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08 August 2018

Review: The Island by MA Bennett

If you know me then you'll know that I loved STAGS by MA Bennett when I read it last year. So going in to The Island I had high hopes... And I was not disappointed. Another fantastic exploration of the darker side of humanity set against a background of privilege and desperation.

The Island by MA BennettAdd to Goodreads
Link 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...

From the acclaimed author of S.T.A.G.S.

Source: Giveaway

5 Words: Power, responsibility, school, resentment, revenge.

Take one of each high-school stereotypes and dump them on a desert island, then sit back and watch the horror-show commence. The Island explores the darker realities of humanity, looking at abuse of power, misogyny, desperation, and revenge.

I imagine that this book will not be for everybody - the characters as a whole are intensely unlikable ,and it is very much a character driven story. But I loved the power struggles and how the situations unfolding turned everything on its head. The character development was incredible.

My favourite character was (predictably?) Flora. She's not the main character, and Link often pushes her aside and disregards her, but I loved those glimpses that we saw. She's probably the "best" character morally, and I loved that she could stand her ground under intense pressure and in almost unimaginable situations.

I think that the only bit of the book that I didn't like was the epilogue, as I'd have liked it to end on the last chapter and keep everything open - but that's just personal preference.

Breakfast Club meets Lord of the Flies.

Join my on Sunday 19th August at 6pm where I'll be chatting on Twitter about The Island for #SundayYA Book Club!


  1. FLORA! Maybe I was on to something at YALC...
    I'm looking forward to reading this, I enjoyed STAGS a lot.

  2. Sounds like a very interesting book. Must be quite intense to read if so all the characters dislike each other. I am off on holiday soon so might take the book with me!

  3. When I was reading this I was thinking it sounded like Lord Of The Flies, then you said that at the end he he. It sounds like an intriguing book and something a bit different. Usually some of the characters in a story are likeable, so having no one to connect with would be strange but the power struggles part sounds really interesting. Thanks for sharing your review Cora <3 xx

    Bexa |

  4. I've been waiting for this book to come out so I can give it a read! It sounds so interesting and I can't wait to get my hands on it! xx


  5. Ooh this sounds like LOTF v Lost very intriguing and I do love a character driven book

  6. This book sounds super interesting! The character development sounds unusual and intriguing xx

  7. This sounds like a really interesting book - poor Link having to go through so much though!! All of them being left on an Island is giving me The Hunger Games Vibes but it’s probably not THAT extreme hahaha - I’m going to have to add this to my list & also most likely create a goodreads account because that’d make my life a whole lot easier!


  8. This book sounds really interesting - when I read the synopsis, it reminded me a bit of the Lord of the Flies, one of the only required reading I had in class that I actually enjoyed 😅 so I'm curious about that one, I LOVE character-driven stories the best <3
    Thank you so much for sharing, I'll have to keep that one in mind :)

  9. This sounds really interesting. I'm pleased I picked up a copy at YALC


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