Cover Image: The Island

The Island

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The blurb for this book drew me in and I was not disappointed by the book.

Six friends go on holiday every with their parents who met at antenatal class. 

Over the years the dynamics of the group have changed and the friends do not feel as close as they were.  

This year they visit Thailand and Jeffers dad hires an island to celebrate his birthday with only the six friends and the guide they need to survive for a week.

Each of the friends have a secret they do not want to share, on the first night they tell each other their greatest fear, then these fears start coming true.

I liked the was that C.L. Taylor built the tension up in the book and teased us about the different secrets and fear each of them have focusing on Jessie and Danny. The twist at the end was good and within the story made sense.

Really enjoyed this and will be recommending it.
Was this review helpful?
The Island is a gripping YA story that follows a group of six friends on a holiday in Thailand. They are life long friends and them and their families holiday together a lot throughout the year.
We have Danny and Honor, who are couple within the group, Megan and Milo, who are brother and sister, Jessie, and Jefferson.
The group spend a week on a private island to take part in a survival experience as its Jefferson’s birthday present from his Dad, as he loves all things Bear Grylls. Things take a terrible turn for the worst though when Anuman, the guide for the trip, dies of a stroke and the group are left to fend for themselves. Will they ever be able to get off the Island?? And what danger awaits them???

I really did enjoy this book and have been finding myself up way too late and devouring every single chapter. It kept me gripped from the very beginning, right up until the end.
The characters were really easy to get to know and the fact the chapters were split into each character really helped to get into their heads and feel their feelings. The main characters were Danny and Jessie. I found Danny really quite annoying throughout parts of the story and found myself wanting to shout at him to drop his male pride. It was very apparent how completely in love he was with Honor though, 
“He’d walk over hot coals if it made her smile”
At first i found Jessie quite a dark character, but as the story unfolded, my heart broke for her. A very well written character who i really admired.

I loved this book and would recommend this to anyone. If your a fan of C.L Taylor and you enjoy YA books, this is the one for you! A nice easy read that kept suspense levels rising.
Was this review helpful?
A group of friends head off to a deserted island for a once in a lifetime trip they will never forget. Thank you Netgalley and HQ harper Collins for the chance to read the book.
Was this review helpful?
I have read and enjoyed a few books by this author and although it is a YA book and I’m a more mature reader I was intrigued to read it still. It didn’t disappoint, a fast paced light hearted in places read that I read in 2 sittings. A few twists thrown in for good measure made for a good read. I would recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?
The Island follows a group of six teenagers who meet up once a year and go on holiday together, ever since their parents met during their pregnancies. During this holiday the teens go away to a remote island near Thailand for one of the boys birthdays and the trip soon takes a dark turn following their arrival.

This book is written from two characters points of view which I liked as this gave insight into the complexity of their lives, helping me to further understand their actions and motives. At first, I did find it difficult to distinguish between each of the characters but Taylor did a great job at slowly revealing character detail throughout which made this easier. There were also many twists and turns in this book which left me pleasantly surprised however, I had predicted the ending in the middle of the book. In addition to this, the ending didn't feel at all rushed and I liked how everything was well explained.

I am a huge fan of C.L Taylor's work and I love how she builds upon the tension and detail as this made me so much more invested in the plot and I raced through it. I also like how the plot differs from other YA thrillers and touches upon important issues that felt realistic and also well written.
I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes a faced paced thriller with several twists and turns!

Huge thank you to HQ and Netgalley for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
Was this review helpful?
I love CL Taylor’s books and was looking forward to reading this one. 

A YA book about a group of friends who are meant to be on a trip of a lifetime when things don’t go as planned and they find themselves stranded on an island for 7 days.

CL Taylor is very good as describing settings and surrounds and it really makes you feel like you are there. 
The book had an interesting story line with twists and turns.
Reminded me of the beach a little
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins and HQ for the ARCs of this book. N.B. I read the first couple of chapters of the written copy and then switched to the audiobook.

‘The Island’ is a YA thriller which follows six teenagers on holiday in Thailand who are stranded on an island where their worst fears start to come true.

