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Gray Wolf Island

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Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.

From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.

322 pages, Hardcover

First published October 10, 2017

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About the author

Tracey Neithercott

1 book117 followers
Tracey Neithercott’s first book was written by hand and illustrated with some really fancy colored pencils. It was highly acclaimed by her mother. Now, she writes YA stories of friendship, love, murder, and magic. (None of which she illustrates—you’re welcome.) She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, who suggests improving her novels by adding Star Wars characters.

She is the author of GRAY WOLF ISLAND, a YA novel about the truth, a treasure, and five teens searching for both.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 171 reviews
Profile Image for ELLIAS (elliasreads).
478 reviews37.3k followers
August 30, 2022
“The sun drips light down the face of the sky, fierce reds and oranges pooling on the surface of the water. For the long moments before the sun dunks beneath the waves, we’re kings and queens with skin like fire.”



But most importantly, my heart and soul is singing and I'm ready to live out my life and go on an adventure.

Gray Wolf Island is somewhat of a hidden and beautiful thing-- something lost, something there, and something new; and by god am I gloriously happy that this book exists.

I didn’t go searching for this book. I didn’t even know it existed. I never heard of it in fact, nor, did I hear anyone ever talk about it.

And then, by some strange miracle (Amazon.com), I found it. Treasure.

I think for me the best part of this book were the characters and their relationships-- the friendships between them all is a living breath of fresh air. I care for them so so much. I haven't felt this way about a lot of characters in a long time, ever since reading, The Raven Boys and The Foxhole Court.

It was so beautiful.

This book made me feel things. It made me feel complete. It made me feel whole. It finished me. And it brought me back to life. This is the kind of book I live for-- the beautiful sense of an adventure and the strange love of five people buzzing underneath my skin; it was worth alone, the all-nighter on a cold starless Sunday night.

This book isn't just a story about a treasure hunt. It's a story about impractical love, seldom acceptances, and the act of forgiveness. It's a book about truths and secrets, and the fulfillment and emptiness that comes from them.

“The truth isn’t sharp or cutting. It’s not the opposite of comfort.
It’s the absence of it.”

I can also say that if you love The Raven Cycle like I do, then you will absolutely fall in love with Gray Wolf Island. There are some certain elements that parallel each other but both stand strongly and well apart.

BUT the ending did leave me wanting more. So. Much. More. Ruby, Gabe, Charlie, Anne, and Elliot, my strange and whimsical friends. I hope everything is ok. I hope everyone is ok. However I do know that whatever happens next, to whatever end our characters have to face, 'everything is going to be okay.' This I know.

To leave it off, I'll leave a quote from the book down below that held me down and resonated within me; a truth that felt full of bursting and singing. A great and wanting need.

"I'm thinking I love them all, these people who barged into my life and turned it upside down. It feels like there should be something supernatural about it. But there's no magic in love, just a gradual giving of yourself and trusting that whoever holds a piece will transform it into something magical."

"I've got your daydreams in my grasp."

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Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
419 reviews1,622 followers
January 10, 2018
"Hey, can I copy your homework?"
"Yeah, just change it up a little so it's not obvious you copied."

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott

(Whoops, I went there)

Before I start, I’m not screaming 'plagiarism' or anything like that. These books just have a lot of similarities. Examples:

• Story revolves around a girl with a color name (Blue vs Ruby)

• Story starts when girl joins a group of 3 boys looking for something magical (Glendower vs Treasure)

• Ft boy predicted to die (not really a spoiler since like 2nd chapter info for both) (Gansey vs Charlie)

• Ft friend with magic sleeping abilities (Spoiler vs Anne)

• Ft poor friend with Daddy issues and self-worth issues (Adam vs Gabe)

• Ft magical place with lots of trees and riddles and disappearing items (Cabeswater vs Gray Wolf Island)

• Romance starts with girl disliking boy because of his prominent family name.

• Girl falls for boy once seeing his dedication to magical thing and his friends.

• Girl has ill-fated romantic moment(s) with one of the other boys before actual romance.

• “He’s dead but what a noble sacrifice” (spoilery)

• “Maybe the real dead-Welsh-King/treasure is the friends we make along the way”

• “Maybe your lips/kiss are venomous/cursed”

^ See what I mean??

