The Island

­Delacorte. Feb. 2023. 336p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780593481493.
Gr 8 Up–Paisley, 17, is one of six social media influencers who have been chosen to attend an exclusive weekend tour of a remote new amusement park called Jagged Island. As the name suggests, the park is hauntingly beautiful, built to mimic the Gothic Era and filled with jump-scare rides, serial killer haunted houses, and more, all geared towards rich, influential people. At first, the thrill of being catered to by staff, enjoying top-dollar amenities, and having exclusive access to all the rides leave the teens feeling like this is a dream come true. Then the bodies start piling up. The teens, who normally spend their days behind a computer screen, will need to come together to stay alive and find a way off the remote island. This is a fast-paced thriller that keeps tensions high and has action around every corner. On an island where a serial killer is on the loose, Preston creates the perfect backdrop to examine how different personalities react in stressful situations. Characters are all initially hard to relate to due to their fame and fortune as influencers, however, as the book progresses, readers get to see the natural side of these people and learn the backstory of how they became famous. Most characters present as white; Harper is described as having “dark skin with an afro.”
VERDICT Recommended purchase for all libraries. Hand this to readers who are fans of Preston’s other works, and who enjoy books that keep the tensions high right up to the very last word.

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