Review: Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff

“Cringeworthy and full of trope Isle of Night just didn't live up to the expectations of a fabulous synopsis.”

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Title:Isle of Night
Author:Wolff, Veronica
Publisher:NAL Trade
Pages:302

Book cover synopsis:Is life offering fewer and fewer options? Then join the dead. When Annelise goes off to college, it means good riddance to her abusive father and stepmother, but a bureaucratic screwup leaves her without a high school diploma, flat broke, and facing a future that seems more elusive than ever. Then she meets Ronan-tall, dark, and way too seductive for her own good. He promises Annelise a new life…if she has the courage to chance the unknown. One look at him, and she certainly has the desire. He offers her a lift, and, sure enough, accepting rides from strangers does yield surprises.
Whisked away to a mysterious island in the North Sea, Annelise is pitted against other female recruits in tests of skill, smarts, and strength. To win is to become a member of the Watchers, a unique elite partnership with the vampires that dispatches its teams on the most dangerous missions imaginable. It’s not exactly what Annelise had in mind for a new beginning, but it’s livelier than the alternative. Because on the Isle of Night, to lose a challenge doesn’t mean just dishonor. It means death.
Let the games begin.

To be quite honest I have no idea where to start on this book. From the description I had high hopes for liking it, but it fell flat in so many ways it was hard for me to look past the ways it didn’t live up to the synopsis.

Firstly Annelise who likes to be called Drew is supposed to be a genius. Like a real genius. That paired with the fact she come from an abusive family is why the vampires and their trackers picked her as a recruit, however in any class you see Drew in her knowledge is smart but not genius levels. The mathematics discussed in small detail were Sophmore AP at best. I know that being super-smart can translate into having no street smarts so to say but Drew is one of those heroines that seems to have no care for her safety, and knowing that she ran off to go to college without telling a soul its hard for me to believe that she is some kick ass fighter later on.

Its hard for me to believe that a girl who is super-king-kong-mega smart has no one. Sure, I understand she doesn’t have friends inside of her classrooms but shouldn’t there be a concerned teacher? Especially since she comes to school beaten by an abusive dad? It is extremely hard to believe that she spent all of her life never making not one single connection in her life. Hard to believe and very convenient for the author.

When Annelise gets to the college registers office she learns she didn’t actually graduate due to a swimming accreditation that the school enacted. Instead of asking to speak to her admissions counselor she just walks back out to her car that conveniently doesn’t start. So when a hot guy with a Proust tattoo offers to give her a ride she accepts. Oh, and I forgot, super hot guy can tell just by looking under her hood that its the carburetor.

In the car she asks him to take her to the coast, instead he takes her to an airfield where he uses his voodoo stare to get her on a plane bound for a tiny island in the middle of nowhere. On the plane sits two girls, one will become her nemesis.

In order to avoid spoilers I won’t go into greater detail, but suffice to say that once Drew gets on the island things in the book do not improve. She is continually telling me how smart she is while doing the most mind numbingly things. She tries hard and learns to fight and I give her that, but in reality I just don’t think that Drew is the kind of girl who can trade her book smarts that she keeps telling me she has into ninja star throwing kick assery.

If The Hunger Games, Lost, and Vampire Academy had a baby full of trope it would be this book. I wanted to try hard to look past all of the obvious plays on other series because I wanted to love the premise. For me it just didn’t work.

Have you read it and have the same or a different opinion?

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10 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    I havent read this but I don’t think I want to either. Sounds like Drew is an annoying main character

  2. Gravatar

    I love your reviews, I haven’t gotten to read a lot lately. But I just might check out this one…just cause. ;-)

  3. Gravatar

    I was so looking forward to this book, but everybody keeps commenting on how “smart” Drew is. I don’t understand why authors do that–make their MCs genius smart, but they do stupid things throughout the book.

    Ugh.

    Good review, though!

  4. Gravatar

    Don’t venture off the path or the Smog monster visiting from Lost will getchu!

  5. Gravatar

    A baby full of trope? LOL! Love it.

  6. Gravatar

    I’ve seen this one at Barnes and Noble and have thought of picking up a copy. Do you think someone who hasn’t read The Hungers, Vampire Academy, and/or has never seen Lost (for I have never read or seen any of those) might enjoy the book? Or is the main character and her smarts to big of a turn off with having any prior knowledge of those said series?

  7. Gravatar

    Chimney,

    I think if you really enjoy vampire tales and don’t mind the damsel scenario you will like it!

  8. Gravatar

    Pam,

    Thank you for the response. I don’t really mind damsel in distress scenarios, but I am rather new to the vampire scene, having only read one novel and a couple comics that center around them. Maybe I will still give this one a shot.

  9. Gravatar

    “Baby full of trope” – love. it.

  10. Gravatar

    it sounds like a good book but everyone commenting and the review say it wasnt a good book should i read it anyway?

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