Title: The Island
Author: Olivia Levez
Published by: Rock the Boat
Release Date: 3rd March 2016
Frances is alone on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. She has to find water and food. She has to survive. And when she is there she also thinks about the past. The things that she did before. The things that made her a monster. Nothing is easy. Survival is hard and so is being honest about the past. Frances is a survivor however, and with the help of the only other crash survivor, she sees that the future is worth fighting for.
Firstly, HUGE thank you to Cailin at Rock the Boat for sending me a copy of this book to review!
I’ve struggled over the past week to formulate my thoughts on this book coherently, which is usually a big give away that I loved it. And I did love it – The Island was perhaps my favourite book of this year so far. It was a book packed with mystery and emotion (ALL the feels).
Frances is left alone on an island after a terrible accident. And for a great deal of the book she is the only character focused on. Because of this, mixed with the isolated setting, I was worried that I might get bored with the story, or that it might become repetitive. This is certainly not the case. It never got boring, and kept my interest throughout – I actually found it very difficult to put down (if it weren’t for upcoming exams and revision etc, then I’m sure I would have read it in one sitting!). And we get to see more of Frances, her past, and how she got to be on the island with flashbacks, which were just as gripping and emotive as the chapters set in the present.
Frances’s voice is a unique one – she was a whirlwind of a character who, despite her past actions, I couldn’t help but love and sympathise with. I began to understand her more in the flashback chapters – and even relate to her – and began to realise just how strong of a person she actually is. And, even though they weren’t central characters in the book, and aren’t focused on too heavily, I was blown away by how spectacular the characterization of Frances’s family – her brother and mum – was. Olivia Levez did a spectacular job of creating and presenting such real, three-dimensional characters.
The character development in this book is out of this world. Frances grows so much — at the beginning of the book she appears to be a cold, distant character, and her sometimes harsh attitude made her mysterious and interesting. I couldn’t help but be drawn into her story, which was described in a way that was gritty and honest, and made us empathise with Frances more, and understand her anger and sadness. I loved seeing how she gradually begins to change, and becomes willing to become a better person, and face and deal her problems head on.
Yet another thing to make The Island a unique story that stands out is the way that it is written. I loved the way that Olivia Levez writes. She perfectly conveys Frances’ thoughts, and describes things in such a simple yet vivid and striking way – it’s truly spectacular, and I haven’t read anything quite like this before.
Also, just incase these things aren’t enough: there is a dog!
The Island was an absolutely sensational debut and I’m very excited to read more of this author’s writing! ★★★★★