It feels a bit like Lord of the Flies mixed with The Beach. It’s a fun, fast-paced read with some exciting sections, but never really feels that high stakes or scary.

I loved the idea of this book. It could have been absolutely thrilling. I thought it was genius to gather a group of teenagers together who are friends because their parents met in their NCT class. This was a perfect setup because they would have known each other their whole lives but wouldn’t necessarily see each other regularly which could lead to distrust and misunderstandings.

Unfortunately, there is a fundamental flaw with the structure of the book. There are two narrators, one is in the first person and one is in the third person. This spoils the whole premise of the book because it signposts immediately who is the ‘villain’ of the piece. You immediately know there must be some information being held back or some kind of unreliable narration going on, otherwise both narrators would be written from the same perspective. It signposts that the danger is coming from within the group and narrows the potential of the storytelling.

I found the final reveal of what was going on completely obvious and unsurprising, despite the book’s attempt to make it an amazing twisty reveal. It completely fell flat for me. Possibly a teenager who has read fewer books would be less likely to spot this problem with the mechanics of the storytelling and would be blindsided by the ending, but I’d be surprised as I found the twist so heavily signposted.

The audiobook has two narrators. I thought the female narration was good but found the male narrator’s voice a bit grating, although he definitely sounded more like a teenager.
Was this review helpful?
I have to say I love all of Cally Taylor’s books, I own every one and can’t wait for her next book to be published I'm pleased to tell you her new offering, The Island does not disappoint. Whilst it’s a Young Adult novel is does not hold back on the creepy thriller jumps. I couldn’t guess what was going to happen next and who to trust. The only issue is you’ll devour it in a few days but I highly recommend if you want a book to be on your mind even after the last page has been read.

Thank you to NetGalley and HQ Young Adult for the advanced copy
Was this review helpful?
I started reading this at midnight thinking I’ll just get it started, read 5% and then go to sleep. BIG mistake, before I knew it it was, 2 am, and I’d read 25%, oops!
It was gripping and different right from the start. I’d been unsure about this book as I’d learnt after I’d requested it on NetGalley, that it wasn’t the author’s usual book, but young adult fiction instead. However, I needn’t have worried as it is the fantastically high standard you would expect from this author, and regardless of the target audience, any age can read this and enjoy it.
It is based on six seventeen-year-olds that go on an adventure and get more than what they signed up for. It reminded me a lot of ‘Gone by Michael Grant’ where kids suddenly find themselves having to survive without any adults to help. 
We have an alternating point of view between two of the characters, Jessie and Danny. I did wonder why we weren’t getting to see everything from all the POVs, but I suppose that would have over complicated things and maybe made the book too long. However, it wasn’t entirely made apparent why these two and not the other four (although there is one random chapter from Honor).
The ending is done and dusted very quickly, one minute you are in the jungle and the next you are back home dealing with the aftermath. I would have liked this padded out a little more. Even though we get all the answers, I didn’t quite feel ready to give this story up just yet. Especially, after I’d devoured it over such a small space of time, I felt like it was ripped out of my hands at the end.
It was a delightful read, though, and very different from anything else I’ve read recently. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t quite believe how quickly I read it!
Was this review helpful?
I’m a big fan of CL Taylor so I would have been excited for any new release by her. But when I saw that she was venturing into the young adult genre, I knew that I needed to read this straight away.

One of my favourite things about Taylor’s books is that she always describes her settings brilliantly. And that’s no exception here. Taylor sets up her story exceptionally well, enticing you with the island’s beauty but slowly building up threats to begin stepping up the pace.

As the island plays a dark game with its characters, there’s a sinisterly fun feel to it. What these characters are faced with isn’t an enjoyable experience, of course, but it’s an entertaining read that keeps your heart rate high.

Because of the story’s premise, I went into this book thinking that there was going to be an element of fantasy to it with the island playing on the guests’ fears, so I expected there to be a far-out explanation that took me on an exhilarating journey but that made little sense all the same. However, The Island is much more true-to-life than I was expecting and manages to explore some very personal themes along the way.

