Other Side of the Island
Allegra Goodman
Rate this book
Clear rating

Other Side of the Island

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  2,941 ratings  ·  452 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Allegra Goodman comes a post apocalyptic novel about love, loss, and the power of human choice.

Honor and her parents have been reassigned to live on Island 365 in the Tranquil Sea. Life is peaceful there—the color of the sky is regulated by Earth Mother, a corporation that controls New Weather, and it almost never rains. Everyone fi

Published October 1st 2008 by Turtleback Books (first published September 4th 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I am a sucker for a good apocalypse, but this is the best one I've found in a while. Goodman's dystopic future world mostly builds on familiar ideas. The earth is flooded except for a few scattered islands, the oceans are the enemy, and the Earth Mother rules the remaining population with the weapons of fear, paranoia, and overwhelming pressure to conform. But this book is so beautifully written, and so gripping, I couldn't put it down. It's better than The Giver. For reals.

Other Side covers Ho...more
Feb 02, 2011 Salma rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chandra, Abigail, Ann, Kathryn
Shelves: favorites
What if society as we knew it ended through a series of natural disasters? And a woman (who resembles the classic cookie-baking grandmother) rose up to organize those left in the wake of a ruined world and created a new order? One where the skies and earth are regulated so that bad weather and catastrophe is nonexistent? Where there is no such thing as disorder?

This is the world the author creates for Honor Greenspoon- ten years old when the book starts, fourteen when it ends. We don't know the...more
Goodman, Allegra. 2008. The Other Side of the Island.

First paragraph chapter one: All this happened many years ago, before the streets were air-conditioned. Children played outside then, and in many places the sky was naturally blue. A girl moved to a town house in the Colonies on Island 365 in the Tranquil Sea.

Back cover: About this island, Honor knows this much is true: Enclosure means safe and secure. Different is dangerous. Disappear means no one here. And Earth Mother is always watching.

The alt-text for two stars here on Goodreads says that a ranking of two stars means "it was ok," and that sums up my feelings about The Other Side of the Island. It's certainly not a bad book, not even a bad contribution to environmental-disaster-dystopian fiction for young adults, but "okay" is about the most enthusiasm I can muster, considering the questions I was left with and overall lack of excitement throughout the book.

There are some good subtle touches in the book - I like how references...more
Warnie B.
Well. I guess I wish Goodman had put a little more time into this book. It's a great premise, and could have been a great story, but it ended up seeming too half-baked. The characters weren't particularly likeable or believable, and a lot of their actions didn't really make sense to me. Also, a lot of the writing seemed...annoyingly dumbed down. I just think it could have been a whole lot better.
Global warming has caused the polar ice caps to melt and sea levels to rise; consequently, much of the Earth’s land has disappeared, leaving only high-lying islands. A corporation run by a woman known as Earth Mother now rules all of the islands. Honor and her family have moved to Island 365, and from the outset it looks like they’ll have a hard time fitting in. First of all, Honor’s name is all wrong. Everyone born in her year has a name that begins with H, but Honor’s name has a silent H and i...more
The Other Side of the Island gives up a stark picture of the future when evolving science and paranoia meld together to create a society ruled under utmost Totalitarianism.

Wow, some of the stuff the author thought up in here was pretty wicked. The concept of this book is fantastic and thoroughly developed. Some of the plot twists were predictable and others weren’t. The characters, especially Honor, were realistic with plenty of room for growth, and had their own vices and flaws.

The pacing of th...more
I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. The plot was really good but the character development just wasn’t there. It felt like all of the characters were the same person with different names and there was no character growth. Honor as a 10-year-old was the same as Honor as a 14-year-old.

