4.5⭐️ – I read this whole story in a shroud of constant trepidation. I don’t know how to say it in a way that doesn’t make it sound like it’s a bad thing because it’s really not. I knew what I was getting into (overall). It’s written on the cover, Mean Girls (which I loved) meets Lord of the Flies (which traumatized me as a kid) and teenage girls can be savage. No lie there!
Ellery, British under-18th heptathlon champion, is still grieving her father’s death when she joins her new classmates at the prestigious King’s Academy for a PE trip to an island in the Indian Ocean. Other than all of them being athletes, Ellery has nothing in common with the other teenagers, except maybe one, Skye, whom she didn’t expect to meet again. When their plane crashes on a deserted island, the mean girls, their boyfriends, the school dork and the new girl have to find ways to survive until they – hopefully – get rescued.
Kate Castle sets the scene right from the first sentence and maybe I shouldn’t have started reading at night. Ellery is a very hard character to let go of, and I felt almost guilty for leaving her on this island whenever I had to put the book down.
I won’t say much because not knowing for sure what’s going to happen next is part of the fun. Suspecting, dreading it is part of the fun as well. It’s like Christmas in reverse, exchanging anticipation for apprehension. Who cares if the mean girls are a little too mean and Ellery is a little too good at almost everything? And sure, I’ve read the story before, or seen it on TV (The Wilds comes to mind, or Yellowjackets, which I haven’t been brave enough to watch yet), but it doesn’t matter. It’s all in how the story is told. And Castle tells it terrifyingly well.