These two books really exist in the same sort of magical-realism-almost-absurd-quest-thing, and share similar friend dynamics. While that’s not necessarily bad this book ended up falling really flat for me. (In ways that weren’t just related to living under the Stiefvater shadow)

First off, our main character is incredibly boring. Ruby’s twin sister recently passed away, but Ruby still defines herself through their relationship. She’s constantly saying she is “shy” and that her sister was “the nice twin” “the fun twin” “the outgoing twin.” Ruby constantly reiterated that she "doesn’t know who she is" without her sister. This is interesting. Seeing a character grieve and grow after such a longstanding co-dependent relationship is fascinating. But nothing is done with it. The whole book Ruby has absolutely no personality except reminding us she doesn’t have a personality. There’s one scene at the end where she jumps into a pond and has fun and… that’s it? That’s her character progression? I still don’t know what she wants. I know nothing about her character and she still doesn’t seem interested in finding out.

Ruby’s twin sister dies in the prologue, in a sad and gritty scene. Usually prologues give you some sort of idea what’s in store… but nope? This constantly and quickly changes tone. After such an emotional beginning this switched over to !lighthearted! and !friendship! before switching back to “uh-oh the island wants us to reveal our darkest secrets and one of us is a murderer.” (Literally) Ruby’s parents are caricatures who only call every so often to interject the story with “make friends!” and “DO YOU HAVE CLEAN UNDIES?” which is bad enough... but made worse because it interrupted all the serious-treasure-hunting and dark-secret sharing?

(Slightly spoilery discussion of Sexual Assault ahead)

One of the aforementioned secrets is reveals one of the boys sexually assaulted a girl at a party. Certainly a bold choice, and not one that sat very well with me. First off, I don’t love sexual assault as a plot twist. But I will say this was handled fairly sensitively. The character doesn’t excuse his actions, does not blame the victim, and feels horrified with himself. His friends don’t excuse the actions, either, and feel properly shocked and upset. This had the potential for an excellent discussion on toxic masculinity (the character says he just “wanted to feel like a man”) and how close to home assault strikes. But instead of dealing with the ramifications, the plot is effectively written out.

I don’t want to be completely negative of this review, as there were several strong points. The whole atmosphere was deliciously magical and mysterious, and there were several plot twists handled excellently. But the whole cast was introduced quickly, and never firmly established. There were several interesting character arcs or points for discussion, but nothing was done with them. As this was a debut, I'm interested to see how Neithercott progresses as an author.

In Conclusion:

Definitely ‘Raven Boys’ vibes. But without fully-formed characters and with rapidly switching tone.

I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for a review, thanks to Knopf Books for the opportunity! (That’s why no quotes used)
Profile Image for Korrina  (OwlCrate).
193 reviews4,576 followers
July 9, 2017
This book was very good. Nothing will ever beat The Raven Boys for me, but this definitely had similar vibes and I appreciated it for that. It had so many elements I enjoyed...the mystery, the friendship, the slight magical realism. And it also had so much humour, which I wasn't expecting. I came to love these characters so very much. I hope they're all okay now.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,610 reviews5,006 followers
April 24, 2018
Upon first reading this book, I was comfortable with a 3.5, rounded down. It wasn't anything particularly special, but it was a fun read, I felt like it went by rather quickly, and there were a few topics that I thought it handled pretty well (such as loss of a loved one, and sexual assault). That said, this review has taken me forever to write because I feel so "meh" about it, and after thinking back on the story as well as reading Kaylin's comparison of how heavily influenced by The Raven Boys this book seems to be, I think I'll lower this to 2.5, rounded down.

I was planning on writing a thorough review for this book, but honestly, it's not that I don't want to - it's that I can't. Sure, it's been a little while since I read it, but that typically doesn't stop me from writing long, in-depth reviews. (I mean, just look at my TRC reviews, each of which took me about 2 months to write, but are pages upon pages of details and gushing.)

