I would like to thank Hot Key Books and M.A. Bennett for sending me this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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.
It has been hard to write a review on this book because on the one hand I did like it but, on the other hand, I found it quite disappointing.
As I said I did like The Island, so of course, there was a certain amount of enjoyment which I found in this book. But I felt that the blurb was slightly misleading. I had imagine a thrilling Lord of the Flies meets The Breakfast Club retelling. THAT DEFINITELY DID NOT HAPPEN.
The main character Link is hardly a likeable character, from start to finish, but you do have to pity him. He is bullied relentlessly and of course, my heart went out to him. I found him unlikeable during his time on the “mysterious” island (I won’t go into too much detail as I don’t want to spoil it), he was massively misogynistic and it was painful to read at times. I frequently wanted to hurl my kindle across the room just to make it stop.
The other characters in the story portrayed the stereotypical American high school kids, which Link is very aware of. I found it was a super easy troupe to do it. I mean, it has been done so many times, so my interest wasn’t greatly fulfilled.
The pacing of the book was slow but it held my interest. I thought something shocking was going to happen which would be worth the time I was putting into the book. In my opinion, the book could have been shorter, there were so many unnecessary parts in the book that just didn’t need to be there.
The writing was in no way bad, I mean I did stick around for the whole book! As I mentioned at the start, I was expecting something entirely different to what I actually got which made me rate the book a lot lower. Shame really.