Monday, December 8, 2008
The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman
It’s the eighteenth year of Enclosure and everything on the islands in the Tranquil Sea have become regulated. Earth Mother and her Corporation, who have a vision for a world with only happiness, control everything from jobs to the weather to children’s names and expect everyone to conform to this view of normality, no matter what the consequence. On Island 365 lives a girl named Honor and her family who don’t really fit into this conforming society.
While Honor desperately tries to fit in, her parents try even harder to not fit in. They break curfew, don’t pray to Mother Earth, and biggest of all have a second child. When Honor meets Helix she soon finds out some dark secrets, those that don’t conform soon disappear…forever.
Filled with fear that her parents might be taken, Honor tries to change even more, thinking that if she fits in, no attention will be brought to her parents. Will all her efforts be in vain? Will her and Helix uncover more secrets about the island?
From the very first paragraph I was drawn into the story and knew that it would be great. As the story progressed I was certainly not disappointed. Having only read a few post-apocalyptic or dystopian society books, I was a little unsure as to what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised with the ability of the book to hold my attention. I felt like most of the characters, especially Honor, were well developed and real. Something that really stood out to me was Honor’s ability to stay real, and very human like, in a setting composed of conforming events and questions. In this case it was easy to connect with Honor, because the author made the reader have some of the same questions as she did. The author also did a great job creating suspense within the novel. There were many times where I was not able to pull myself away from the book at all. The questions that the book brings up keeps you enthralled and wanting more. Overall I was very much impressed with the book and am very much hoping that there will be a sequel.
Fans of The City of Ember, The Uglies, and The Giver, I think will really enjoy this book.