The Island by Jen Minkman
« Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason – they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.
But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?
Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool? »
This novella tells the story of Leia and her clan. She's fifteen and everything she knows is about to be blown away. She lives in a Mansion with other teenagers since they're ten years old. They have to live under the rules of Saul. Saul lies and only wants to keep his power over the people in the Mansion. Quickly, Leia and her friends decide to fight for their rights and for the truth.
I can say I loved this short story a lot, and not only because I love the dystopian genre. I found all the characteristics of a dystopian genre. I mean, there's the main character, forced to become an adult, then her world is turned upside down. And she has no choice but to fight for what's right. But at the same time, this novella is out of the ordinary. Jen said on Goodreads "When I decided to try my hand at a dystopian novella, I wanted it to be different from most dystopian books I've read lately." And she succeeded !
First I loved the story and how the plot is quickly developed through the pages. I know it's a novella and supposed to be efficient but because I'm not used to read novellas, it felt even better and stronger. It's one of the reasons why I recommend this book, it's a fast but intense read with actions and suspense. Also I enjoyed the mystery around what's behind the wall, who are the Fools ? What if they were different from what Leia is supposed to think ?
I found it was original, the setting of an Island, a small world with different beliefs and a different type of society. I've never seen or thought about that kind of World. Even if I'm not a fan of Star Wars, the few references was nice and fun. I loved this idea of an Island and all the things unknown around it. So I can claim it was new and refreshing compare to all the dystopia already out there.
Usually I talk about the characters and what I loved about them. Because it's a novella, I was afraid that I couldn't appreciate completly the characters. But with The Island, it was so easy to love them. Thanks to a first person's narration, I could relate to the main character Leia. She is brave and smart but maybe a bit sensitive. Who wouldn't be when a boy you barely know makes fun of you and your clan ? Leia is the kind of character I love to discover, she has no idea of her beauty and how important she's becoming. She is humble and sincere, not afraid to tell the truth even when she should think twice before she speaks. The second characters are also important, like they all are a piece of her. There's the funny Mara, Andy who's brave and strong, and her twin brother Colin who seems a bit overwhelmed by everything that's happening. I can't wait to know more about all of them but I admit I have a thing for Walt. Too bad I can't talk to you about him because I don't want to spoil anything. I'm sure you will love him too ! With all of them, we laugh and think.
To finish, I have to confess if I didn't 5 starred this book is a bit because I wanted more. I know it's a short story but, even if I loved the end, I was still hungry for more. So a few hours later, I started reading the sequel ! And I can already tell you it's as amazing as the first novella in The Island series ! Even the sequel is beyond my expectations.
I think I told you about pretty much everything you need to know about The Island. I truly believe you don't need to love the dystopia's genre or even the Star Wars' universe. It's well written and I promise you won't get bored at all. Like me, you will want and need more !
I hope you liked my little review and decided to buy and read The Island. The first two books of this trilogy by Jen Minkman are available in paperback and on kindle. You can find out more about Jen with her blog ( http://www.jenminkman.nl/ ) and on Twitter (@JenMinkman) . Iwill ask her a few questions about her books and her career and of course I will review the sequel of The Island, The Waves soon.
Thank you and enjoy your read !