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The Island

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  735 ratings  ·  186 reviews
Link is a fish out of water. Newly arrived from America, he is finding it hard to settle into the venerable and prestigious Osney School. Who knew there could be so many strange traditions to understand? And what kind of school ranks its students by how fast they can run round the school quad - however ancient that quad may be? When Link runs the slowest time in years, he ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 9th 2018 by Hot Key Books
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Average rating 3.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  735 ratings  ·  186 reviews

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Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Island follows Link, a newcomer to a prestigious American school, as he’s thrown into a world of traditions, bullies and rankings. Forced on a summer school trip with the worst of his tormentors, his life is thrown into turmoil as rivalries and alliances come to a head on a deserted island, where only the fittest and smartest survive.

I was drawn to this as it looked like a good summer novel, and overall I found it was easy to
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: utter-trash, ya
What a ridiculous book.

Check my updates - that word basically sums up my entire feelings towards this book: RIDICULOUS

The short version: Ostracised nerd Link is stranded on a deserted island with fellow schoolmate stereotypes. They must learn to work together to survive. There are a sh*t ton of pop culture references.

'People that are bullied aren't necessarily nice people, just because they're victims.'

That quote basically sums up the horror that follows. Link, who is bullied for three years
Umut Rados
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sadly this book was not what I had expected. I thought it was something like a YA version of Lord of Flies from the premise. It would be a nice, easy summer suspense to enjoy a good read.
The book is character driven, but too much. It took ages for the writer to do the set up. I lost my interest to read the rest. 20% of the book is spent to talk about how the main character is bullied by others at school. All characters being unlikeable, in addition. This character development is done at the exp
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Unfortunately DNF. Read around 20% before quitting.
The story starts by revealing what happened in the end and the main pushing power was to learn why it did happen, and how. Unfortunately the characters and plot didn't grip me enough to be interested in finding out, this is one of the YA books that didn't work for me sadly.
The writing quality is good and the setting is Oxford. Might still attract YA readers.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having been gripped by M. A. Bennett's debut offering 'S.T.A.G.S.' I was excited about getting to read a copy of 'The Island', Both books are from the Teens & Young Adult market, feature prestigious private schools for those with more money than sense, and have thrilling elements and a deceptive darkness to them.

Link is a 16-year old American boy who has relocated to the UK with his parents after they're offered lecturing posts at the University of Oxford. Back in the U.S. he received home schoo
When I briefly lived in England – Desert Island Discs was must do listening at my grandparent’s house. We loved to hear what type of music various celebrities would like to listen to. Sometimes the music choices were nothing like we would expect. The theme of Desert Island discs runs through THE ISLAND as Link and his parents are fans – and Link guesses what the choices might be for the others. He states what they might be at the start and as the story unfolds we find out what they actually woul ...more
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
The main character, Link, is a victim of bullies in his new high school. This school is pure definition of stereotypes – you can find here jocks, emo girl, etc. It’s like everyone has a strict role and has to follow rules how to behave.

To be honest I did’t really like any characters from this book. Their behavior in school was absurd and I was shocked that teachers allowed it. For me whole this school seems unrealistic, like some completely different dystopian world. And it didn’t get better at
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

↠ 3 stars

I received a copy in exchange for a honest review.

Having quite enjoyed S.T.A.G.S., Bennett’s debut novel, I was interested to see what she would pull out of the hat next. The Island contains some similarities to her first novel (the posh school trope, essentially), but it focuses on a very different main character, setting, and themes.

The Island is a bit like Lord of the Flies – a group of teens get stranded on a desert island and have to learn to survive. The seven teens are all chara
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
This is by the author who wrote STAGS. I read this on the back of STAGS and it's becoming quite apparent that the author is not a massive fan of British public schools and the elitism they foster.

The MC is a victim of intense bullying, but throughout the book he turns into a massive wanker so all the sympathy I had for him at the beginning totally evaporated. PLUS his horrible behaviour is brushed off at the end of the book with a load of hand-waving (and he is a proper sex pest, so this was qui
Cora Tea Party Princess
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
5 Words: Power, responsibility, school, resentment, revenge.

Take one of each high-school stereotypes and dump them on a desert island, then sit back and watch the horror-show commence. The Island explores the darker realities of humanity, looking at abuse of power, misogyny, desperation, and revenge.

I imagine that this book will not be for everybody - the characters as a whole are intensely unlikable ,and it is very much a character driven story. But I loved the power struggles and how the situa
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
(This review is full of spoilers. I am angry)
I can’t believe M. A. Bennett wrote this book. Bennett, whose book STAGS delivered such a killer plot twist in the final chapter that I flung the book across the room and stormed angrily to yell at a parent. STAGS, a book that I wrote about in such length in a university paper that the marker was ‘concerned’.
The Island is a misogynistic, slow paced, tiring book that disappointed me. It took me about three weeks to read it, and I only ended up finishi
grace dodd
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: on-my-shelf

I really loved this book to begin with, especially the characters and the whole 'Lord Of The Flies' setting on the abandoned island, but as soon as the first plot twist came the whole story came apart and I suddenly seriously disliked it. For me, it only got worse from there and with every new plot twist I disliked the narrative more and more. Which honestly is a real shame considering I liked the characters and the relationships between them up until page 200 or so.

