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(Nil #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  6,070 ratings  ·  884 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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Lily Yeah I'd say so, it's not really a cliffhanger.…moreYeah I'd say so, it's not really a cliffhanger.(less)
Kayla This book is really an easy read, not too difficult.
I would say the writing is more advanced in divergent. So you will be fine …more
This book is really an easy read, not too difficult.
I would say the writing is more advanced in divergent. So you will be fine (less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,070 ratings  ·  884 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of 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!

*chants* BLOOD! MURDER! D
Ben Alderson
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing


Like its my perfect read, survival, mystery, hot boy and so much more.
I am blown away THAT ENDING OMG
I need to know what happens in the follow ups now!

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
Jul 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, arc
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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
This book is very bizarre and what's even more bizarre is I didn't think I would like it but I did!

The book did remind me of a blend of movies all thrown in together. The Blue Lagoon, The Maze Runner, and Lost. There are just little things from each one that made me think of these movies.


On the island of Nil there are only teens and they just pop out of the air butt-naked. You just wake up any ole place, but it's kinda good if you wake up on your own somewhere first because if you think you fe
Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
A few points about Nil

The basic premise of this book was kind of exciting, a bunch of teenagers trapped on an island that is not suppose to exist and they have to find their way off the island. There is danger on the island and as far as they know, no one survived more than a year on the island. The rules seem to be simple, you must catch a gate, or you die.
There is a large cast of characters, but we only get two POVs in the book. We get Charlie’s POV and Thad’s. Charlie is a new arrival at the
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
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Nil by Lynne Matson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have 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 naked in an empty rock field.

A.G. Howard
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! The descriptions made me feel as if I were on a tropical island, and the concept of the "gates" were fascinating. But it's the characters who rocked the story. Thad and Charley are adorable. <3 I will definitely be reading the second one! ...more
Lindsay Cummings
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
wow...AMAZING!!! I freaking loved it. I loved the characters, the adventure, the romance, the writing style. couldn't put it down!! ...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 Larson
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Imogen Kathleen
Jan 05, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: pre-2020
The reviews for this book are more exciting than the book itself. I can't actually put into words how daft this book was, but I think the character names (Thad? Charley??) probably give you an idea. It's such a shame that a really interesting premise was overrun with lusty teenagers, juvenile writing style, and painful lack of world-building.
Sara Raasch
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: valentines
YES. Just -- yes. Over and over. Islands and death and mysteries and YES.

Thad + Charley 4 Ever.
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

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 to
Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
2.5 stars

Reviews and more

A book that had a lot of potential to be reminiscent of the Maze Runner or Lord of the Flies, but instead had a cheesy romance and ending.

This sounded so good from the description, it sounded like it would be similar to a dark dystopia where there are lots of fights and brutal deaths. There were deaths mind you, but other than that this book turned out mostly to be a light-hearted, soppy, insta romance in an exotic setting.

There ha
Oct 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star
I should have known by the fact that the two main characters are named Charley (girl) and Thad that this book wasn’t going to be any good. I also should have known when the main character used the phrase “dadgum Egypt” on page three to describe an obscure hot place.

The premise with this one was just too cool; I mean, teens trapped on an island they have to escape from within a year or they’ll die? Sounds kinda like Lost, and I loved that show! The potential for this book was fantastic, but the e
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Woah, what a book! This is the most thrilling, compelling, heart-pounding, nerve-wracking story that I've read in a long time.
The characters are maybe a little cliché and the love story might be a little bit too fluffy, I already read much worse in the romance genre. I've still really enjoyed it... in fact, I freaking LOVED each page of this first book and I can't wait to know what's next!
Lucky me, the second book is already waiting for me in my TBR pile!

Review (in French): http://unjour-unlivre
Just a lil bit toooo romancing for my liking.
Everything else was hectially fantastic.
Sarah Elizabeth
(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
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 develope
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
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
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
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the concept of this book! The characters were very cool!
Grace (LovingDemBooks) Z.

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
Apr 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-otherwise
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
2.5 Stars

Read all my reviews on

I like repetitive dystopian YA novels as much as the next person. Scratch that, I like them even better, however, when I'm promised a Battle Royale meets Lost I get to say I'm somewhat disappointed with what I got.

Let's start with the good thing: I found it to be an incredibly fast read, and therefore it didn't feel like a punishment to read it. On the other hand though, it had me facepalming in public, usually not a good sign.
This book...was okay. It was really action packed and fast paced (I’ll give it that) but it was also super awkward and cringy especially regarding the characters and their romances. Not sure if I’ll be continuing on with the rest of the series.
Leigh Collazo
Dec 21, 2013 rated it did not like it

More reviews at Mrs. ReaderPants.

REVIEW: After more than two weeks of trying to get into this book, I am giving up on page 137. It's not that interesting, and even more bothersome, Nil has an implausible premise. It appears that the wormholes bringing people to Nil are randomly placed throughout the world because there are cheetahs, lions, tigers, and zebras on Nil. There are also a few teens on the island from countries outside North America. But no matter where they are from, the only people t
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I love books--both reading and writing them. When I'm not reading or writing, you can find me hanging out with my husband and four sons. At any given time, at least one of the 6 of us is up to no good.:)

My books: NIL, NIL UNLOCKED and NIL ON FIRE are out now; NIL REMEMBERED is a recently released free ebook prequel. Join the #NILtribe...we have cool snacks.:)

Other books in the series

Nil (3 books)
  • Nil Unlocked (Nil, #2)
  • Nil on Fire (Nil, #3)

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