Official Review: Island Games by Caleb J. Boyer

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any young adult books.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Include the name of the book, and if possible the author's name, in the title of the topic. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 3549
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 137
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: "The Grace Emancipation" by Charlotte Hawkins

Official Review: Island Games by Caleb J. Boyer

Post by kandscreeley » 03 Jan 2018, 14:00

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Island Games" by Caleb J. Boyer.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


I've read many books in my lifetime, and it's rare anymore that a book genuinely surprises me. Island Games by Caleb Boyer was one such novel. Why, you might ask? Let me tell you. Caleb Boyer was twelve years old when he wrote this story.

When I was in middle school, my language arts teacher assigned us creative writing. I can tell you for sure that my stories were nothing that I would have shared with the world much less published. Caleb Boyer, however, has done a fabulous job with his publication.

Matthew and Ryan are best friends who suddenly find themselves stranded on a deserted island. Having no memory of their past, they must find food, water and a way off the island. That isn't quite as easy as it sounds, though, as challenges keep coming their way. The first challenge they face is retrieving food from a boat without being eaten by a shark. Unfortunately, the challenges only get harder from there, and the two friends must work together or die.

Island Games is classified as young adult and would be very appropriate for preteens aged approximately 10 to 14. There is some violence that comes with the challenges the two boys face, but it is never graphic or disturbing. There is also no foul language or sexual situations throughout the book. The vocabulary used within the novel is age appropriate with the hardest words perhaps being quadrant or ravine.

The story line is simple, but the plot is engaging. I found myself forging ahead with every word wondering what challenges Ryan and Matthew would face next. While the writing is simple, the action and plot are captivating enough to hold even an adult's attention (after all, I enjoyed it.)

One of the few drawbacks to the novel is the cliffhanger ending. However, this was purposefully done. There is a message from the author at the end of the story explaining why the book ends as it did. I believe that there is a lot to be learned from the story and the ending. Therefore, I really can't count the cliffhanger against the book as I normally would; it's not a device used to sell the next novel but a teaching point.

Other than that, there were only a few minor issues that I noticed. While the grammar was impeccable (I didn't find ANY errors in the story), I did notice that the author switches from first person to third person in the thoughts of the characters about halfway through the book. This was more of an observation than an annoyance as it didn't bother me. I also wished we had been given the ages of the two main characters as it isn't very clear. Once again, this wasn't a big problem but rather a fleeting thought.

Overall, my rating for Island Games is 4 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed the development of the plot and had very few issues with the story. I know that preteens will enjoy this read if they like an adventurous fiction. I would even recommend it to adults if they are looking for an easy, fun and quick story.

******
Island Games
View: on Bookshelves

Like kandscreeley's review? Post a comment saying so!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Paul78
Posts: 235
Joined: 27 Sep 2017, 02:03
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2017 Reading Goal: 8
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 4
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 37
Favorite Book: Who Told You That You Were Naked?
Currently Reading: My God, My Money
Bookshelf Size: 27
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-paul78.html
Latest Review: "Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks" by Morton E Tavel, MD

Post by Paul78 » 04 Jan 2018, 10:40

Island Games seems to be a thriller and also inspiring. It shows how people can survive even in most difficult circumstances. I think those who are about to give up can at least try. I haven't read the book but your review makes me get all that. Thanks.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
Benjamin Franklin

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 3549
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 137
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: "The Grace Emancipation" by Charlotte Hawkins

Post by kandscreeley » 04 Jan 2018, 10:42

You're very right about that Paul. Thanks for commenting.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Hildah Mose
Posts: 53
Joined: 11 Nov 2017, 22:06
Currently Reading: And Then I Met Margaret
Bookshelf Size: 7
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-hildah-mose.html
Latest Review: "Temptation Trials" by B. Truly

Post by Hildah Mose » 04 Jan 2018, 11:44

Thanks for the great review. The fact that the book was written by a twelve year old and it turns out great is intriguing. I'd love to get to read it as well.

Hildah Mose
Posts: 53
Joined: 11 Nov 2017, 22:06
Currently Reading: And Then I Met Margaret
Bookshelf Size: 7
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-hildah-mose.html
Latest Review: "Temptation Trials" by B. Truly

Post by Hildah Mose » 04 Jan 2018, 11:45

Please check out my review on temptation trials as well. I'd love to get your opinion. Thanks

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 3549
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 137
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: "The Grace Emancipation" by Charlotte Hawkins

Post by kandscreeley » 04 Jan 2018, 11:50

Hildah Mose wrote:
04 Jan 2018, 11:44
Thanks for the great review. The fact that the book was written by a twelve year old and it turns out great is intriguing. I'd love to get to read it as well.
It really was a fun book to read. Thanks for commenting!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Miriam Molina
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1937
Joined: 02 May 2017, 20:17
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 10
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 125
Currently Reading: A Stained White Radiance
Bookshelf Size: 485
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-miriam-molina.html
Latest Review: "The weakest link" by Fernando Neves
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by Miriam Molina » 05 Jan 2018, 00:54

A 12-year-old boy wrote this 4-star book without ANY grammatical errors. Shame on me! I can't even write a 500-word review flawlessly!

