Frances is alone on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. She has to find water and food. She has to survive. And when she is there she also thinks about the past. The things that she did before. The things that made her a monster. Nothing is easy. Survival is hard and so is being honest about the past. Frances is a survivor however, and with the help of the only other crash survivor, she sees that the future is worth fighting for.
I don’t read Contemporaries very often but I do like survival stories and after I read the synopsis of The Island, I just had the read the novel and find out why a girl would call herself a monster.
And I wasn’t disappointed. While reading, I constantly caught myself thinking that I was about to run into a cliché but every time I was surprised by the turn of events that was so different to what I expected.
It wasn’t easy to get into the story to be honest, but I didn’t necessarily think that was a bad thing. It’s not easy to read from the point of view of a character like Frances, who I wouldn’t call likeable. It’s not that the author did a bad job at making me sympathize with her but that the character is just really authentic as she doesn’t like herself very much.
That made it all the more interesting to get to know Frances, both in the present as well as through past events that lead to her calling herself a monster. I like that this was told in alternating chapters and I got to know both sides of her in parallel.
The most interesting aspect of this is that you get to read about two completely different situations but it all comes down to just one thing: having to cope with difficult situations. I loved seeing a change in Frances in how she dealt with difficult situations, seeing how she changed as a person.
What surprised me the most was definitely the ending. To be honest, I feared that the survival on the island would be too easy and end in an even more easy and sudden way. The ending of The Island was everything but that though. Instead I found a kind of ending that is rather rare and that I like a lot.
The Island is more than the survival on a deserted island. It’s also the story of a girl who felt betrayed by the people in her life. It’s definitely a story worth reading.
Why only 3 stars from me then? As much as I liked almost everything about The Island, this was just not a Me book. I felt like I didn’t care enough about the characters, no matter how heartbreaking their stories were. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t a good book though and I’m sure many people will enjoy it.