Nil - YA Review by Gwyneth P

Reader: Gwyneth P.
Age: 13
Title: Nil
Author: Lynne Matson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Pub Date: 03/04/14
Galley: Yes
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: I thought it was a wonderful book. The elements of desperation for survival and questioning things we take for granted as lucky as we are were fantastic. I loved the way that it was never predictable and there was never anything that seemed cliché. It surprised me, which I enjoy thoroughly. I also loved the rushed feeling of it - the realistic time frame of what it would actually be like and the survival elements with all the desperation blended together were very interesting. The way the plot was designed and set about was very well articulated and logical which I always appreciate. It is a great and very original example of survival, its effects, and all the emptiness inside of it; the parts after the thrill where people process. I do wish that there would be more description of emotions and exploration of the island and history of the people on it, but other than that it was thoroughly enjoyable and held a great message for me. The main characters weren't very developed.  I felt I understood background characters much more and I realize it was supposed to be rushed. The dialogue I found very emotional and compatible with my own experiences which I thought was also quite amazing.
Memorable or Forgettable: I loved the process of thought that I knew was there behind all of the plot's secrets that I always wanted to discover. It never left me wishing for more interesting content and it was always full of a new mystery just itching to be solved. I loved the way all the characters were very relatable and I felt I always knew what they were experiencing.
Cover: The cover, I think, is beautiful and definitely reflects Nil's beauty and her ugliness and desperation lying in waiting underneath as the days tick by.
Age Range: 12 through 18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
Annotation: Charley is swept out of a Target parking lot to an Island and wakes up naked in the middle of a field of rocks. She discovers other people like herself and learns she is on Nil, an island where there is no escape unless through elusive gateways.  She must catch one within 365 days of her arrival on the Island or she dies. She meets the Island leader, Thad, and they become very involved even as she helps him try to leave the Island with his limited time left.

tags:  dystopian romance / science fiction / adventure / survival / ya lit

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