Honestly, Gray Wolf Island is simply not a memorable read. Before glancing at friends' reviews and the synopsis earlier today, I could not have possibly told you the name of a single character, or much of anything about the plot. I had forgotten everything except the treasure hunt, and the death of the protagonist's sister, and I almost never forget important details in books like this. That's just how outright forgettable this story is.

It's not a bad book, by any means at all. If you're looking for a fun YA mystery that's a breeze to get through and will keep you guessing at a few details along the way, I'd honestly 100% recommend picking this up! That said, if you're looking for a story that packs a bigger punch and will stay with you, this probably isn't the read for you - and if you're a TRC fan who, like me, takes issue with other books being blaring copies of that beloved series, I'd probably pass this one by.

Thank you so much to Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!


Buddy read with Reg! ❤

You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
Profile Image for Lola Sharp.
99 reviews60 followers
April 19, 2016
Y'all, I am very blessed to have read an early manuscript of this GORGEOUS book. And, yes, I am friends with Tracey, BUT, I think most of you know how blunt and brutally honest I am and that I do NOT hand out 5 stars often. (usually I don't even put stars up) I don't rave willy-nilly. I'm also rather fussy about prose quality. THIS BOOK IS GORGEOUS, atmospheric, with hauntingly beautiful prose, interesting layered characters and a unique premise. If you like Maggie Steifvater or Laini Taylor, etc. books, you will love Tracey's.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,038 reviews1,499 followers
September 10, 2017
Ruby and Sadie are twins, Sadie is the outgoing more popular twin while Ruby has spent her life simply being Sadie's sister. When Sadie get ill however Ruby would give anything to keep her sister in her life but when things take a turn for the worse instead Ruby helps end her sister's misery. Right before she dies Sadie makes Ruby promise to finish off her hunt for the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

A year passes with Ruby mourning the loss of her other half before she finds a sign that reminds her of her promise to her sister. Happening to cross upon the book Treasure Island Ruby finds a poem in the book that seems to be a map to the treasure that her sister was so obsessed with while she was alive. As Ruby sets off to do some more research on the island she ends up finding herself teamed up with a group of other teens that also want to find the treasure and off to the island the group goes.

Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott ended up not quite the book that I was expecting it to be when I picked it up. A young adult fantasy I thought that this one was going to be full of adventure and action but it really turned into a much slower story than I prefer myself. With Ruby spending a good portion of the story struggling with her inner turmoil over her sister's death and the others in her group also sharing their own secrets it was a bit more of a sorrowful read than adventure.

I also think that this was bit more on the wordier side than I would like which also seemed to slow down on the pacing to me. None of this made it a bad read but just not what I had expected so that led to a bit of disappointment. In the end I'd say to me this one is about a 3 star Ok read but I'm sure other's will probably love this book just the way it is.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
948 reviews769 followers
August 1, 2019
I shouldn't care that he's right. I shouldn't want to be like these boys, who cease to exist without each other. It's a dangerous thing, flinging open your heart and begging another person to burrow inside without breaking anything.

This book was so utterly beautiful and heartbreaking. A story of love and friendship. A tale of adventure and self-discovery. A journey toward forgiveness and understanding what truly matters in life.

The prose is exquisitely lyrical and the overall atmosphere is quite reminiscent of the Raven Boys. It certainly occupies a similar place in the realm of magical realism. So I'd definitely recommend it to fans of the Raven Cycle.

The Cast:
Ruby, a quiet and guarded girl, trying move on from the passing of her sister. And trying desperately to find her place in a world where her sister Sadie does not exist and where she no longer exists in her sister's shadow.
Elliot, a brilliant boy with a mind for the mysterious and puzzling. For as long as he can remember, he has been on a quest to find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island. But as he and the rest of the gang get closer and closer to the truth, he also discovers a truth he's long forgotten.
Gabe, a demon, an angel, an unnatural, all of these terms have been used to describe Gabe throughout his years. And all of them have left their mark on him. Despite his charming facade, he, as with the rest of his friends, is more than meets the eye.
Charlie, the boy destined to die, or so people say. He has an undeniable thirst for adventure. As a child, he always feared dying, but as he grew older he no longer feared dying, but rather he feared he'd die before he ever really lived. And now that is all he does, constantly living, as he waits to die.
Anne, the girl that never sleeps. Dubbed weird by those around her, she has never had friends before. So when she gets invited on a hunt by a ragtag team of treasure hunters, Anne jumps at the chance for adventure and perhaps making friends along the way.

