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The Islanders Vol. 1

(Making Out #1-2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  34 reviews
The first two books of Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant’s beloved series about New England’s most unforgettable teens-now available in one volume!

Two years ago the tiny New England community on Chatham Island was rocked by tragedy--three teenagers had a terrible accident that left one dead. Now Lucas Cabral, the person responsible for the events on that fateful night,
Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by HarperTeen
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Niki It was originally Boyfriends & Girlfriends then published as The Making Out Series, yes. …moreIt was originally Boyfriends & Girlfriends then published as The Making Out Series, yes. (less)
Amy Michael Grant helped edit the books before they got republished. He made them better!
Michael Grant helped edit the books before they got republished. He made them better!

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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  252 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Lauren R.
Super dramatic and cheesy, in an addicting 90s-style kind of way. (This would have been my JAM back when I was an actual young adult!) I'm open to romance tropes (love triangles, instalove) in ways that feel real and right. This book has both of those things in absolute full force, but not exactly how I prefer them. I couldn't even tell you about each character's personality/interests because they all felt the same. Despite all my complaints I have to say I enjoyed reading the drama. I'll defini ...more
Wow, just wow. This was a pretty great book.

There are only two reasons why I rated this book a 4 star and not a 5 star. First reason is the fact that the POV jumps from one character to another. Each of our characters gets at least a few words in, some more than others. Zoey, Nina, Claire, Aisha are the main characters, but the guys, Jake, Benjamin, Lucas, Christopher also have a few parts. It was especially confusing during the first chapters. I was just thinking it would be Zoey's POV (since h
Laura Martinelli
I’ve spent the past few weeks in a kind of nostalgic binge for the trashy YA novels that I would have grown up with—the series that would release multiple books in a matter of months that dealt with the pre-connected age of teen soap opera lurid scandals that didn’t feel out of place on the pre-CW WB primetime teen dramas. Not that the bulk of them could probably hold up nowadays, technology disconnect or otherwise, but they’re just so much fun to read. It’s literary junk food, and once in a whi ...more
Bella Carr
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 17-reads
I believe I gave the first book in this volume a 2.7. This one was quick and worse believe it or not. The plot of the book is good, precisely the reason I picked up this series. The writing however is truly terrible. The writer obviously has no idea how to portray teenagers. I was cringing so hard when a couple told each other they loved one another a week into their relationship. The book tried too hard to be relatable. Characters had potential but because of the writing they were all pretty ba ...more
You know what? When you get into this, it's really not that bad. If you can deal with the immature characters and the plot being 90% about the romance and 5% about friendship and 5% "deep dark secrets", it's okay. It was enough to keep me interested anyway. And I know it says I read this book in seven days, but it was more like two. The first five days I only read like 70 pages.

Benjamin was my favorite character, and I really loved him. He's blind, but he's not defined at all by this disability.
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I am SUCH a sucker for 90s teen melodrama. Let's recap what went down.


Zoey is my favorite and needs to drop Jake ASAP
Jake is the boringest boyfriend ever ("most boring" doesn't express his level of boring)
Lucas is the perfect bad boy
Ben is hilarious, but will be taken advantage of by Claire (calling it now)
Nina is truly an original
Chris is too good to be true
Aisha is me, down to the obsessive overachieving and stubbornness
Claire is a shady lady

Still to be resolved:

1. How long
Apr 12, 2015 marked it as to-read
So in the wake of Katherine's Newbery and Michael's minor mainstream success with Gone, I guess HarperCollins decided that a nineties series that the team wrote the first eight books of (the rest were ghostwritten) for a quick buck would sell. I never really planned on reading this series (I always got the impression that Applegrant didn't really care about what they were writing before the Animorophs-Everworld-Remnants era), but I guess I might as well give it a shot.
Dianna Carney
May 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was a strange read. Mostly cause the beginning and end of the book sucked but the middle was good. Not really sure how it happened, but it did.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, 59, poc, alcoholism, reread
In an effort to get my writing mojo back, I am rereading books that I absolutely loved as a teen that made me want to be a writer. I first read this series when it was published as BOYFRIENDS/GIRLFRIENDS (yes, pre-Making Out) and still have the originals on my shelf. So when I say I loved them, I mean I loooooved them.

Anyway, this was fun to read because the ~drama~ is exactly what I loved about it. It's like reading a soap opera with multiple characters, their POVs, and their relationships.

I o
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it
I just have to say I was really disappointed in this book but then maybe it wasn’t for me because it was very high school drama-ish. The first book is kind of getting to know all the characters and their lives.

Zoey - romantic at heart and her bf is Jake but you can tell they were meant to just be friends nothing else.

Jake - lost his brother in a drunk driving accident and the pain from that controls his life.

