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Thursday, February 16, 2023

REVIEW: The Island,, by Natasha Preston

They said goodbye to their friends and family for the weekend. They weren’t counting on forever.

Jagged Island: a private amusement park for the very rich—or the very influential. Liam, James, Will, Ava, Harper, and Paisley—social media influencers with millions of followers—have been invited for an exclusive weekend before the park opens. They’ll make posts and videos for their channels and report every second of their VIP treatment. 

When the teens arrive, they're stunned: the resort is even better than they’d imagined. Their hotel rooms are unreal, the park’s themed rides are incredible, and the island is hauntingly beautiful. They’re given a jam-packed itinerary for the weekend.  

But soon they'll discover that something's missing from their schedule: getting off the island alive.

I've read that Natasha Preston is the "queen of YA thrillers." Apparently, I'm not reading enough YA thrillers and I need to fix that by reading her entire back catalog.

The premise is very "now." Teenage social media influencers, all posting to their various platforms as they travel to and settle in at the island. They are there as a an advance team of sorts, the first guests at a new and not yet open theme park resort, to do what influencers do. On an island with limited access, it's already exclusive. The fact that these 6 are the only ones (other than employees) to have seen it--well, the TikToks practically film themselves!

But one goes missing, then another. The owner's right hand girl, who they've put their trust in, is acting sketchy. The owner keeps disappearing. Agatha Christi meet something akin to "Pretty Little Liars." It even evoked some "Knives Out" feels for me. Honestly, I could see this as a movie.

Characters were honest, writing top notch. I felt like Paisley, the narrator and a true crime podcaster (at 17), was the best sort of narrator for the story. She was the one influencer who seemed least likely to be an influencer, and that made her more believalbe. I had a case of "book-somnia" one night so I could finish it in one sitting. 

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Random House Children's/Delacorte Press through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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