The Relationships
Normally, I'd break down the key relationships. But in this book, all the relationships/friendships are quite relevant and it would take far too long to discuss each and its nuance. So I shall leave with a few of my favorite quotes instead.

“I give him the kind of smile only shared between two people who desperately hate something and thoroughly enjoy hating it together.”

“You'd haunt me, Ruby. Even if you faded to nothing and everyone forgot.”

“Nah, Anna Banana, you're my platonic soulmate. So Ruby can be my best girl friend.”

When I went into this book I never imagined the journey it would take me on, or how much it would move me. I am happy to say, all the time spent on this journey was worth it. And I will continue to remember it fondly.

*I received a free ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Katy Upperman.
Author 4 books307 followers
March 31, 2017
This book is so mind-blowingly good it gave me chills, even on my second read. Author Tracey Neithercott's prose is gorgeously lyrical, her plot (a treasure hunt involving an atmospheric island and a host of tragic secrets) is full of surprises, and her cast will burrow into your heart -- particularly sad-but-strong main character, Ruby, and enigmatic, sensitive Elliot. Gray Wolf Island is like a darker, swoonier version of The Goonies, and is absolutely one of my newest favorites. You'll love it, too, if you enjoy books with unique settings, evocative writing, and authentic friendships, as seen in books by Maggie Stiefvater and Nova Ren Sum and Laura Ruby.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
1,966 reviews1,385 followers
August 28, 2017
Actual rating 4.5 stars.

Upon the death of her twin sister, Sadie, Ruby finds herself fading even more into the background of village life. Without the bolstering support of her out-going duplicate and still lamenting the loss of the one she loved the most, Sadie loses more and more of herself every day. But she is also haunted by a promise and a crime. And both were made on her sister's deathbed.

Eager to rectify and escape the past, Ruby finds herself undertaking the task of discovering the treasure hidden on neighbouring Grey Wolf Island. The much-sought loot was Sadie's dream and so, in her stead, it is now up to the remaining sister to fulfil it. But she won't be as alone in this engagement as she wished. Instead she now must explore with her village peers, who she never paid any attention to before. The unlikely band of adventurers set off hoping for treasure but return holding something of considerable less weight but considerable more value.

This felt like Swallows and Amazons for an older audience. I was expecting this to be nothing more than a fun, adventure quest; a quick-paced, passive read that wouldn't test the reader too much. Instead this delivered a poignant tale that dealt with issues such a grief and loss, knowing ones' self and the crisis of identity, societal-held beliefs and superstitions, and how those we come into contact with can shape the journey of our lives. This was a seamless amalgamation of a multitude of genres and used facets of each one to deliver a harrowing and unforgettable tale.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Tracey Neithercott, and the publisher, Knopf Books for Young Readers, for this opportunity.
Profile Image for Kayla.
Author 15 books340 followers
October 23, 2016
I could go on and on and on about this book, but I'm going to err on the side of being vague so I don't spoil a single thing. One non-spoilery thing I will say, though, is that the writing is absolutely gorgeous. I highlighted so many lines—lines I loved, lines that made me laugh, lines that will haunt me for days (in the very best way). The end of the opening chapter left me with chills upon chills—a feeling I felt numerous times throughout—and it also left me undeniably invested in the story.

Gray Wolf Island was satisfying not only for its plot/mystery aspects, but also for the emotional journeys its characters took. Full of mystery, magic, and secrets—along with a good number of things that broke my heart—I could not read this book fast enough.
Profile Image for Allison.
489 reviews186 followers
September 26, 2017
Absolutely beautiful debut! Just...the prose...WOW.

Anyways, longer review soon.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
510 reviews297 followers
November 30, 2018
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner!

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger Warning: Death, murder, and mention of rape.

I received this E-ARC via the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was super excited to read Gray Wolf Island! I love reading about treasure hunts and was thoroughly anticipating this one. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy it.

