ARC Book Review: Nil

Nil CoverBook: Nil by Lynne Matson

Expected Publication is March 4, 2013 by Henry Holt & Co|Expected Number Of Pages: 383

Where I Got It: I got the e-ARC from netgalley.com, which hasn’t influenced my review in any way.  Promise!

Series: None

Genre: YA Sci-Fi Thriller

You can find Nil on goodreads & Lynne Matson on Twitter, Facebook and her website

Goodreads Summary:

On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly.

What I Thought:

I’ve been looking forward to reading Nil, and it’s definitely different and strange…but in a good way.

I mean, Charley somehow ends up on this strange island where you have a year to get off the island. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to why some people end up on the island- other than everyone being in middle school or high school.

Here’s the thing about Nil: you get thrown into this world, with no explanation of what’s going or why people end up there or why there are rules.  Seriously, by the end of the book, you still have no clue what the deal with this island is.  And normally that would bother me, because I want to know so many things about the world I inhabit when reading…but not knowing much of anything about Nil actually worked well for the book.

You only know what the characters know, and even the one who have been on the island for a while don’t have the answers.  They just try to make do with what they have and seem to make the best out of a really strange situation.

The book itself is narrated by two different people- Charley, who is a newcomer to the island, and Thad, who has been on the island for almost a year.  I did like that you had the two of them narrate, because you got two very different perspectives on the island. I find it interesting that you know very little about their lives before Nil and their lives after Nil.  But that also worked for me, because their lives become all about Nil.  You only see Charley going to Nil and what her life was like after going home, but there is part of me that wants to know what happened to the other kids on Nil after Charley and Thad left.  And how they deal with not being on Nil anymore.

Let’s Rate It:

Nil is definitely different and strange but in a good way!  I liked that we don’t know much of anything about the island and the people Charley and Thad left behind.  I didn’t love Nil, and I’m not sure why, because there are so many great things about it.  I just don’t think it had that special something to make me fall in love with it.  Nil gets 3 stars.

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