2 out of 4 stars
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The main storyline of this novel, Island Games,is surrounded around two young boys who are stranded on a deserted island with no recollection of why or how they had landed there. Ryan and Matthew entertain several ideas that could possibly explain their mysterious circumstance. At last, armed with the self-brought knowledge that their escape revolved around playing the game of the island, they begin to search for their escape in earnest. Ryan and Matthew learn the value of working together and relying on each other as the stakes grow higher and the need for escape grows urgent. They encounter challenge after challenge, learning life lessons and the value of friendship as they journey through the deserted island.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. The plot and general idea for this novel was original, adding in science-fiction to a real-life situation. However, the writing style was bland, and I lost interest a few times throughout the novel despite the great plot line. I did not give this one star because it had saving qualities such as the bond between the two characters, character development, and an intriguing storyline. It was not given a three or four star because it was written poorly and leaves the reader confused due to lack of clarification.
I enjoyed the plot line thoroughly and was surprised at such an original book. Written with a twist of science-fiction it throws the plot off a well-worn path. The comedic lines thrown in to lighten up the deathly situation offer relief and a wry smile. The sense of friendship and a strong bond between Ryan and Matthew are evident throughout the novel, despite the rough patches that these two characters meet. Although the plot follows a repetitive sequence, it leaves the reader pondering the purpose of the games of the island. Following Ryan and Matthew’s journey through the island brings you into a world of beasts and the need for survival at any cost.
Yet, the Island Games could use major improvement in the writing style. Although provided with lengthy descriptions of the scenery, it took a while to separate and discern between the two main characters. The writing style was choppy and not a very smooth nor sophisticated read. Many developments in the characters and their emotions are vocalized and written rather blandly, and it would have been more effective if it had been subtly woven into the writing, letting the reader infer through the characters’ combined experience.
Island Games would appeal mostly to middle schoolers who enjoy a read involving mystery and action. This book involves a combination of thrill, suspense, comedy, and even an insight to friendship development. The writing style would be appreciated most by someone who enjoys lengthy descriptions and a healthy use of adjectives. However, I would suggest that those who are looking for a sophisticated read look elsewhere. Those who enjoy a romantic twist will not find it in Island Games, but rather a deep sense of friendship. This book would be perfect for emerging middle schoolers who are beginning to learn the value of good friends.
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