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Nil (Nil, #1)
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Nil (Nil #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,654 ratings  ·  331 reviews
On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days--to escape, or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she mee
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Henry Holt
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
"If you want, I’ll finish combing your hair.”

I stared at his outstretched hand, totally floored.

I loved getting my hair brushed. More than getting my back scratched, more than getting a massage, more than anything, and I’d always dreamed about having a cute boy brush my hair.

Thad had just served up my secret fantasy on an island platter.
Teenagers trapped on an island "RIFE WITH DANGERS." Oh my. Oh my goodness. Could it be...Battle Royale? Could it be Lost? FUCK YEAH!


I really want to tear this book a new one, but it would be the equivalent of beating the shit out of the 80 pound asthmatic kid at school who wears glasses and stealing his lunch money.

See, here's the problem: I picked up this book with entirely different expectations of what it's actually about. The blurb caught my eye immediately:
On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.
My mind immediately began racing with awesome possibilities and
Survivor meets Lost (pre Epic fail) in this exciting survivalist story set on a bizarre island filled with monstrous beasts and only one way out, and if you miss your chance to leave, you die. Imagine walking to the store when this heat wave comes, and suddenly you find yourself naked and having to rough it out in this unnatural wild with countless death traps and no supplies or food other than what you can find on the island. Luckily, Charley found others in the same predicament. I found it rat ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
I love a good dystopian, in fact they have quickly become one of my new favorite genres. Not only do I love a good dystopian but I also love a good romance even more, combine the two and I have one read I am really looking forward too and that is exactly what I got in NIL.

If you are going into this one expecting blood and guts and gore, you are going to be sorely disappointed. This isn't the Hunger Games, it is a book all it's own and what a book it is.

I loved every minute of how twisted life o
So lame, I'm out! DNF

The part that grabbed my interest in the blurb was the part that made me instantly think of Battle Royale. I should've just re-read Battle Royale.

So far, this book has:

--ZERO excitement (how the hell is this even possible?! There is a time limit. With DEATH at the end of it. Where is the urgency? Where is the sense of danger? I'll tell you where: NOT FUCKING HERE.)

--corny, corny insta-love, the likes of which I have never before seen (it was really bad). It was insta-love o
Lindsay Cummings
wow...AMAZING!!! I freaking loved it. I loved the characters, the adventure, the romance, the writing style. couldn't put it down!!
Sara Larson
Wow, what a ride! This book is so interesting and unique--I loved it! And the love story between Thad and Charley is tender and moving--as well as many of the supporting cast of characters. Lynne does a great job making you feel like you know every single one of her characters, good and bad, strengths and flaws. All of the relationships are real, raw, and powerful in their own ways. And the island of Nil is an entity unto itself. If you are looking for SURVIVOR on crack + an awesome, sweet roman ...more
Natalie (Never trust a duck)
I feel nothing was resolved. I thought Charley was going to discover (THIS MIGHT BE SPOILERY) something that would ensure no one would ever go to Nil again, or maybe save everyone on Nil. I don't know, just something. Instead, she went all

And I, along with every other person on the island INCLUDING the love interest was like

And when we weren't delving deep into feelings, Thad and Charley had moments like

I don't want to mislead you, it wasn't a bad book. It was just okay. It was like the show Lo
Sara Raasch
YES. Just -- yes. Over and over. Islands and death and mysteries and YES.

Thad + Charley 4 Ever.
(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
17-year-old Charley gets hit by a heat-wave and somehow ends up on a random island, with no idea of how she got there.
When she eventually runs into two guys (who incidentally are really hot), she discovers that she is on an island called ‘Nil’, and that she has 365 days to get off it again, or she’ll die.
Will Charley get off the island in time? And is everyone on the island really attractive?

