My rating: 3 of 5 stars
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM ISLAND, BOOK 1: SHIPWRECKED. Consider yourself forewarned. There are no spoiler tags besides this one: SPOILER!! SPOILERY SPOILER TAG FOR A SPOILER!!!
Survival is the second book in Gordon Korman’s Island trilogy, and this is where the series takes a southward dip in my opinion.
Luke Haggerty has survived being shipwrecked only to find himself on a tiny island in the middle of nowhere. He and his fellow survivors Charla, Ian, and Will need to find food, fresh water to drink, shelter, and a way to get back home. To complicate their situation, Will becomes delirious with dehydration and crashes off into the jungle alone.
On the other side of the island, celebrity kid JJ Lane and Will’s sister Lyssa wash up on shore. JJ is convinced that the shipwreck is merely part of the “troubled kid” sailing program in which the kids were participating when all of this went down.
The kids find each other and a link to civilization — a small port that’s been overrun by smugglers. And that’s where the series took a bit of a dive for me. It’s just so cliché for the kids to find a link to the outside world only to discover that the only other people on the island are murderous criminals. Will’s hysteria, I could have understood. JJ’s constant name-dropping and refusal to see the truth of their situation, I could deal with. But all of that plus armed smugglers? It really made me roll my eyes.
The survival bits were decently fun, but not quite fun enough for me to really recommend this series wholeheartedly to lovers of children’s lit.