arc book review: the island

The IslandThe Island by Jen Minkman (published June 1, 2013)

**Hey there! Since reading this advance copy, the author has revised the story to be less Star Wars-y! I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to read both the advance draft, and the revised final version. So, if you read the book blurb below and it sounds interesting (which it did to me), I urge you to read it for yourself before reading my review below. You may find it different, and I’d love to discuss your thoughts! xo leanna**

My rating of the advance draft : 1 of 5 stars // (I don’t feel comfortable rating the final version, as I can’t go into it with an entirely fresh mind)

First, before you judge me, please read the book blurb that drew me to this story in the first place:

“Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason – they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.
But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?

Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?

Sounds quite interesting, right? Not really. Because let me ask you some questions: do you like Star Wars? Do you care about Star Wars and ever want to read anything related to it?

If your answers are no (which mine would have been, had anyone asked me), you might want to stay away from this book. Misleading book blurb, you actually tricked me into reading something that had to do with Star Wars. Tsk tsk.

I thought I was getting a unique dystopian novella (the subtitle is: “a dystopian novella”, after all) but from the first few times the characters’ names were mentioned I was like- what the? Her name is Leia and her brother is Luc? What is this, some Star Wars inside joke?

And then the place they lived was called Tatoo, and okay, I have seen the Star Wars movies; I have younger brothers, so that kind of rang a little bell (Tatooine? Isn’t that a planet in Star Wars?) but when they started talking about The Force and Lord Darth that was it for me.

I promptly lost all interest in this, and if you in fact do love Star Wars, you may disagree completely and love every word. Anyways, I skimmed the rest of the 70-ish pages and it didn’t get much better for me. I wasn’t expecting much plot or character development from a novella, although there are short stories that are shorter that I savoured every moment of. I just did not connect with the story, or the idea behind it. No big twist reveal for me, sadly.

To sum up- Star Wars fans may enjoy this idea, but it left me underwhelmed.

Thank you to the publishers, who via NetGalley provided me with an advance copy for review.

View all my reviews


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