for what it looked or felt like so I couldn’t envisage it in my mind. The other was despite the mystery and the dramatic moments, they felt a little fleeting so I failed to get a sense of exactly how it affected the group.

Characters πŸ‘­πŸ‘¬πŸ‘«

I struggled to keep up with who was who, who fancied who, who disliked who to begin with, but it all came together for me pretty quickly. As I mentioned, I really enjoyed the teen drama of the relationships within the group. I think it brought back teen memories for me and made me smile.

Don’t be fooled though, they may be teens, but some of them are struggling with some pretty heavy stuff. I liked reading about the backstory of some of the characters and it helped explain some their behaviours within the group on the island.

Writing Style ✍️

The majority of the book is written from the point of view of two of the six teens on the island. I do love a multiple POV book, however I would have liked to hear more about some of the other characters. One of the characters in particular, I wasn’t sure why their POV was selected over others.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸ…

I don’t want this review to come across as really negative. Although there were things about this book that I didn’t get along with too well, I did enjoy listening to it and found it easy going. I’d agree with the official description of Lost meets Hunger Games and I think those that are super into YA books would get on with this book well. When it’s released I’d definitely recommend it to the teens in my life and would be intrigued to hear how they find it.


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