The story follows Ruby after the death of her sister Sadie. Sadie was obsessed about this mysterious island that is rumored to have treasure. Much to Ruby's surprise Sadie has set-up a trip to the island for Ruby to go in her place. Ruby gets the help of Gabe, Charlie, Elliot, and Anne. As they make their way to the island, they soon realize they will face truths about themselves. Truths that are harmful.

This actually started off really good! It was so funny and interesting. As the story continued it fell flat and I started skimming for answers. I am not a 100 percent satisfied with said answers. And there were a lot of loose ends that I wish for cleared up.

When I realized that each character would have to face their truths to get to the treasure I was surprised. In reality those truths were just flat. I can't they were predictable but I didn't much care for them. In hindsight the secrets were actually kind of dumb. The most shocking would have to be Gabe, Charlie, and Elliot. If you really pay attention to the synopsis you can guess Ruby's. And Anne's was just sad but not surprising considering the situation.

I did not like Ruby. Her point of view whilst entertaining at first became such a drag. She was really whiny. And while I do understand her reasoning, I still felt that she should've revealed herself sooner. For everyone's safety.

In order to receive the treasure each character had to reveal a truth about themselves. Otherwise you die. Like literary the island would attack you. Which was very difficult to wrap my head around. And honestly I really hated that island. The magical realism parts of the story were very confusing. Like how Elliot is connected to Cooper. To this day I still can't wrap my head around it all.

Also was Gabe's death necessary? I guess it really showed his improvement that he sacrificed himself for Charlie. He did rape someone and that'll never be okay. He could've improved. But now we'll never know. I think he even said he would confess and everything? When he went back home?

I did enjoy some things. The beginning of the book was strong. I liked reading from Cooper's point of view. Anne was my favourite character! She was so much fun. I even liked Charlie. I liked the romance between Ruby and Elliot. And the writing style. 

Gray Wolf Island just didn't work for me. I do still recommend.
Profile Image for Lindsay Currie.
Author 9 books624 followers
April 15, 2017
Holy cow. The Goonies grew up!

I was lucky enough to read an advance reader copy of GRAY WOLF ISLAND and was absolutely blown away. Mystery, adventure, layered characters and an island setting to die for . . . this is hands-down one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The writing is gorgeous, flawless and memorable and the characters - Ruby and Elliott - carved a spot in my heart from page one.

A treasure hunt . . . murder . . . magic . . . secrets. Oh, and complex friendships that stole my heart away. If Gray Wolf Island isn’t on your 2017 TBR, it should be. This book is amazing.

Profile Image for Tracey Neithercott.
Author 1 book117 followers
August 18, 2017
Update: Two months until Gray Wolf Island releases! I’m so excited for you all to read the book. If you’re looking extras:

See Gray Wolf Island character illustrations.
Get fun preorder gifts, like an annotated map, character prints, and more.
Browse my Pinterest board.
Subscribe to my newsletter for news about upcoming excerpt reveals.


• • • • • • 

GRAY WOLF ISLAND used to be in my head, and in about a year it’ll be in yours, which is kind of magical if you think about it. In the meantime, here’s a little bit about the book:

There’s an island with an endless pit and dozens of legends about what’s down there.

There’s a treasure (of course there’s a treasure), but it’s not what you think it is.

There are secrets and lies, murder and magic.

And there are friendships—the kind that sneak up on you when you don’t really want them but need them the most.

That’s about all I can say at the moment, but if you want some visual inspiration, head over to my Pinterest board.
Profile Image for Sara.
Author 4 books228 followers
April 16, 2017
I want to return to Gray Wolf Island. When I got to the last page, I wanted to go back to page one and start again. I was fortunate to be able to read an ARC of this book, one that's been on my radar for a long time.

The story of the island and its treasure and the people who seek it, whose lives are forever entwined in the island's mystery, will stay with me for a long time. The language is so lyrical and haunting and achingly beautiful - there are just so many passages that I wanted to pull out and carry with me.

