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 book made me laugh; it made me cry; it made me put the book down and simply exclaim "Wow!" on more than one occasion. I had difficulty pausing my reading to do other things. It was that good!
Joshua's Island follows two thirteen year olds - Joshua, the school outcast, and Eve, the exiled popular girl. The book has a simple but important message- Bullying should not be tolerated. Ask for help.
Joshua is an extremely relatable character, and Eve is inspirational - to choose the nerdiest kid in school over her new found popularity takes courage and an extremely big heart. They're both well written, believable, and adorable together.
Joshua's fear felt so real, I began to fear for him. Every time he was left alone, I was convinced he was about to get assaulted yet again. And while his bullying was extreme, there are real kids experiencing this kind of fear on a daily basis.
The book is a good example of what SHOULD be done when faced with bullies. I don't have preteens yet, but I will definitely be giving this book to them before they begin high school. I hope that my children grow into the kinds of people who could ask for help if they were in trouble, or would stand up for someone who can't stand up for themselves. I believe this book would teach them how to do that.
I started the book while waiting for my kids at the bus stop this afternoon and by the time the bus arrived I already loved poor Joshua and desperately longed for a happy ending for him. I begrudged the time I had to spend on things like homework, dinner, and bedtime before I could get back to the story. When I was able to continue reading, I devoured the rest of the book and walked away thoroughly satisfied with the ending. So glad I read the book.
With the alternating perspectives, you experience both sides of the story and I couldn't put it down. Patrick Hodges does an incredible job at making two completely different characters that we can fall in love with. His detailed encounters and character thought processes had me hooked.
This novel teaches the importance of standing up for others and that we need to work together to extinguish bullying. I highly recommend this novel and think it should be passed on to others. So, if you haven't read it, it should be your next read.
The heroine, Eve, was a harder sell at first. She threw away true friendship for popularity and was very naive about the price she would have to pay. I was happy when she quickly learned the error of her way. I also like that Hodges didn't make Eve's path easy. Because she stood up for what was right, she too was ostracized and her meteoric rise to popularity was eclipsed by the speed of her fall.
The relationship between Eve and Joshua was beautiful and organic. Two kids have never needed each other more. I loved that Eve brought Joshua out of his shell, and Joshua helped Eve believe that she could be forgiven for her past sins.
With wonderful supporting characters like the firecracker Kelsey and Eve's adorable sisters, Hodges really rounds out the secondary cast. I love how Joshua started out alone on his Island and as his relationship with Eve progressed, kept adding castaways like Eve's best friends Susan and Emily.
The villains in this book weren't just the bullies Rhonda and Brent, but also the adults who preferred to ignore the problem rather than deal with what was really going on in the school. Again, I felt that Hodges really got that right.
The only reason I gave this book four stars instead of five is because I didn't feel Joshua's parents were fleshed out enough. Eve's family was very real to me. I had a clear picture in my mind of her mother and sisters. Eve's mother, when she found out what was going on at school, jumped into action and really tried to save the day. We are told early on Joshua's parents aren't around much, and that he had been hiding or excusing his physical injuries for three years. I guess I can buy that maybe they wouldn't notice if they weren't around, but three years is a very long time to hide that type of violence. And when Joshua finally confessed all to his mom, I was underwhelmed by her reaction. She was more than happy to let Eve's mom take on the burden of saving her son. She never contacted the principal herself or a lawyer or the bullies' parents. I just didn't buy it, especially as Joshua kept insisting his parents and sister were such great people.
Despite my issues with Joshua's family, I think this was a very moving book and would recommend it to both young adults and adults.
Every child should have an opportunity to read this book. Regardless if the form of bullying is physical or mental, kids need to know they are not alone and there are places to turn for help.
Adults need to read this book so they understand the reasons behind the child's reluctance to step forward. Notice the signs and keep open communication with your child.
I felt the author did a wonderful job driving both points home. The writing style sucks you in and keeps you engaged while reading, but you don't lose sight of the true concepts.
But aside from the bullying aspect, the book is also about a boy who finds himself. The characters are very relatable and with good morals. Exactly what I like out of characters. You simply can't help but adore them.
I highly recommend reading Joshua's Island, especially if you have children.
Patrick Hodges spins a masterful tale about the ugliness of bullying and gossip, the beauty of friendship and love, and the satisfying justice of retribution. His characters are extremely well written and brought to life so beautifully you can't help but fall in love with them. Your heart aches for their every hurt and jumps for joy at their triumphs.
The story is told from the two perspectives of Joshua and Eve. Sometimes I find different POV's jarring, but this is not the case with this book. The story line flows effortlessly and the POV's help you gain more understanding of the suffering and helplessness they feel at the hands of their tormentors. More than once I had to reach for my box of Kleenex, and with my jaded heart that is a difficult thing to accomplish. Kudos Mr. Hodges!
Once I started reading this book I could not put it down. I especially loved the secondary character of Kelsey, the little spitfire who befriends Joshua and Eve. I understand Patrick Hodges next book centers on her story and I personally cannot wait to read that.
This book is a must read for all young people and adults alike. I cannot emphasize that enough. It is a powerful message about the consequences of bullying for both the victim and the perpetrators. 5 out of 5 shiny stars. Job well done Mr. Hodges!!!
Wonderfully real characters.
Joshua is in middle school and for three years he has suffered at the hands of the school bullies. They’ve spread vicious rumors, making all the other kids steer clear of him, and he gets to look forward to weekly beatings. Joshua is alone- that is, until the day that the popular Eve is assigned to be his lab partner. Eve’s popularity doesn’t last for long as her feelings towards Joshua deepen. They are outcasts but they are together.
Throughout the story, Joshua and Eve making other friends here and there and the heart of the book is in overcoming the bullies and changing their school.
I typically cringe when young people say they are in “love”. Most 14 year olds don’t know what that means. The love between Joshua and Eve is so innocent and loyal that I can’t help but root for them. Their love makes them brave when everything and everyone else is against them. Their love draws other people to them. It’s really something special. It may not be love as we think of it (that love develops over time) but it is love all the same.
This is one of those books that you just feel good about the world when you finish reading. The good persevere and the bad gets what’s coming. It’s simple, yet it opens your eyes to a problem that goes on in a lot of schools with a lot of young people. That’s why this book hits you so hard- you know there are kids going through this and you just hope they have friends like Joshua and Eve and Kelsey.