Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that's been left to rot and forgotten by the world.

But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon's eye: the key to true darkness and the villains' only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it...who will it be?

Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.

Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent's daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon's eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.

Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen's daughter, Evie, doesn't know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she's a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal's little tricks.

Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he's not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon's eye.

Carlos: Cruella de Vil's son may not be bravest, but he's certainly clever. Carlos's inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon's eye and ending the banishment for good.

Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon's eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She'll just need a little help from her "friends." In their quest for the dragon's eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain't so bad.

Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos are the offspring of some of the most terrible villains of all time. They're offered a chance to leave the Isle of the Lost, where they have been imprisoned all their lives, and go to prep school in the idyllic kingdom of Auradon with all of the "good" kids. There, they must choose whether or not to follow in their parents' evil footsteps. Watch out Auradon--here come the Descendants!

Rating: 3/5 

I am a HUGE fan of Melissa de la Cruz. I loved her Blue Bloods series and when I found out she was writing a new novel, I was so excited! I don't like spoilers, so I tried not to read too much about her new project.

Honestly, I forgot about it, but about a week ago I was strolling through a local department store and when I passed by the books section, I was immediately drawn to The Isle of the Lost

The cover is very creative and artistic, which was one of the main reasons it captivated my attention. I then spotted Melissa de la Cruz credited as the author on the cover and I knew right then and there that I HAD to read this book. The plot is original, and the ambiance of the novel itself was, for lack of a better word, awesome! 

Melissa de la Cruz is back and ready to take on the worlds most nefarious villains. I enjoyed the plot, and it was paced very appropriately. It was paced fast enough to keep me engaged, but I was still able to put the book down during the few slow parts to get other things on my To-Do List done.

As a fellow writer, literary intern, and a scholar working my way towards a journalism degree, I am extremely familiar with the "formula" for writing a young adult novel. Almost every book follows this "formula," but The Isle of the Lost is a prime example of originality. Not only was the plot original, but the writing style is just as unique.

The overall idea was fantastic and original. I am incredibly happy I got the chance to review this book because I had a lot of fun reading it.

The Isle of the Lost is definitely worth checking out. Was it one of the best books of 2015? No, but it was still an entertaining and engaging book and I recommend it to all of you who love YA novels or Disney villains. Or if you like both, like me, that makes it even better!

I chose to give a 3-star rating to The Isle of the Lost because it wasn't as good as it could've been, but it was still an enjoyable read, as I mentioned previously, and I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to review this book. I don't regret reading it by any means, and I would re-read it again in a heartbeat.

My final words are this: definitely check out The Isle of the Lost as well as the Descendants junior novel, which is, of course, targeted towards younger, middle-grade readers. I gave the Descendants junior novel a 1-star rating because while The Isle of the Lost was quite enjoyable, the junior novel was not.
I found it to be very generic and immature, which is to be expected when writing a book for middle-grade readers. I'm sure if I was in that age group, I would probably enjoy it.

Melissa de la Cruz DID NOT write the junior companion novel, a novelization of the Disney Channel Original Movie. It was adapted by Rico Green and co-authored by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott. 

Note: The junior novelization offers eight pages of additional full-color photos.

Unfortunately, The Isle of the Lost wasn't up to par with de la Cruz's Blue Bloods series, which is a very difficult feat, but it was still a nice, well-written book that any 90s kid who was raised on Disney Channel would appreciate.

I am excited to see what Melissa de la Cruz has planned for the sequel because I have high hopes for the other books in this charming fantasy series. I am already eager to re-visit the Isle of the Lost to watch the story continue to unfold!

To you, my dear readers, expect another book review from me very, very soon. Happy reading! xoxo


P.S. I would like to take a moment to thank the wonderful people at Disney-Hyperion who work extremely hard to ensure that every title published by their company is unique, fresh, and exciting.