Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: The Other Side of the Island

"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."
-Good Reads

  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • Release date: Sept. 4, 2008
  • Page count: 280
  • Unique elements: Divided into four parts. Each part starts over at chapter 1.
  • Would appeal to: Dystopian readers, fans of Ally Condie's Matched, fans of Lauren Oliver's Delirium, free thinkers
Favorite Quotes:

"...she also remembered how dangerous his ideas were. Her father had thought she was afraid of the sea, but that was only part of it. She had been afraid because even as he spoke, she knew that she would lose him."

"A pair of orderlies in white uniforms looked like a matched pair of socks sorted and clean straight from the wash."

"She couldn't tell if they were men or women or if the pair was one of each, but they were alive; their arms felt strong and springy through the thin cloth of their jumpsuits."

"Another cake turned into a mass of butterflies, some iced on the surface and some that seemed about to fly away on painted cookie wings."

It was hard to pick out favorite quotes from this book, since I feel most anything would be giving away a lot of the story. If you like to read books about how the world might look in the future, this is a great one.

The book starts as Honor is 10. The wording is simple, as a child would see things; however, the point of view is 3rd. Honor doesn't fit in because she's come from the wild northern islands, she's been homeschooled, and her name has a silent H. Classes are determined by the first letter of your names. Names come from approved lists. The teachers say people will be confused and hear an O in Honor, believing she's much younger than she is. In time, they tell her parents, she'll want to change her own name. Already, we have a lot of conflict. It continues as everything Honor learns about the world at home is contradicted at school.

Earth Mother, the woman who has enclosed these islands, was a simple school teacher once upon a time (love that!) who has convinced everyone that real weather is their enemy.

Helix is a great friend to Honor when no one else will be, but he's dangerous because of his ideas, just like her father.

If you want to read a book about the power of words and persuasion (reminds me of Animal Farm since we read that every year in class), read this! Goodman's world is creative, convincing, and makes you think.

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