One aspect of the book that I did find really interesting was the conundrum that Honor’s parents were in. They, being revolutionaries, were having difficulty coming to terms with letting their ch...more
Ten year old Honor and her mother and father have just been forcibly relocated to an island in the Tranquil Sea from their home in the Northern Islands. When Honor is being interviewed for her place in school, the headmistress stresses that her name is not Acceptable since the H is silent. Honor struggles to fit in while her parents secretly join the Forecasters, a group of rebels who want to displace Earth Mother who is bent on Enclosure - ceiling the islands against the onslaught of Weather. W...more
This started off quite promising, but ended with far more sputter than luster.
When I noticed I was 3/4ths of the way done, I had no idea how this was going to be wrapped up. I really should not have worried, as it simply was not. It ended on essentially a cliffhanger, but unlike nearly every other YA book needing to be a trilogy, Goodman writes at the end, in an author's notes section that she likes ambiguity, ending with more questions than answers. To this I say "hmmm" and "phfft".
To me this i...more
This is another of those "scary future" worlds. Global warming has resulted in melted ice-cap, world-wide floods and destruction. As the book opens, one family has been "retrieved" from the north islands where they were basically hiding out, and assimilated into the current society of the southern islands. The government is under the control of Earth Mother who promises to protect and shield the planet from future destruction by use of weather control, and literal shields that stretch over the p...more
Karen Ball
Another dystopia! This one reminds me a lot of The Giver, but with a clearer setting, more information about how this place has come to be, and actually more realistic options for the people in the story. Honor and her parents have been reassigned to live on Island 365 in the Tranquil Sea. Her parents don't quite fit in, and neither does she in this extremely regulated place. In their first apartment, the Neighborhood Watch arrives to tell them that they are not allowed to sing Honor to sleep to...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
Well, we’ve finally gone and pissed off Mother Earth. We finally mucked up the planet enough and The Flood was sent to put us in our place. Never fear, because the Corporation and the Earth Mother are here to save the day! “The Other Side of the Island” by Allegra Goodman takes place in the eighteenth year of Enclosure (where it’s always sunny and green under the dome), long after Mother Earth dumped on us in the form of the Flood. This is Honor’s story (silent H, which is a no-no, since she was...more
Oct 03, 2009 Shaya rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle-schoolers who want more books like The Giver
The Other Side of the Island is reasonably intersting but lacking a little in character development and surprises in the plot. It has some ideas to reflect on about what our values and what we see as problems in the world.

One thing that distinguishes The Other Side of the Island from other dystopian stories is that this is clearly set after the World suffers some of the effects of global warming. This aspect makes the story seem a bit more relevant and possible. Another distinguishing aspect is...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Tasha for

It's the eighteenth year of Enclosure and everything on the islands in the Tranquil Sea have become regulated. Earth Mother and her Corporation, who have a vision for a world with only happiness, control everything from jobs to the weather to children's names - and expect everyone to conform to this view of normality, no matter what the consequence. On Island 365 lives a girl named Honor and her family, who don't really fit into this society.

While Honor des...more
This was a pretty good book. It's about this new world led by Earth Mother who is a total freak. You don't ever meet her, but she's definitely a weird one.. enforcing the rules she enforced and coming up with that weather shit.

At the beginning of the book, I didn't know what to think about her parents. They seemed so irresponsible and they didn't seem to care what would happen to Honor, but as I got further and further in the book, I realized that maybe it was better that they did the things the...more
In my opinion the book was had a great story line and lesson about not giving into conformity. At the beginning of the book Honor is thrown into a new environment created by Earth Mother, called Enclosure. Enclosure was created to try and control not only the weather, but also to keep the people living inside Enclosure afraid of the natural world. Honor and her parents came from the world outside of Enclosure, and the more they stay in Enclosure, the islands, and in the world that Earth Mother...more
3.5 stars. A satisfying, well-written addition to the ever-expanding category of YA dystopian fiction with an environmental twist. In this story, the earth's continents have been reduced to islands by the catastrophic effects of global warming, and Big Brother = Earth Mother, the seemingly benevolent leader who rules the "safe" and "secure" Colonies, where she's trying to establish New Weather and a new, authoritarian society "for the good of the planet." Ten-year-old Honor has recently moved to...more
After having read so many dystopian novels it is good to know that some books can still capture my attention ,this one did . Although the classic elements of a dystopian novel are present ,The Other Side of the Island combines them in a really interesting way.

The main character Honor a.k.a Heloise is both lovable and annoying .She doesn't question what she should and accepts what she shouldn't ,she makes wrong choices and has mixed feelings about her family.But she learns, she gradually sees thi...more
If I wanted to rate this book on how good the actual story is, I'd give it a 5. But that's not the only thing I'm rating this book on.

Well, first of all, the writing wasn't great. It was quite simple (which can be fine) but the story didn't develop enough for me to get past that. It was not detail oriented. The book was too short, there were a lot of opportunities for things to be explored that didn't happen. The ending was abrupt.

I was confused about Honor's age most of the time. It says that s...more
This was okay. Not great, not horrible, but okay. Honor and her family move to an island where Mother Earth (a woman) controls everything - the weather, their lives, the school curriculum, etc. Honor's parents resist this brainwashing, but Honor tries to conform until one day her parents vanish and she's forced to live in an orphanage, trying to figure out what is going on and how to right everything again. Parts were interesting; I liked the bits about how and why kids believe the things they'r...more
This book was super good. It is a mythical world were there is a corporation who runs the islands, and whoever doesn't follow the corporation's rules gets taken away. This book shows you the life of Honor who moved to the islands and must learn to live like everyone else. But her parents on the other hand...

