The Islanders – S.V. Leonard [SPOILERS]

Our third #TsundokuSquad monthly book (March) was ‘The Islanders’ by S.V. Leonard. This was the third book we’ve read as a group. We all read this book on the kindle and split the book into four parts.

Week 1 – 6th March

So, here we are again. Week one on a brand new book. This weeks chapters ended right in the heat of the moment…on a mini cliff-hanger which left all of us wanting more.

My first point regarding this book is the similarities to Love Island which I know we all know it was based off, but as a watcher of Love Island I personally found myself needing to take a few moments to get over the exact descriptions of the love island villa (i.e. the neon pillows, large showers, communal sleeping area, semi circle decking and fire pit). A lot of our group hasn’t seen Love Island so didn’t have the same mental blocks that I did on initially getting into the story. Once I had however, got over this, I was with the rest of the group in really enjoying the concept and the storyline so far.

A fair few people from the group think that this is a set-up and that we might potentially end up with a pretty high body count by the end. We were all pretty happy that Jack was the first to go (no surprises that we didn’t gel with his personality particularly well). We also had a prediction from Lucy that Valentina would be next… time will tell!

We are all enjoying the character descriptions and are finding Kim’s and Daniel’s characters the most interesting. We all noticed that Mo is super nervous around police and that Carly might be on drugs. Some of the group thought that they were spiked as they got drunk so quickly but i’m sceptical of this idea, i’m sure we will find out!

We had a discussion on if we thought they were actually all randomly selected or if they are connected somehow. Also, if the other Islanders are going to arrive or not… lots of ways this story could go and we’re excited.

Our words for this weeks part can be summed up below but in summary we are all currently enjoying this fast paced, secret filled start to the story. Current ratings have 8 people at a 4/5 and one person at a 3.5/5.

Week 2 – 13th March

Our general feeling this week is that we’re still enjoying it, it’s a quick easy read with lots of mystery. Some of us did think it had gone a little OTT but we’re still hooked and invested it what is going on!

We all have no real idea on how it’s going to continue to unravel and who the judge is…Guesses on the judge:

Unknown person we haven’t met yet (but it’s a bit far through for this maybe?)

  • Unknown person we haven’t met yet (but might be too far through for this?!)
  • Someone mentioned or eluded to that isn’t on the island yet (old police partner maybe?)
  • The Boat Man
  • Daniel and Rosalind Duo
  • Sam the day scout
  • ‘Emily’ or someone else from Kim’s past…

Someone mentioned or eluded to that isn’t on the island yet (old police partner maybe)

We don’t trust Daniel still, he’s filming even though their not streaming the show anymore. Also are we 100% sure Sophia is dead? We know how easy it is to fake that…

We did think it could be a completely fake set up but unlikely as they’re stopped showing on TV and of it really was a Truman show style thing they’d still be streaming as it was the plan.

Another idea is that it’s all of them vs Kim? So a different type of set-up!

Lucy is predicting maybe one more death before Kim figures it out, a few of us thought maybe more… the ‘want to play a game?’ reminder us of SAW and SCREAM!

We didn’t like Kim as detective as much, it didn’t feel too natural?! She forgot to look at the tapes for FAAR too long which annoyed a couple of us!

Our words for this week can be seen below and our ratings based on this week are 3 people have gone with a 3/4, 2 with a 3.5/5 and 3 have rated it a 4/5. So slightly lower than last week! Hopefully it gets better and better as we go through the next two weeks…

Week 3 – 20th March

This week we had a few people who have read on to the end but have promised no spoilers so we had a little less theorising this time.

Also, this is the first time where opinion seems to be a little split. In the main we are all still enjoying the fast paced, easy nature of the read. We agreed that if it was longer it would be too much detail for this type of story and that it was kind of Agatha Christie esq.

We thought the agony aunt angle was interesting and the drip feeding in of their back stories was very interesting. We had a brief discussion about Mo maybe having faked his own death?

Then the opinions start to differ, a couple of us think it’s too unrealistic, OTT and are getting a little bored of it but are hoping for the ending to save it for them. The other half are very compelled, loving it and even drawn to read on ahead of the rest of the group.

What we do know is that Kim and Daniel are the only two that are definitely still alive, we’re not sure about Mo, who JD or the Judge are…

This weeks words can be seen below and we have 2 people on a 3 star rating, one at a 3.5 and the rest up on a 4. We are all very interested to see how our opinions change for the ending…

Week 4/Final Week – 27th March

Overall we felt this was a very easy and quick read with a fast-pace. We thought it was the perfect length, anything longer would have been boring. On the whole, we enjoyed the mixed media to break up the story.

However, for some of us the ending lacked a little punch and was slightly under-whelming. 

Most of us did enjoy that the story didn’t have any loose ends and that everything was tied up.

There was a little annoyance with the ending. It was surprising but not anything we could have ever guessed…

Overall we didn’t manage to get very invested or feel connected to any of the characters – we didn’t like how Kim was asked to re-join the police, we felt it was unnecessary and a bit of an eye-roll. 

Even during our book club chat it was apparent that we had either skim read and missed things or it wasn’t really impactful enough for us to remember the specifics of some of what happened. 

Our words for this week are as below, we had 3 people rate as a 3, two as a 3.5 and 4 as a 4. 

Overall this leaves the group rating as a 3.5 – our highest group score so far and following the pattern (book one was a two star, book two was a three)

Our overall group rating: 3.5/5

My individual rating: 3/5

As always, this is our views on this book. Variety is the spice of life and all readers don’t enjoy the same thing. You may love this book, you may hate this book – the only way to find out is to read it.

…our April book is ‘Circus of Wonders’ by Elizabeth Macneal! So keep your eyes peeled for our thoughts on that one and if we continue our group rating pattern.


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