“The Island” (Book Review)


Emily Loughridge

Natasha Preston’s latest release, “The Island” provides readers a thrill this summer. Emily reviewed the pages and shared her thoughts.

Emily Loughridge, Editor-in-Chief

For those looking for a thrill this summer, without having the venture out into the hot, heavy air filled with mosquitos, look no further than Natasha Preston, dubbed a Wattpad sensation for her suspenseful books. Currently, Preston has eight books of this style published, with another on the way in late September of this year.

Her first five books, including “The Cellar,” “Awake,” “The Cabin,” “You Will Be Mine,” and “The Lost” were all published by Sourcebooks Fire, who publishes break-out young adult fiction and non-fiction. The last three of Preston’s books, including “The Twin,” “The Fear,” “The Island” were published by Delacorte Press.

The reason I mention the publishing companies? I believe that there was a dramatic shift in the suspense found within Preston’s books. Her first five books had a death grip on the readers, forcing their nose further into the book, until the problems suddenly ended. Preston’s style of writing left readers with more questions in the end compared to the start of the book – a beautiful evil that kept readers on the look for her next book. However, since “The Twin” was released in 2020, it seems either Preston has lost her touch for building up suspense and finding an ending no one saw coming or her style was altered in the transition between publishers.

Besides the noticeable changes in the story’s suspense and resolutions, another shocking change came from the colorful flowers on each book cover. Each book cover has a beautifully delicate flower in the foreground of each cover, and in the first five books it seemed the flower played into the story. For example, looking at “The Cellar” a pink lily rests on the stairs which plays into the storyline perfectly as the main character is called Lily by her captor throughout the pages. Similar uses of the flowers can be found in other books, however that detail was lost in later books even with the flowers still present on the cover.

Preston might be falling back into her groove with “The Island,” which was published in early 2023. She leans into the modern world to give readers a story about a small group of social media influencers who are invited to an island where a newly built amusement park sits for the weekend. The millionaire who built it wants to use their followings to drum up interest for his gothic theme park, but he doesn’t plan for the influencers to start disappearing and their only way off the island to go missing.

“The Island” has a nice flow as the pages flip by, and as the teens start disappearing one by one, the only question is “Who would do this?” Much like other thrillers, everyone becomes a suspect as more bodies keep piling up. Since I had just finished “The Twin,” which ended exactly how you think it might, I was expecting a similar ending here. I was wrong however, when the killer was unmasked and shared the reasonings behind the killings, I nodded my head in shock and agreement. The situation that set off the killer was handled horribly, however killing an island full of mostly innocent people? A bit of an extreme reaction if you ask me.

I will not give spoilers, but the last few lines of the book were the part that really brought Preston’s writing back into play for me. She has never been one to give an overly happy ending, but this one knocked the breath out of me.

I enjoy Preston’s books, but I would encourage new readers to look into her first five books more than the latter. Yet maybe she will keep me on my toes with “The Haunting,” which is set to come out Sept. 26, 2023.


Emily Loughridge is a third year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.