With such an addictive story, Taylor lures you in even more with likeable characters who are well-developed and relationships that are believable. It is obviously much lighter than her other books as it’s intended for a younger audience, but it’s still full to the brim with suspense and broaches some heavy themes that relate to its audience perfectly. While her target audience may be younger this time around, Taylor acknowledges that they still have to face some big issues that aren’t easy to deal with, exploring themes of trauma, grief, depression, and mental illness that will be sure to connect with it readers and open up some meaningful discussions.

The only aspect of the story that I didn’t particularly like was the use of two points of view – using a first-person narrative through Jessie and a third-person narrative through Danny. But, at the same time, I liked having Jessie’s personal narrative while Danny’s allowed for extra insight. The only reason I didn’t get on with this was because I felt that Danny’s chapters also needed more of a personal touch at times, so this narrative structure restricted his observations slightly.

Aside from that, The Island is a riveting page-turner that comes together brilliantly. Taylor successfully throws in many misdirections and will be sure to keep you guessing. Most of all, you’ll come away feeling close to the characters and hopeful that they can move on from the torment of The Island.
Was this review helpful?
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is pitched as Lost meets the Hunger Games. Six childhood friends went on a private island with a guide, it was supposed to be a fun trip. But they got stuck there for 7 days. Survival is hard but things started to fall apart when their phobias started to come true.

I was really excited to read it. The first sentence of the book totally hooked me and I really liked the first 100 pages, little flashbacks from the past make it easy to understand the background of their friendships. The story is told in only Danny and Jessie's POV and there was one odd chapter from Honor's POV which was so unnecessary. If there are 6 main characters then I'll preferer to read everyone's POV.

Unfortunately, I didn't like any of the characters, Jessie was so one-dimension, Danny was so over caring and fake, Honor was annoying and kept crying all the time, Milo and Meg are side-characters who are wrapped in the packaging of main characters and the 6th guy (can't remember his name) was so I, ME and MYSELF.

The plot got so bland and one-dimensional after 80-100 pages, couldn't relate to any characters so I didn't care when all the things happened with them. The twists and turns didn't intrigue me. The ending was flat and hurried to me.

Jack and Josh part was so forced, who tries to kiss a stranger girl in public. I couldn't digest them, they were literally shouting that we are filler characters.

The addictive Young Adult thriller sticker thing on the book... it is a TRAP.
Was this review helpful?
Once I saw this book I just had to read it! Having read Sleep and Strangers by C L Taylor I just knew I couldn’t go wrong with this book and it really lived up and surpassed my expectations.

I will start off by acknowledging that this book may be a bit “lighter” so it is quite appropriate  for young adults but it is still a really exciting read for adults as well! 

It literally has everything: lies, deceit, suspense, twists and turns and most of all spookiness and mystery! 

The characters are really interesting and the narrative kept me hooked from the first few chapters.

The author really knows how to give us information about the characters past whilst keeping us completely tangled in the present and I simply love C.L. Taylor’s writhing style.

The books is easy to follow and full of suspense and thrilling twists. 
The anxiety and struggle is almost palpable during the read and I couldn’t put this book down. 

I also really enjoyed how really important subjects were cleverly covered throughout the book including  mental health and bullying. 

Overall another fantastic book by C L Taylor that I would highly recommend to adults, young adults who enjoyed a fantastic crime/suspense thriller. 

I would like to thank Netgalley and HQ for an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
Was this review helpful?
Six teenage friends who are being friends for years through their parents are going to a remote tropical island for their holiday. It looks like paradise at first until their guide dies of a stroke which leaves them stranded on the island until their parents realise. One by one each member of the groups worst nightmare becomes and group start to think someone is after them on the island.

We are POV’s in the book Jessie and Danny. 

This was fun read. Imagine thinking you are going to tropical island which looks like paradise but turns out to be your worst nightmare, well it happens to the six of the friends. 

Each character has depth to them and they all have secrets which does turn to distrust at parts in the book. 

I liked how the author dealt with the trauma of two of the characters, she handle it with sensitivity.

I’m going to admit the ending took me by surprise and I certainly didn’t guess what was going to happen. 