Bits and pieces reminded me in turn of the Raven Cycle, BONE GAP, and WE WERE LIARS. So, so good.
Profile Image for Gwen Cole.
Author 4 books207 followers
February 3, 2017
I got everything I wanted from this book and then even more. The writing is so beautiful and the setting is amazing, and followed up these complex characters who you have no choice but to fall in love with, this book does not disappoint. I loved it SO much. I also think I found a new book boyfriend. Can't wait for this to be released so it can have a place on my shelf.
Profile Image for Alexandra Ott.
Author 5 books72 followers
March 29, 2017
This book blew me away. The writing is absolutely gorgeous--so much so that I kept jotting down all of my favorite quotes. The setting is atmospheric and mysterious and magical, and the plot is full of surprises. I loved the characters, too; each of them is complex and nuanced and real. Fans of mysteries and magical realism will love this. Highly recommend!
177 reviews6 followers
February 26, 2017
When Ruby makes a promise to her dying twin sister, she never thought she'd really go on a search for the lost treasure of Gray Wolf Island. But a year later she finds a map in a copy of Treasure Island that sends her on a life-changing journey with a group of teens she'd never imagined herself with. Gabe, the boy from an immaculate conception, Elliott, the brainiac tough guy, Charlie, the boy who has seen his death on Gray Wolf Island, and Anne, the girl who never sleeps. Ruby barely knows any of them, but by the journey's end, she won't be able to imagine life without them. As they search for the treasure, Ruby discovers that the real treasure might just be found in the search itself.

This book takes the reader on an epic quest with memorable characters that feel like friends. There are plot twists and turns. There are secrets, kept so well that even the characters themselves don't know them. Ethical questions are pondered, friendships formed, and loss endured. This book will leave the reader thinking long after the last page is read. I highly recommend this YA adventure.
Profile Image for Riley Edgewood.
Author 7 books155 followers
May 5, 2016
I'll write a full review once GWI releases, but y'all. ADD THIS TO YOUR WISH LISTS. This book is magical with gorgeous prose and engaging characters and just...so swoony. If you liked The Raven Cycle series, this book IS FOR YOU.
Profile Image for mith.
723 reviews253 followers
October 21, 2017
{you can read this review on my blog as well}
**Content Warning** There is a part where there is talk of sexual assault!

I love this book. A lot. I love the writing, I love the characters, I love the setting, I love the story. I’ve been desperate to read this a while back, and when I finally did, it was everything I had hoped it would be.

Gray Wolf Island is a book about treasure hunting. It’s a book about finding friends when you didn’t think that could be in store for you. It’s about accepting your demons. It’s about forgiving yourself.

I just want to gush about this book! I also want to reread it, because it was just so much fun! Ruby, one of our main characters, was an amazing leading lady. I understood her guilt and grief, and how hard to was for her to accept everything that’s happened. Since her twin died, she’d sort of retreated into herself. Fulfilling her wish for her sister meant getting out of that loneliness, and it was hard for Ruby to do that at first. I thought the way Neithercott depicted that was amazing.

There’s a varied cast in GWI and I liked most everyone! Eliot Thorne, of course, was my favourite, because come on. A total nerd pretending to be a bad boy. Like. I can’t stop smiling, he’s such a dork. Then there’s precious Anne and Charlie, whose interactions are absolute gold. Anne is like a precious little bunny, so pure and soft; whereas Charlie is this daredevil who loves to take risks. He’s hilarious and he’s always there to make a joke, and it was just perfect. It showed real camaraderie between the characters! There was also Gabe, who was one of the more complex characters. It took me a while to warm up to him, but I did end up liking him eventually!

The writing is just amazing. Neithercott did an amazing job at creating the setting, the danger, and the suspense—all of it. The writing made me fall more in love with the story than I already was!

Like I mentioned before, Ruby is one of the main characters. The other is Cooper, whose story you come to understand as the novel goes on. That was probably the only part of the book I didn’t like. At the end, I was a bit confused as to how it worked in a technical sense. Thinking about it now, I’m still trying to figure out how it works lmao.

Overall, Gray Wolf Island isn’t a debut you want to miss. With atmospheric writing, a wonderful group of friends, and a wonderfully creative treasure hunt, it’s worth the read!
Profile Image for Krysti.
354 reviews126 followers
October 15, 2017
With its atmospheric setting, dynamic cast of characters, and wonderful spirit of adventure, GRAY WOLF ISLAND is one 2017 debut novel that is simply not to be missed.

