Friday, September 23, 2011

Review - The Other Side of the Island

The Other Side of the Island
by Allegra Goodman
Date: 2008
Publisher: Razorbill
Reading level: YA
Pages: 272
Source: Chapters

From New York Times bestselling author Allegra Goodman comes a post-apocalyptic novel about love, loss, and the power of human choice.

Honor and her parents have been reassigned to live on Island 365 in the Tranquil Sea. Life is peaceful there; the color of the sky is regulated by Earth Mother, a corporation that controls New Weather, and it almost never rains. Everyone fits into their rightful and predictable place....

Except Honor. She doesn't fit in, but then she meets Helix, a boy with a big heart and a keen sense for the world around them. Slowly, Honor and Helix begin to uncover a terrible truth about life on the Island: Sooner or later, those who are unpredictable disappear... and they don't ever come back.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This was a strange book for me. It started off pretty well as a story that's being told after the fact by an unseen narrator. You get the feeling that a lot of things have since changed. More than half of the book is dedicated to building the world (which is interesting) and the characters (which are not). By the time the real action part of the plot started to take place, I was nearing the end of the book... with a somewhat uneasy feeling because there didn't seem to be enough pages to tie everything together satisfactorily. And there weren't. The story just stops, with a quick and happy ending, leaving the reader to speculate on the implications of what probably happened next. I would have liked to see it spelled out a little more; as it was, there were a lot of things in the last quarter of the book that seemed rushed and overly convenient. A better ending might have made me continue my first-impression sentiment of "Oooh!" rather than the "Meh..." I was eventually left with.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 2/5
Writing: 4/5
Editing: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.43 out of 5

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