08 December 2015

Review: Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan

The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Book Format: Paperback
# of Pages: 384
Synopsis: 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 powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Meet Austin, (Taken from Goodreads)
Austin Aslan has been an EMT, a community organizer, a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, and he once ran a Congressional campaign in Oregon. He was inspired to write his debut novel, The Islands at the End of the World, while living on the Big Island of Hawaii. He earned a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. His research on rare Hawaiian plants located on the high slopes of Mauna Loa won him a pair of destroyed hiking boots, a tattered rain jacket, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He lives outside Tucson, Arizona, deep in the Sonoran Desert, where he pets scorpions and hugs saguaro cacti with his high-school-sweetheart wife and their two young children. Austin is pursuing a PhD in geography at the University of Arizona and thinking up new stories while conducting ecosystem resilience research atop the Peruvian Andes. He continues to write fiction and looks forward to the publication of his "Islands at the End" sequel, "The Girl at the Center of the World" in the fall of 2015.

My Review:
 I received, Island at the End of the World by Austin Aslan from the publisher and this is my honest review.

This novel is about a girl named Leilani who lives in Hawaii with her native mother, younger brother, and American father. Lei is only half Hawaiian so she gets a lot of crap from the people at school. They did not feel that she fit in, and because of this they bullied her often. Leilani also suffers from seizures, and at the beginning of the book her and her father are traveling to another part of Hawaii so Lei can take part in a medical trial to hopefully help her with her seizures.

In the middle of this trial, the world decides to end which makes it really hard for Lei to get medical treatment so she and her father decide it is time to make the trek home. The only problem is since the world is coming crashing down pretty much on top of them, there are no planes flying home, nor are there boats sailing toward their home. Lei and her father are stuck bargaining, and fighting their way out of the town to get home to their family.

I enjoyed this book for so many reasons, most adventure books incorporate some sort of hardship, or distraction along with the adventure. For example, a love interest or a death. There was a unique hardship in this book which was Lei’s epilepsy. Not only was her disease a hardship, but it was actually a very important part of the whole story for Leilani and her world.

We did not get to know the characters of Lei’s mother, brother, and grandfather (hopefully in the second book) but we did get to know Lei, and her father in great detail and both of them are extremely strong characters. She and her father have a very strong bond, and I admire that. They have the ability to joke around and be friendly, but her father also can be authoritative without a problem. I could not stop turning the pages of this book from the first page to the very last. I loved it to pieces and I cannot wait to read the second book!

1 comment:

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