May 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
People getting stranded on a deserted island has been done many times before across all media types. Thrown into the mix here is a school where sports outrank academic achievement and one race determines your place in the school hierarchy. If you lose, the other students treat and harass you simultaneously like dirt and like a slave.
As a non-athletic person, my idea of sport is a marathon reading session so I too would be a Twelve (maybe an Eleven at a push). I did resonate with Link's predicame
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-s, ya
"My transformation was complete. Humbled Edmond Dantes had become the Count of Monte Cristo"

* * *
3 / 5

I think I might have actually liked this one better than S.T.A.G.S! The Island is just as psychological and disturbing as Bennett's first book, but I felt that the writing was better in The Island and the characters more compelling.

There was clearly no getting off of my own personal, desolate, island

Link has moved from America to England and is enrolled in an old and prestigious school; he hates
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Started off promising, but I got bored about a quarter of the way through. It’s a bit Breakfast Club/Lord of the Flies but it just didn’t do anything for me!
J. Taylor
Wow. If you want a book about a shitty group of people who do fucked up stuff to one another that all gets forgiven in the end and get given everything they ever wanted then you're welcome to this book. But none of them, even the adults, deserved shit and I am so mad that nobody made the price.

(view spoiler)
Hannah-lynette Hunter
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book is an epic rollercoaster from the first page. There are layers and twists within the plot and narration that will ensure you’ll want to read it again.
Such a refreshing change having a male main character within a first person narrative. You’ll feel a little like a helpless Jiminey Cricket as Link’s story develops and he faces challenges on the Island. I found myself shouting as the pages one or twice.

Full review to be posted on
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: review-copies
'People that are bullied aren't necessarily nice people, just because they're victims.'

Not gonna lie, I started this book with a slightly high expectation. The blurb was nice. The cover was nice. School kids stranded on an island after a plane crash? No rules applied? Interesting! But as soon as I started reading, the expectation went down by a lot. And halfway through, I got bored of it and just wanted to finish it for the sake of my own satisfaction of knowing exactly how the ending would be.
Diana Iozzia
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
After reading "S.T.A.G.S." by M.A. Bennett, I was thoroughly excited to read her newest release, "The Island". This book is branded as a mix of a boarding school mystery and "Lord of The Flies". I was intrigued by both counterparts, because one of my favorite genres is dark academia, and I also enjoy readings survival stories.

Link is our eccentric, self-branded nerd. We learn about him, his hobbies, his interests, and many of his dislikes. I am not a fan of link. I understand the author consult
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed the middle part of this book, where they were beginning to sort things out and before it started getting weird. But I have issues with the start and the end.

The start, mostly because I didn’t feel that Lincoln’s parents would send him to that school in the first place! They’ve done no sports with him at all and send him to a sports centric school? I get that there’s a deal with the universi
Lydia Hephzibah
After loving Bennett's first book, I was so excited to hear she was bringing out a second and over the moon when I won a pre-pub copy. YA mystery is my favourite genre to read and I'm a sucker for any story that involves a plane crash.

This novel was so well-written, with so many clever hints and clues scattered throughout but not so many that the average reader will figure it out. I absolutely loved this unique take on the stranded on a island tale, which was masterfully written and left me wis
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-for-review
After a creepy and mysterious debut book, S.T.A.G.S, author M.A. Bennett is back with her second novel, The Island. I love that this book follows the theme of the black, white and red cover because it's so striking and it really catches your eye. Then when you open up the book you find out the storyline is crazy. The Island is another book from the author that deals from an outsider perspective with a kid that doesn't fit in and an elite group of tormentors from a preppy school. I had an idea of ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma Ferrier
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed The Island despite having worked out what I assume was intended as some big shocking twist. Pretty much from the second Link arrived on the island, I called it. Usually this would really ruin my enjoyment of the book but I felt the pacing was good and, although I feel the characters could have worked out the situation better, they were still really interesting.
I enjoyed this because of them. Seeing how they reacted to the situation was fascinating.

One thing I really enjoy abou
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Despite not previously having read S.T.A.G.S by the same author, I had read many reviews praising her writing style and her storytelling ability. So, when I saw that she had another young adult novel being published I was very excited to get a copy. 

I don't know if it was just me or if this book isn't as good as the last, but i found it to be incredibly mediocre. 

The premise of the story was fantastic. I mean, who doesn't want to read an up-to-date retelling of 'Lord of the Flies' merged with 'T
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Island was a rather interesting read, it reminded me of Lord of The Flies but was unusually interesting.

The plot was definitely the most intriguing part with the main character’s and his peers being left on this island alone. The enigma was one of the reasons what kept me hooked and turning page after page, although maybe it’s my age but there were quite a few old style inter textual references that I felt I didn’t understand, but honestly it made the book all that more entertaining.

I’d sa
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I like M.A. Bennett's writing style, how you can feel a connection and friendship with the main character through the way the story is told. I liked Lincoln, his dry humour and how he seemed to know and accept himself.
I wasn't a fan of the middle of this book....things got a bit too weird. But then again, it was a good portrayal how power can get to some people and alter how they act (and react) in certain situations.
Without giving too much away, I can say that the 'twist' in this book was obvio
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2018
This was a really good book but the reason I am giving it 3 stars is because I struggled to get through the first 100 pages but it really picks itself up when they are on the island! :) The ending was really good too!
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was very surprising, I like these kind of castaway stories but the slower build up and the heavy use of stereotypes was kinda throwing me off. But believe me it all makes sense in the end and it is really worth reading. The ending was so clever and the amount of popculture and references is great. Even Harry Styles got mentioned hehehe
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M. A. Bennett is half Venetian and was born in Manchester, England, and raised in the Yorkshire Dales. She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialized in the study of Shakespeare’s plays as a historical source. After university she studied art and has since worked as an illustrator, an actress, and a film reviewer. She also designed tour visuals f ...more

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