Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Nil by Lynne Matson

Title: Nil
Author: Lynne Matson
Publication Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days--to escape, or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with dangers, their greatest threat is time.
"Nights were pitch-black, full of claustrophobic, creepy darkness. Nights were when the shakes came, from cold, and from fear. I was absurdly terrified of nighttime critters, not just weird bird men or potential aliens."
Lost was one of my favorite shows, and if you know me, you know that when Lost was airing, I spent so much time trying to figure out the island and how it worked. Looking at Nil, the premise alone drew me in. You have this mysterious almost sentient island where teenagers show up on and they only have one year to make it off the island. From that description, you are expecting this amazing adventure and survival story.

However, that is not quite what we get. Yes, this is a story of Charley and Thad and their survival on the island, but there is a huge case of insta-love that really hurt my enjoyment of the book. I understand knowing your time together is limited because one way or another you only get 365 days on the island, but that does not condone this insta-love. For me the huge downfall of this book was that it was more of a romance, than a survival story. 

I wanted to learn all about the island and the gates and how the island came to be. We got a little bit of background on it, but not nearly enough to appease me. Nil (the island) is what I loved about this book. I loved how it seemed to play tricks on the kids and how it is definitely possible to learn some of its tricks and secrets. I really hope future books focus more on the island and its background.

The last thing I will say it two-fold. First, I really liked the two perspective aspect of the book because we got to see a newbie on the island and the veteran. However, for me there were many times where it was hard to differentiate whose perspective I was reading from. The writing style between the two characters was exactly the same and there was no concrete way to differentiate the two characters other than them mentioning the other by name. Second, I absolutely loved that the characters bonded over hockey. I'm an avid hockey fan, so I appreciated the mention of hockey, especially the mentions of the Atlanta Thrashers.

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