This book takes readers on a quest to uncover a hidden treasure, and the journey there brims with action, danger, and high-stakes mystery that will keep readers glued to the pages. This book had me absolutely hooked from the very first chapter, and I only became only more captivated by it as the story progressed. The catalyst that sends Ruby on this adventure was heart-wrenching yet believable and really sets the tone well for the rest of the novel. And while there are some moments were the plot moves a little more slowly, overall the balance between the high action and world/character development is well executed and creates a highly addictive story.

The cast of characters is wonderfully crafted. They all had such distinct and fascinating personalities, and they were truly a pleasure to read about. The dialogue throughout this book is so well done and really serves to breathe life into these incredible characters. Their banter was witty and added a wonderful bit of levity to an otherwise very intense story.

I love when the setting of a book truly feels like a character in and of itself, and Neithercott has certainly achieved that in GRAY WOLF ISLAND. This book is deliciously atmospheric with incredible attention to detail. The island itself is lush and fascinating, yet at the same time, it has this dark and threatening presence that is always lurking on the edges of the reader's consciousness.

The romance in this story is also very well done. It manages to be swoony and heart-pounding without overpowering the other elements of the plot. Elliott Thorne is sure to be a favorite amongst readers.

Neithercott also did a fantastic job of weaving the POVs together in a way that added to the suspense and mystery of the story.

2017 has been a year of incredible debut novels, and this is certainly one of the best that I've read so far. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and I'll be eagerly waiting to see what Neithercott has in store for us next!
Profile Image for Claire.
Author 3 books458 followers
May 29, 2017
Thank you, Netgalley and Random House, for the opportunity to read this book. My views are entirely my own.

Let me just start this review by saying that I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK! My favorite read of 2017 so far, Tracey Neithercott's stunning debut was everything I wished for.
I can't share much of the plot without spoiling any of Neithercott's carefully threaded story, but I will share the basics. MC Ruby leads a motley assortment of characters (each a mystery all their own) on an adventure across the Gray Wolf Island, in search of treasure. Right from the start, Neithercott proves she's willing to make sacrifices and tug on your heartstrings, which sets the tone for the entire book - will all of our heroes finish this adventure with their lives? Fantastic writing, fleshed-out, lovable characters, adventure, mystery and suspense, Neithercott does a fantastic job weaving together all the pieces for a breathtaking journey. I could rant on and on about the beautiful prose, the nostalgia inducing adventure (a la The Goonies), or the collection of swoon-worthy book boyfriends.
Gray Wolf Island's MC, Ruby, is fantastic, her cast of supporting characters so wonderful that they reach from the pages and drag you on the adventure with them each step of the way, brought further to life by Neithercott's remarkable writing (See? I told you I could go on and on about the writing). Not only are the characters fleshed-out, as is the setting, Gray Wolf Island a character in itself, an enigma, a piece of land waiting to be conquered by Ruby and her friends, taunting her in that spit of sea.
Fans of Maggie Stiefvater and Laini Taylor will absolutely love the whimsical, lyrical writing, and unique settings and characters! If you loved Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races, or Taylor's Strange the Dreamer, don't pass up this book!

Profile Image for Kristy K.
952 reviews119 followers
September 29, 2017
3.5 stars

Neithercott creates a story that slowly sucks you in and pulls you along this tale of adventure with a hint of magical realism.

Gray Wolf Island centers around a group of misfits who join together to find the hidden treasure on an island near their home. Even though the plot revolves around a treasure hunt and an island full of secrets, at times the story feels quite whimsical and maybe even a little haunted. There's a dark undercurrent throughout it and as it progresses that darkness slowly rises.

I actually didn't like Ruby (the MC) that much, but I loved the quirky mix of secondary characters. Each was so unique, with a great backstory and the right amount of flaws. I also loved the dynamics of the group, although I could have done without the romance. It felt forced and was unnecessary.