This is YA book but you can certainly read it is as a adult.

Overall an entertaining read which starts as paradise but turns into a nightmare for the characters.
Was this review helpful?
The Island follows six friends who are left deserted on a remote island after their guide dies, left to survive by themselves things take a darker turn when one by one the fears of the friendship group are used against them.

I really enjoyed the first half of the book; it was action packed and a fast-paced read. I liked the writing style and how the strained relationships between the characters were set up, the book is told from the perspective of two characters and it was interesting to see how the characters adapted to their situation during the first couple of days, I liked the tense atmosphere and the way that suspense was built up during the first half.

However, I did not like the second half as much. The plot of the book is not unique; the twists, the final reveal and the use of mental illness were predictable and so by the second half I was bored and felt like the book lost suspense and it felt dragged out. I did like the characters and how in the first half there is suspicion on all of them, but it was clear who the person behind everything was which makes for a disappointing read.

Was this review helpful?
Jessie and her friends get more than they expect when a holiday of a lifetime goes badly wrong and their adventurous idyll is shattered.  There is an unknown threat that is stalking them, creating fear & discord among the camp.  Someone is determined to mess with their minds but is there a stalker lurking in the shadows on the island or can it really be one of them? After all, they aren’t all that close any more and everyone has a secret? Don’t they? 

It was very easy to get swallowed up in the drama of the increasing paranoia of the unprepared campers and their reactions to the unfolding tension. This is Taylor’s first novel for young adult readers and it’s the perfect bridge between teen reads and adult fiction.   I was so caught up in the drama that I was nearly late for my work as time seemed to stand still!   

I received a copy from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
Was this review helpful?
What was supposed to be the perfect holiday for a group of teenagers - a week on a tropical island - turns into a nightmare when their guide dies.
Stranded on the island, they soon learn that someone knows their deepest fears and what's worse, starts making them a reality.

The story follows a dual perspective but features multiple characters which usually means that I might find it confusing to follow, but this wasn't the case.  
The story is one that starts slowly but one that sucks you in imperceptibly, and before I knew it, I was madly turning the pages and couldn't put it down.
The twist was surprising, albeit a bit unsatisfactory.
Nevertheless, it was a gripping, fast-paced read that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
This was everything I wanted and more! The island, a place where your phobias come true is the perfect mix of atmospheric and spooky. I am so impressed by the way the author made the island feel so real, I could picture every detail. 
I adored the characters even those I didn't like had a charm that made me love reading about them and I think they all had really good backstories that meshed well with their current situations.
I didn't expect the book to scare me so much but It was done so well and the ending was great. Usually in these spooky survival stories, the end is a let down but I really liked how it was carried out here and I think it was the perfect length for an ending.
Was this review helpful?
A fast paced thriller, this keeps you guessing throughout. The characters are well developed and it keeps you guessing who can be trusted.
Was this review helpful?
With her new novel 'The Island', C.L Taylor takes her area of specialism, the psychological thriller, and expertly adapts the genre to appeal to a young adult audience. The central setting and mystery are woven with plenty of suspense and intrigue, drawing the reader into this lushly depicted private island. Don't be fooled - this is far from paradise!

The story follows six teenagers who are being taken on a 'survival weekend' on a private island off the coast of Thailand. We follow the perspective of two of them, Jessie and Danny, but we see all of the teenagers are battling with their own issues and demons which colour the way they approach their island experience. As the week unfolds, more and more seems to stack against the teenagers, particularly when they are being forced to face their worst phobias head on. The threat level mounts as we wonder whether all teenagers will survive to be rescued...

Despite the twists not being the most surprising reveals, I thoroughly enjoyed the pacey and suspenseful plot and read it in only two sittings. Every time I went to put the book down, some new dramatic event would present itself and just tempt me into reading one chapter more! I love reading thrillers and am grateful for this new trend of writing for young adults which gives me a greater variety to recommend to my students. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher who provided an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A really good young adults book. I needed something quite easy to read and this was perfect. Reminds me of lord of the flies!
Was this review helpful?