What is supposed to be an intervention program for troubled teens goes awry.
After Alice (a white teen) has a couple of beers too many at a party and Caleb (a dark-skinned teen) beats up his abusive stepfather, the two find themselves en route to a private island for a weeklong intervention program with six other “troubled” teens. Day 1 goes as expected with group therapy and a cleansing ritual, but things quickly take a turn on Day 2 when one of the teens goes missing and the adults refuse to radio for help. By Day 3, one of the three program leaders is dead and the other two are no help. With the discovery of a sabotaged kayak and a broken radio, Alice, Caleb, and the others realize they are stranded. As suspicion and terror take hold, the teens must work together to stay alive and find a way off the island. Told from the alternating perspectives of Alice and Caleb, the novel is full of sudden, unexpected twists that feel forced and unbelievable, driving the plot obviously rather than organically. Similarly, while the characterization of the teens attempts to defy stereotypes, readers never really get the chance to know them beyond the surface.
This fast-paced adventure misses the mark with a bland narrative and equally bland characters. (Adventure. 12-16)