Overall, I was impressed with this debut novel.
Profile Image for Cori Reed.
1,135 reviews380 followers
May 7, 2019
This book is so under rated! Beautifully written, really interesting story telling, and great characters. Not QUITE a five stars, but it's close!
Profile Image for Luke Taylor.
Author 14 books300 followers
April 23, 2018
Captivating 5 star adventure with far more than first meets the eye. Great prose and twisty plot. Perfect for fans of The Raven Boys.
Profile Image for Eileen (BookCatPin).
727 reviews193 followers
March 23, 2018
Gray Wolf Island is a story that has left an impression. It's a beautiful tale of friendship with sorrow that won't soon be forgotten. I hate to say this but it also carried a note of confusion for me.

The writing in Gray Wolf Island is lyrical and poetic. I found myself rereading the riddle passages many times not just to solve for the treasure but to appreciate its complexity. What's a treasure hunt without a good bit of fun! Along the fun also came unforeseeable danger. Those moments felt really real. Many times I found myself holding my breath and praying for the characters' safety. Just as they had their own reasons to find the treasure, it was important for me to see them succeed.

I loved the tight little group Ruby, Elliot, Anne, Charlie and Gabe made up. They each had very distinct personalities so it was interesting to see them interact and become closer than they thought they could be. "Can you really know someone without knowing the one horrible thing that defines who they are or who they become?" (p. 177). Awful things happen but these characters stuck together even when finding the treasure often felt hopeless and after a major event, pointless. On some level I expected but the delivery still had me shook.

Another story ran parallel to our treasure hunt and it has me feeling unsure towards the overall story. I managed to unravel the mystery quickly but without a clear and proper explanation I was left feeling frustrated. I hate that I feel a little at a lost trying to connect the pieces but I just can't envision the connection.

After reading Gray Wolf Island, I realized magical realism probably isn't really my thing. My mind processes stories in a linear fashion so while I loved the treasure hunting and friendship development in the book, I also can't deny its ending left me on the confused side. But please don't let my personal preference deter you from picking up Gray Wolf Island. I recommend giving it a go yourself!
Profile Image for The Captain.
1,054 reviews350 followers
October 10, 2017
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .

The stunning cover is what originally drew me in. Then the first line of the blurb was "for fans of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender." I loved that book so the comparison drew me in further. Then I discovered it is about five teens who go on a treasure hunt on the mysterious Gray Wolf Island. Treasure! Adventure! Islands! Maps! Magical realism! Arrrrrrr!

I was so excited to read this book and it did not disappoint. The magical realism in this novel was a lot more subtle than in ava lavender and I loved it. The opening chapter is one of the best set-ups for a story I have read in a very long time. I was immediately sucked into the story and entranced. The main character, Ruby, loses her twin sister Sadie. Ruby was Sadie's shadow and is lost without her sister. But before she died, Sadie made Ruby promise to complete one unfinished quest - to find the treasure.

One of the greatest choices of the book was that Ruby is the reluctant treasure hunter. Her sister was her treasure and now is gone. Ruby has survivor's guilt and feels strangled by her promise. But she eventually feels compelled to see it through. Unfortunately this means that she has to have assistance and Ruby is not a people person. One "helpful" teen brings friends and Ruby finds she needs them all. Each teen also has a secret and the island demands the truth in exchange for survival.

I absolutely fell in love with the characters. All five teens were uniquely drawn and interesting. Also the many adults in the novel also had distinct personalities and actually cared about the teens. Refreshing. While I love a treasure hunt, the friendships portrayed in the novel become the true focus. I cannot even adequately explain the love I feel for these teens and how absolutely delightful it was to watch them grow and interact with each other.

The mythos of the island were captivating and rich in detail. The treasure hunt details were well wrought and suspenseful. The only problem I had was with a sideline story about Cooper. It tied in well and is seemingly explained but I think I missed a crucial detail and so am a bit confused. Small detail though. Maybe one of me crew can explain it to me one day.

Bottom line - fabulous read so check it out.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Random House Children's and Knopf Books for Young Readers!

Check out me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...
Profile Image for Scarlet.
255 reviews28 followers
April 10, 2017
I wasn't sure about this one at first...it kind of just jumped into things, but it reminded me of THE RAVEN BOYS and some of the descriptions were so beautiful. Ended up really enjoying it!
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