I knew from the first page that I wouldn’t like this book, and unfor
4.5 stars

When you go into any survival-type story you’re already prepared to go into it with an open mind and some kind of suspended belief and just accept the world building and explanations given. But for this book, there are no real explanations or reasons as to what Nil is, why it exists and for what real purpose it holds for the captured teens. This is the kind of fantasy that ‘just is’ so if that’s an element that will bother you, then this may not be a book for you. However, what lacks in

Ok so let me start off by saying that I'm pretty torn about this book. I both liked it and hated it. Mainly I just hated it. First off the insta love in this book was taken to a whole new level...It's overwhelming and takes up a majority of the story. There's less cheese in the diary section of Publix than there was in this book. To prove my point I give you:

Exhibit A: "Thanks for the company. And for this." I touche

3 of 5 stars. Please read my rating system further below. Nil was an action-packed thrill ride that involved one of my favorite things in books-survival. My favorite aspect of the book was the overall concept of Nil island. The gates, the patterns, only having one year to catch a gate otherwise you die, etc; but I did feel like the world development (more like island development) was a bit underdone. First of all, never in the book was
After a slow start, I felt that this book really took off in the second half to become a compelling, exciting read. The premise is a hard one to pull off successfully - the plot device of a door to another world, with specific people targeted and rules to follow, works well in fantasy where no scientific explanations are needed, but can be unconvincing in a SF context. I found Gone didn't work for me and neither did the TV series Lost or Flash Forward - all had intriguing, exciting premises that ...more
Two-second recap: Lynne Matson’s debut novel NIL, is a book that defies any current popular YA genre out there.

Part science-fiction mystery, part survival story, with just a hint of a star-crossed romance, this is a book that will stay with you long after you’re finished.


Full review:

I’ll be honest: I don’t reread a lot of books these days.

My to-be-read pile is often teetering with a number of intriguing, exciting books that are demanding to be read as soon as possible, so I’ve developed
I cannot believe that I had been excited for this book. This book was just one giant bait and switch. You read the summary and think "Oh hey! Interesting premise! Seems to promise intrigue and action and people trying to survive and a giant puzzle/conspiracy of some sort!" Only no. Don't go into the book expecting that. DON'T. Because you'll end up spending the entire book like I did--confused, annoyed, progressively more annoyed, and disappointed.

Nil is primarily a romance book with some vague
S.F. Robertson
On Nil, the countdown is the only thing that matters. Everyone's days are numbered, and as the old saying goes, when you're numbers up...

A wild ride full of moments that will have readers anxious for what comes next, the simple but compelling concept behind Nil is executed with utter finesse. After a single chapter, I couldn't stop. Steady pacing, a healthy balance of action and emotion and self-aware characters with heart made for an intense but easy read.

Charley's a rookie. Thad's a veteran. S
Amy Fournier
This book sounded so cool and interesting when I first heard about it and I couldn't wait to read it. I loved the concept of waking up on some mysterious island only to find out if you don't escape within a year you die. That's just insanity!! I loved discovering the island and the secrets it holds. Well, not so secret really, just things unfound yet. The characters were all good and the way that they lived and went about things seemed very realistic to the situations. It wasn't as intense as I ...more
Nov 26, 2013 Lauren marked it as never-finished
As of now, Nil is a DNF for me at 104 pages (27%). I may pick it up again if I feel compelled, or someone tells me that I must finish it.

I'm not going to rate this book, because I personally don't like to rate books I haven't read in full. I should also note that it is RARE that I DNF, but I've put this book on hold for about a week and am still not interested in picking it up again.

Reasons I put this book on hold:

1) I couldn't buy the set-up.

I like contemporary (non fantastical) stories. I
A. Rolland
My absolute favorite part about NIL will not be a spoiler for anyone. It’s the island itself. NIL is a diabolical villain personified through Thad’s POV. And I love it. The way NIL commands, and threatens, and teases. Without giving too much away, I was insanely intrigued by the symbolism of NIL and the hints to the possible origin.

If NIL is the villain, time is its sidekick. The ticking of time and marking of days builds the suspense to a heart-pounding level.

