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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
An Unusual Island is a young adult fantasy written by D.L. Finn. When 15-year-old Janine heard that her mom had won a vacation to an unknown island in the Pacific, she envisioned herself sunning by the mansion's pool and enjoying a luxurious and relaxed holiday. Her parents and twin brother, Justin, had other plans in mind as the vacation package included a boat. Janine did manage a few days on the island before the family set off on the small catamaran for adventure on the high seas. The sole landlubber among them, Janine was pretty bored with seeing the endless procession of waves and enduring the lack of privacy in the boat's small cabin. To make matters worse, her parents decided not to let the mansion's staff install internet access on the boat, leaving Janine separated from her best friend and companion, Claire. Her mood abruptly lightened, however, when they spotted an island that had not appeared on any maps, and just in time as a sudden storm was brewing.
D.L. Finn's young adult novel, An Unusual Island, is an intriguing blend of fantasy, science fiction and adventure. The story is told by Janine, a 15-year-old who's feeling pretty isolated from her parents and her twin brother, and we learn of their adventures on the island through her eyes. Janine's a die-hard Oakland A's fan and the memories she shares of the games she's watched in the Coliseum are inspired. Finn's unusual island is a remarkable one, and the family's explorations of the seemingly deserted island brought to mind the classic adventure tales of Robert Louis Stevenson, H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. The plot is marvelous and has plenty of action and adventure. An Unusual Island is fast-paced and hard to put down once you've begun reading it. There's a bit of something for everyone in this deceptively slim volume: coming of age, mystery, suspense and mythology. It's a delight to read and it's highly recommended.