Although I was hesitant to start the book despite its rave reviews, I'm glad I did. The beginning was a bit "meh" for me, but that's also because I could palpably feel the dread leach from the page into my heart. You just know something bad is going to happen, and that Honor may be the one to precipitate it for her family. It reminded me of an article I once read about North Korea and how the communists would use children to inadvertently tattle on their parents and have them disappear. Heartbre...more
May be a victim of my growing weariness for YA post-apocalyptic dystopias (is there a word for worlds which are meant to be perceived as perfect but are clearly deeply flawed?) books.

Honor's family moves to an Enclosed island, where more than just the weather is controlled. I appreciated the conflict that Honor felt -- every girl wants to fit in at school, no matter how much she loves her parents (who of course want to stand up for bigger principles). But there was no particular spark to the sto...more
The position is obviously an ecocritical one. Nature is worth saving. We need to save nature. But in the narrative, there is no gradient that leads the reader toward that realisation. Instead, the narrative opens with people already taking action but the problem is they take it too far. So, really, if there is a moral to be found in the story, wouldn't that moral be "don't be too extreme in taking environmentalist action?" Yet, Goodman presented the reader with no other alternative. So, let me g...more
The Other Side Of The Island is a book that has a girl Honor and her family who moves to what seems to be a utopia for the most but really a dystopia. Earth Mother who changes the world, trying to make it rightful, orderly and a predictable place to live, is not the best move. It reminds me a lot of the Giver, with a similar theme of a perfect world is not so perfect. This book is a total turn the page, and can't stop turning type of book.
I was unsure what to expect in this book the reason bein...more
Long after the flood covering most of the Earth, ten-year-old girl, Honor Greenspoon, moves with her family to Island 365 in the Tranquil Sea. Life on the island is peaceful, and everyone fits into their rightful place. Now that Earth Mother and her Corporation have established a firm set of rules, there is no more sadness or visible violence left in the world. Unfortunately, Honor’s family does not like to follow those rules. Her irresponsible parents, Will and Pamela, sneak out after curfew to...more
Have to wait to be entertained. I greatly appreciate the author's effort in making an interesting post-apocalyptic story (and she might be a better adult writer), but this "first YA novel" frankly was not that thrilling. The best part of the novel was the setting up and description of the new world the characters live in. The idea was fabulous, but the plot was greatly lacking. If you actually analyze the novel, it's arguable there is not even a climax. I remember thinking-oh now something is ac...more
Mitchel Broussard
The more i think back on it, the less i dislike it. For some reason right after i finished it, i hated it. The end just really angered me at how ambiguous it was, with no real closure and no promise of a sequel. And at that point, i wasn't sure if i would be up for a sequel. However, as of now, i would definitely want to find out what happened to Honor's parents and to her on the Island. Of course, with my luck, one will never be made.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Floodland
  • The Secret Under My Skin
  • The Sky Inside (The Sky Inside, #1)
  • Restoring Harmony
  • Exodus (Exodus, #1)
  • Epitaph Road
  • Famished
  • The Unidentified
  • The Blending Time
  • 20 Years Later
  • The Silenced
  • Scored
  • Nomansland
  • Those That Wake (Those That Wake, #1)
  • Veracity
  • The Third
  • The Diary of Pelly D
  • The Big Empty (The Big Empty, #1)
The Cookbook Collector Intuition Kaaterskill Falls The Family Markowitz Paradise Park

Share This Book

“On breezy days when the wind was not too light and not too strong, Will and Pamela and the children flew their homemade kites in Peaceful Park until they were specks in the blue sky. When the wind was just right, the kites felt so strong and safe up there that Honor imagined nothing could budge them.

'Ho bum," boasted Will, 'I could stand here all day and this kite would hold. It's like fishing.'

'Fishing in reverse,' said Pamela. 'Sky fishing.'

'What do you fish for in the air?' asked Honor.

Pamela and Will started laughing. 'Oh, planets,' said Will. 'The occasional comet. An asteroid or two.'

Honor held one kite string, and Will held the other. Pamela held Quintilian. On those afternoons, four did not seem like the wrong number for a family. Four seemed just right.”
“I have a dark sense of humor,' Fanny explained.

'What's that supposed to mean?' asked Honor.

'It means I'm funny once you get to know me,' Fanny said.”
More quotes…