Book Review: Lighthouse Island by Paulette Jiles
October 4, 2013 8 Comments
Lighthouse Island: What it is about
The publisher says: “In the coming centuries the world’s population has exploded. The earth is crowded with cities, animals are nearly all extinct, and drought is so widespread that water is rationed. There are no maps, no borders, no numbered years, and no freedom, except for an elite few.
It is a harsh world for an orphan like Nadia Stepan. Growing up, she dreams of a green vacation spot called Lighthouse Island, in a place called the Pacific Northwest.
When an opportunity for escape arises, Nadia embarks on a dangerous and sometimes comic adventure. Along the way she meets a man who changes the course of her life: James Orotov, a mapmaker and demolition expert. Together, they evade arrest and head north toward a place of wild beauty that lies beyond the megapolis—Lighthouse Island.“
Lighthouse Island: What I thought
I love dystopia, and this one was good! Nadia embarks on several adventures, eventually trying to reach Lighthouse Island, a place she heard of in her childhood. As a reader I wasn’t convinced the island actually existed as it seemed more a thing of childhood dreams. But Nadia insists this is where she wants to go.
Her life is of little value to anyone but herself. Many times she narrowly evades arrest (sometimes she actually is arrested) and that is a bad thing in her society: people (especially good-looking women) are arrested for no reason, and executed live on television, just for the sake of it.
There were a few too many coincidences in the book to make it totally believable, but overall, this was a great story of both suffering and of outsmarting the authorities. Nadia had learned from early childhood to be inventive, and she manages to get into places meant for the very rich, gets water from people when there is very little around, and is helped in her quest by the most unlikely types.
It was a fun adventure story in a future that was believable in itself, although very bleak and dystopian. It’s not a YA novel, but I’m sure that many young adults will also enjoy this book.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (good to very good)
Number of pages: 400
First published: 2013
I got this: from William Morrow (an imprint of Harper Collins) for review
Genre: science fiction, dystopia