Monday, January 3, 2011

The Other Side of the Island

By Allegra Goodman

When Honor 's parents moved to Island 365, they knew the rules.  Earth Mother controls everything- from the books they are allowed to read to the number of children they are allowed to have. Honor is quickly accepted at the government school, but her mother and father insist on being Unpredictable. They take long walks out into the country to look at the night sky, and dangle their feet in the ocean, when any normal person knows that the sea is dangerous.
Her best friend Helix has parents who are the same way, and when his parents Disappear (read: arrested by the government officials) Honor knows that her parents could be taken as well. In order to protect her family, she tries to be the perfect student, but when her mother gives birth to a second child, Honor knows that her parents can't change who they are. When her parents Disappear, she and her little brother Quintilian are forced to live in the orphanage. Helix is there too, and together, they discover the secret on the other side of the island.
The Other Side of the Island was both an entertaining read, and a challenging one. Its dystopian plot closely resembles 1984, but it keeps a tight hold on its hopeful outlook. I enjoyed this book enough to re-read it, and found it just as engaging on the second read. If there was a sequel, I'd be the first in line!

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