There’s enough romance to keep you
Katie (Kitkatscanread)
So I've been umming and ahhhing about what to rate this book when I finished it.
The romance is what I found difficult.
It may semi insta-lovey, but then I put everything into context and it was ok.
Having said this book was amazing.
It is told from two perspectives: Thad and Charley.
This was great as we got to see what life was like on the island of Nil before Charley arrived, and what it's like for a new-comer.
Thad and Charley have an instant connection, and get along like butter on a crumpet.
Boy, is this book an emotional ride. Lighting up my senses to the point of physical fatigue, Nil took me beyond the limits of a normal reading experience, to that rarely accessed place where the line blurs between reality and a highly engrossing story, where one's emotional investment in the narrative is so intense, the body can no longer distinguish between the stress of real-life calamity and what's only being read about. As I write this review, I have a headache building up through the back ...more
Bethany Crandell
WOW! This book blew. me. away.
The concept alone is staggering, but the successful delivery of so many unique voices means both boys and girls will devour this book.

Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
I requested to read Nil from Netgalley because I am drawn to the survival type stories. I loved the premise of 365 to escape, and the emotions that the teens would have with this deadline and with friends who disappear or die. I was also curious as to how they would band together and survive.
I enjoyed the dual perspective from this one. While I connected the most with Charley, the female protagonist, I also loved being in Thad's head, seeing another perspective of this dangerous, wild yet bea
Check out more of my reviews at Singing and Reading in the Rain!

For anybody gearing up to read this book, I would like to share a few tips when it comes to this one. For one, keep reading. No matter what you do, keep reading. Told in both of our protagonists Charley and Thad’s points of view, the beginning is positively boring, and I was honestly underwhelmed. I was hoping for a problem to be established as soon as Charley found Thad and the rest of the civilization of people on the island of Ni
So freaking good!!!!!!!!
Danielle (Love at First Page)
Nil is like Lost's less confusing cousin. By way of some sort of heat wave, teens are brought to the mysterious island of Nil where they have one full year to catch a heat wave back to the normal world, or they will die. When Charley arrives, Thad has only a few months left before his time will be up, but the connection he feels with her is now pulling him in two different directions. With no guarantee of the future, Charley and Thad race to unearth Nil's secrets before the island can claim Thad ...more

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God knows I gave this book more than enough chances. I didn't even know what was going on half the time. The author kept introducing so many characters and so many things that went unexplained that it was becoming hard to keep up. Also... they're in an island where they have to find their way out or they die... why are they having fun and doing fun things? Shouldn't they be stressed out? Worried? What even is this book

I'm so glad I picked this out at the library and didn't spend money on i
Actual rating - 1.5

It took me five pages to realize that Nil was going to be a very long read.

Ugh, the characters.

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Charley (with an EY - As Thad pointed it out all the bloody time.) was annoying.
She banged on about Sprite, thought more about how hot Thad was instead of being thankful that someone saved her, and was absolutely useless.
When she suddenly found her use, it was so unbelievable.
(view spoiler)
Ever since I first heard of Lynne Matson and Nil, I've been absolutely dying to read this story! Teens with only a year to live? To escape? Talk about fascinating!

The number one thing that I have to comment on (besides the hot guys, of course) is the amount of science that Lynne Matson manages to include. The clues that are scattered about the island, that our characters manage to piece together are unbelievably scientific and precise, and it was thrilling to see how they all fit together! The w
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I LOVE books. In fact, I'm addicted to them. :)

I write the sort of books I love to read…stories that ask "what if" and are full of feels. My second novel, NIL UNLOCKED (full of answers and mystery and swoon) comes out May of 2015.

Cookies are my kryptonite, especially thin mints.

More about Lynne Matson...

Other Books in the Series

Nil (2 books)
  • Nil Unlocked (Nil, #2)
Nil Unlocked (Nil, #2)

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“I curled into a ball under the thin covers, trying to get warm. Despite the moonlight, darkness crept in, cold and complete, like the dying whisper of a gate. But it was the darkness in my head that was the hardest to shake. For the first time, the darkness had a name. It was the daywatch.

Thad had seventy-five days left.”
“The bright blue sky remained cloudless, and the aquamarine ocean still crashed gently onto the white sand beach, but the scene was suddenly warped. Twisted, as I processed Thad's words.” 1 likes
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