Title: The Island
Author: C. L. Taylor
Narrators: Olivia Dowd, Sam Newton, Sarah Ovens
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
Genre: Teen/young adult fiction, Thriller
Book format: Audiobook
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…
It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.
But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.
Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.
Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.
Who will make it off the island alive?

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  Wow what an amazing and gripping story and with some brilliant narration! Jessie and Danny are part of a group of six teenagers who meet every year, with their parents, on a mass group holiday. They’ve been doing this ever since they were kids and this year they are in Thailand. Although the hotel they are staying at is more than enough of a holiday, Jefferson’s dad has hired a small remote island for the six teens to spend several days on as a special birthday present. But after just one day on the island, their guide suffers a stroke and the teens are left alone and stranded. Waiting a few days until their parents notice they are missing shouldn’t be a problem, but the group soon realise that one by one, everybody’s worst fears are coming true, someone must be taunting and torturing them, but who? And why?

This is such an amazing and gripping thriller, I just couldn’t stop listening to this audiobook as soon as I started it! I’ve always loved the idea of the remote island setting, loving the idea of castaway or the tv series ‘Lost’. So when I first heard about this book I was eager to get hold of a copy and when I realised there was an audiobook available to review, I jumped at the chance to listen to it. The story unfolds quickly, beginning at the hotel in Thailand the day before the teens set off to the island. The first chapter begins from Jessie’s point of view, in the first person perspective and we begin to find out a little bit about each of the teenagers and how Jessie feels separated from the others. An incident at the pool ends in a dramatic way, I actually gasped it was that shocking and good, and it sets up the rest of the story as a fast-paced and exciting thriller.

The chapters alternate between Jessie and Danny throughout most of the novel. Danny’s chapters are told in the third person perspective and are equally interesting and exciting as the story moves on. We find out more about the teens and it isn’t long before their guide dies and they are left stranded on the remote island. At first the story seems simple with the teens struggling to collect the neccessary things for surviving more nights on the island, but soon their fears and phobias start coming true and I just love how this story went and how it kept me guessing throughout!

There’s so much that happens with the different characters and I love how we don’t know who is behind anything. The author kept me wondering who was behind the fears and why, was it one of the teens or was it someone else? Even though at some point I did notice something about one of the characters, I still didn’t trust my own thoughts and kept changing my mind as to who was behind all the things that happened. I like the development of some of the relationships and what happens as the story gets more tense. It gets so dramatic near the end and has a brilliant climax with an ending which I liked and hadn’t guessed at all. I love how all the clues were there but I still didn’t guess what happened at the end and the story wraps up nicely with some big revelations and a good last couple of chapters.

The narration is brilliant and I really liked all three voice actors. The drama, fear and shock can be heard in their voices and I like the way their voices changed a little when reading out the speech of different characters. The audiobook really does make you feel like you’re on the edge of your seat all the time and I have to admit I had a few moments when I simply gasped out of shock of what had happened, and I like how there were even a few extra seconds of pauses at the end of some of the more exciting chapters to give me time to process something shocking that I had just heard. All three narrators did a billiant job of making me feel the drama of what was happening, especially when there was fear in the voices of some characters, and I do think that their voices really did make this more enjoyable than it would have been if I’d simply read the book.

The story does has some mild swearing but not very often and there are a few shocking things described like injury, death and blood, but it’s not too graphic, though it’s something to be aware of if you’re sensitive to such things. But overall it just felt perfect, a great thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and gripped with excitment and shock.

This really is an amazing story and I am so pleased that I got the chance to listen to this audiobook! I want to listen to it again already, even though I’ve just finished it! The story is so gripping and exciting and it has such brilliant twists especially near the end. The story is so compelling throughout and at around seven and a half hours long it’s a great book that you can listen to in one day (if you’re so engrossed in the tale like I was!). I can’t wait to read more from C. L. Taylor and I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good thriller, a remote island setting and a great story about people’s fears coming true!

-The Island is released on 21st January 2021!

What do you think of this book?  Do you like the remote island setting?  What thrillers do you enjoy reading?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