Joshua’s Island – Patrick Hodges – 4.5/5 Stars
Blurb: Joshua is small for his age. He has been bullied relentlessly for years, and all of his friends have drifted away from him. Eve is a pretty girl who has just been recruited into the popular clique. The two couldn’t be more different.
As they begin their final year of middle school, the unlikely pair find themselves partners in Science class. At first reluctant to work with him, Eve soon discovers hidden truths about not only Joshua but their school that turn her world upside-down.
The two form a relationship that will teach them both the true meaning of friendship, loyalty, and love… a relationship that will end up changing not only their lives, but the entire complexion of their school.
This is an amazing book! It’s a must read! I think that this should be a compulsory read in schools! Bullying is tackled in many different ways in books, but this book does it differently. You get a true understanding of what it’s like for Joshua to be pushed away by everyone because of one bitchy girl, Rhonda. I’d really love to meet that girl in a dark alley some day…
I found it so easy to read and even though some parts were repeated from both Joshua’s and Eve’s point of views, it didn’t slow the story down too much. It was actually quite nice to see certain scenes affected both the characters differently.
I was instantly drawn to Joshua from the very beginning and I wanted to give him a big hug the whole way through and tell him that everything was going to be OK! No one deserves to go through what he went through and I am so glad the he got his happy ending.
I was very close to crying throughout the last third of the book. Patrick Hodges knows very well how to get into his readers’ heads and make them feel the emotions that his characters are feeling too.
The only reason I haven’t given it 5 stars is because I found that some parts were a bit ‘unreal’. I’ve never been to an American school, so I don’t know if they really are that different to UK schools, but in schools over here, the bullies don’t rule the school.
Rhonda seems to have the whole school under her spell and everyone does what she says. I accept that they are scared of her, but I don’t believe that absolutely no-one would stand up to her. But, saying this, it’s fiction, it doesn’t have to be real! I understand why Hodges wrote the story in this way. I think it needed to be exaggerated a little for people to truly understand the impact that bullying has on people. This is why I only docked half a star!
It is a heartwarming story of courage, love and strength. I just wish I could have been as strong as Joshua was when I was being bullied in school. This is a book that all young people should read, whether they are the victim, bully or simply an onlooker. It may just save a few people from utter despair.
I almost forgot Kelsey! That girl is incredible! I think you should read the book to find out what I mean 😉