I am impressed with this boy and this book. I wonder how old Caleb is now. We may be looking at the next James Patterson.

User avatar
ButterscotchCherrie
Posts: 428
Joined: 29 Apr 2017, 02:00
2018 Reading Goal: 104
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 3
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading: Buddhism
Bookshelf Size: 61
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-butterscotchcherrie.html
Latest Review: "Elastic Girl" by Olivia Rana
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Location: Central Europe

Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 05 Jan 2018, 06:53

Wow, a prodigy, that's impressive! With the plot about being stranded on an island with little sense of background, the main premise sounds like "Lord of the Flies". However, it sounds as if a boy in the actual age group came up with a more positive take on that situation, and a compelling story too. Thanks for the great review!

User avatar
quizoneka
Posts: 3
Joined: 05 Jan 2018, 06:52
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by quizoneka » 05 Jan 2018, 06:57

I am impressed. I'm so proud of you. Keep it up.

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 3549
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 137
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: "The Grace Emancipation" by Charlotte Hawkins

Post by kandscreeley » 05 Jan 2018, 11:30

Miriam Molina wrote:
05 Jan 2018, 00:54
A 12-year-old boy wrote this 4-star book without ANY grammatical errors. Shame on me! I can't even write a 500-word review flawlessly!

I am impressed with this boy and this book. I wonder how old Caleb is now. We may be looking at the next James Patterson.
It's quite possible. Of course, it's also possible he had a team of really good proofreaders as well! Still, the story itself is impressive...
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 3549
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 137
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: "The Grace Emancipation" by Charlotte Hawkins

Post by kandscreeley » 05 Jan 2018, 11:31

ButterscotchCherrie wrote:
05 Jan 2018, 06:53
Wow, a prodigy, that's impressive! With the plot about being stranded on an island with little sense of background, the main premise sounds like "Lord of the Flies". However, it sounds as if a boy in the actual age group came up with a more positive take on that situation, and a compelling story too. Thanks for the great review!
I dislike making comparisons between novels as I believe each stands on its own. However, having said that... it's kind of a Maze Runner meets Hunger Games... Thanks for commenting!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Kat Berg
Posts: 351
Joined: 05 Oct 2017, 22:29
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 3
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 8
Favorite Book: Raven's Peak
Currently Reading: Undead Redhead
Bookshelf Size: 203
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kat-berg.html
Latest Review: "Raging Falcon" by Stephen Perkins
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Kat Berg » 05 Jan 2018, 23:25

I want to read it just knowing that it received a four star rating and was written by a 12-year old! I love it when kids do amazing things. But the book also sounds interesting :) I cannot wait to read it. (and NO mistakes! that is such a wonderful thing :D )

User avatar
Lg_99
Posts: 75
Joined: 17 Dec 2017, 16:53
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 6
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 22
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lg-99.html
Latest Review: "Phoenix One" by Chase MacLeod

Post by Lg_99 » 05 Jan 2018, 23:58

creating a story that makes sense at the age of twelve? Now, that is what I call having a creative mind. I look forward to read this wonderful story. Thank you for the review.

User avatar
BookHausJ
Posts: 195
Joined: 01 Nov 2017, 09:14
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2017 Reading Goal: 2
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 505
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bookhausj.html
Latest Review: "And Then I Met Margaret" by Rob White
Location: Philippines

Post by BookHausJ » 06 Jan 2018, 00:56

Nice MIRIAM MOLINA it's really shame on us! I can't believe also that a 12 year old boy would have that kind of imagination. I about to compare that boy to my son. He's now 13 years old but he always love to play and watch video after school. But I want to read it because I want to find out what happened when they go with the first challenge. Retrieving their food from a boat without being eaten by a shark. Nice review. Thanks!

User avatar
Roggyrus
Posts: 59
Joined: 06 Jan 2018, 01:17
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Currently Reading: Yesterday
Bookshelf Size: 53
Location: On a chair reading

Post by Roggyrus » 06 Jan 2018, 08:26

The Island Games may be said as not what it seems, after all. No, not the island, but the game. It is more of a struggle for survival, to be precise. To stay on living in the most adverse of situations is a life-and-death situation probably not fitted to be engaged in as a game. And that makes this book more thrilling. Thank you for the wonderful review.

Post Reply

Return to “Young Adult Fiction Books”