Nina - Zoeys best friend and also in love with with Benjamin (zoeys brother) but is d
I’m in a reading funk and I saw these books that I adored from my childhood had been rereleased so I decided to give it a shot.
It definitely broke me out of my funk a bit but good lord! I loved and idolized these books as a child. No wonder I was such a messed-up, overly dramatic teenager.
Anyway, they were still as good as I remembered which is to say, these were the Twilight books of my youth. Empty calories, brain-blasting fluff. A McDonalds binge in word format.
I’m okay with it.
Lauren Drake
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this whole series back when it was originally published a million and a half years ago. A recent google search ("teenage books living on island") let me to find them again republished and of course, tear through the series as quickly as possible. I want someone to make this into a Netflix series ASAP.
Not as good as I remember and much more soap opera. Nina and Benjamin are still bad ass characters though. Love comparing the updated cultural references to my old books. Ed Sheeran is the new Axl Rose?? Hah.
Jun 22, 2020 added it
Shelves: dnf
dnf: tried reading this several years ago— was hoping for a chill, beachy, summery vibe. honestly i can’t remember anything about it. all i remember was that I was so bored reading it & desperately tried to finish it for months, but to no avail. oh well ...more
Sondra Crandell
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading these takes me straight back to freshman year of high school. I can’t tell if I actually like these books, or I love the feelings and memories that it brings of reading these with my friends 18 years ago. And at the end of the day, does it really matter which?
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Like a teenage soap opera that you just can't turn off
I really enjoyed this book. It is in 2 parts. It is set on an Island in Maine. Great Summer Read!!!
Anne Kreiss
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent YA novel. Looking forward to reading the second one.
Haley Day
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
A compelling story with well-developed characters that each have positive qualities and flaws that make them easy to relate to. Looking forward to the next book.
Tracy T.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, young-adult
When I was a teenager in the 90s, I loved this series when it was the "Making Out" series. The first 8 books have been rebranded "The Islanders" and repackaged for today's teens, complete with updated pop culture references. Sure, there's lots of drama and insta-love, but again, its a teen series. Despite all that, the series held up pretty well. I grew up going to Maine during the summer and I was always enchanted with living on an island with a close knit community. I can't wait to read the ne ...more
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Islanders by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate * 4.5 Stars*


This is a story about choices and decisions. Zoey, Jake, Lucas, Nina, Ben and Claire, know each other for many years, since the island where they live is so small and everyone knows everyone. Aisha joined the gr
Elaine Mullane || At Home in Books
Feeling nostalgic for the books of my youth, I revisited Katherine Applegate and her Islanders omnibus editions (first released as the Making Out series way back in 1993. Yes, I am that old...).

While I found them to be overly-dramatic and a little bit cheesy on second reading, I think they would be loved by teenagers today. YA has taken a much-welcome step in the sphere of fantasy, science fiction and Dystopia, largely, in recent years so for teenagers looking for the traditional romance novels
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016, 4-star
I first read these two books when they were still under the “Making Out” series title back in high school. There were the books that started my love of reading for fun, instead of something that I had to do for school. I thought the characters were so mature for teenagers and that their lives were interesting compared to my own. I think there were a total of 28 books in the whole series and I had collected them all. When I went to college I decided that I was “too grown up” for them and gave the ...more
Sep 09, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoy YA fiction though I am not a young adult reader. This book did not disappoint. There is one twist that I saw coming right from the start. There is another twist that I didn't predict. I appreciated the interplay of story lines given the size of the community in which the story is set. I feel I have a good sense of the characters but also believe the author left room for them to grow. I didn't expect to want to follow this up by reading the next volume but I believe I'll be doing exactly ...more
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
These are from my childhood, republished and made current. I remember checking these out from the library and becoming engrossed and then they disappeared from the shelves. 20 years later, I go looking for them and here they are. They aren't that good, but my 13 year old self loved it and my 33 year old self enjoyed the time travel.

I mean, teenagers in love. It is ridiculous and escapist and dramatic (melodramatic) and sweet. Plus, set on an island!! I'm probably going to read them all. And kee
Rina Borough - Ireadwhatiwant2
I originally bough the book Zooey Fools Around at a swap meet around the year 2001. I read through quite a few of the books in the series back then and haven't thought about them since, so I was excited when I saw this book (containing books 1 and 2 of the Making Out series) being sold at a local bookstore. I can't wait to reread this these books and flashback to being a young teenager.

Fun fact: Jake Finds Out was my first ever online purchase.
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
1.5. Really not very good. Predictable in the first 10 pages. Originally published in the 1990s and apparently recently re-released with odd pop culture updates (one direction, Lindsey lohan) but utterly lacking in technology and social media which would make it more believeable for modern day but would also break down the whole plot.
Adina Hilton
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Good old fashioned nostalgia. I thought this book series was the coolest in 7th grade, it's even older than that! Some of the pop-culture references felt forced with this new packaging and "updating," but it makes up for it with fun high school drama.
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-teen
Like the storyline. Read the original series when ir first came out. I will probably read the others because I never did finish the original series and now I need to know what happens next.
Michelle Buck
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Writing was ok but I am not into the teenage drama.
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Katherine Applegate is the author of The One and Only Ivan, winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal. Her novel Crenshaw spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times children's bestseller list, and her first middle-grade stand-alone novel, the award-winning Home of the Brave, continues to be included on state reading lists, summer reading lists, and class reading lists.

Katherine has written three picture

Other books in the series

Making Out (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • Zoey Fools Around (Making Out, #1)
  • Jake Finds Out (Making Out, #2)
  • Nina Won't Tell (Making Out, #3)
  • Ben's in Love (Making Out, #4)
  • Claire Gets Caught (Making Out, #5)
  • What Zoey Saw (Making Out, #6)
  • Lucas Gets Hurt (Making Out, #7)
  • Aisha Goes Wild (Making Out, #8)
  • Zoey Plays Games (Making Out, #9)
  • Nina Shapes Up (Making Out, #10)

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