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Review: The Islands at the End of the World

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Islands at the
End of the World

Austin Aslan

Genre: Mythological
Hardback: 384Pages
Publication: August 5, 2014
by Wendy Lamb Books


Right before my eyes, my beautiful islands are changing forever. And so am I...

Sixteen-year-old Leilani loves surfing and her home in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. But she's an outsider - half white, half Hawaiian, and an epileptic.

While Lei and her father are on a visit to Oahu, a global disaster strikes. Technology and power fail, Hawaii is cut off from the world, and the islands revert to traditional ways of survival. As Lei and her dad embark on a nightmarish journey across islands to reach home and family, she learns that her epilepsy and her deep connection to Hawaii could be keys to ending the crisis before it becomes worse than anyone can imagine.

◆ A copy was provided by Random House for review ◆

Sixteen-year-old Lei and her father Mike travel to Oahu to search the medical cure for her epilepsy. When a mysterious force cripples the world's technology and plunges the isolated metropolitan area into chaos, they’re desperate to return to family on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Lei is half-Hawaiian and half-white. She still feels like an outsider even three years after moving from California to Hilo, partly because she is only half Hawaiian but mostly because of the disease that prevents her from having a normal life. Nevertheless she feels a connection to her ancestry and the old gods and hears echoes of the mythological past whenever she slips into a seizure. I love how Lei grows throughout the book. Not only does she learn how far her father is willing to go to keep the family together, she also comes to accept herself. Lei is an inspiration for young girls to act courageously in the face of challenges and to observe and understand the environment around them.

The storyline is filled with the fiery legends and wonder of Hawaii. It primarily focuses on the love that Lei and her father feel for their other members of the family,and how desperate they are to get back to them. Leilani and her father fight their way through depleting resources, looting, martial law, and chaos. Their voyage is filled with challenging and life threatening obstacles, but rather than weakening their bond, it strengthens their trust in each other.

The Islands at the End of the World is a thrilling and heartbreaking story of survival tale of father and daughter bonding against impossible odds, as well as a journey into the history and mythology of Hawaii. The author does an excellent job of capturing the voice of a teenage girl hungry to belong and who discovers the strength to fight for herself, her family, and her home. I highly recommend this book for YA fans of all ages.

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This post was made as part of the Random House tour for the novel

10 comments on "Review: The Islands at the End of the World"
  1. Thanks for this review! Great to be on your blog. I wonder if there was a mistake with the "synopsis," though. It's for a different book, but it looks by all appearances like it's supposed to be providing a summary of ISLANDS. Just thought I'd point that out. Best, -Austin

    1. Sorry, that's my bad! I was helping Alice format the post and forgot to change the synopsis. (I changed it later in the day on the 13th and didn't think to post about the edit until now, so people know they're looking at the right synopsis!)

  2. Ooh, I like that Hawaii is the setting for this book. It's on my list to visit. I don't know if it would be better or worse to be stranded on Hawaii...I'm thinking better. Lovely review!

  3. Woah, this sounds intense (not a bad thing.) There seems to be very beautiful themes inside it and I don't recall reading many survival stories like that. Lovely review. :)

  4. With a father daughter relationship, non-stop adventures and Hawaiian mythology and legends, The Islands at the End of the World sounds like an exciting addition to my summer reading!

    1. It will be an exciting addition for your summer reading. Enjoy the book.

  5. Cool! Hope you all enjoy reading it! Alice, I just wanted to say again, thanks for having me! Very cool blog you gals have going here! Best wishes! -Austin

    1. Thanks. I am looking forward to reading your next book.


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