Judging Covers: The cover reminds me of one of those bad prom photos where the couple has their picture taken while standing in front of a screen image of a beach or Paris or some place that's anywhere but the high school gym. I'm sure we've all seen plenty of pictures of the same stock image couple placed over a million different backgrounds, but for some reason this one stands out to me as incredibly fake. I suppose it's probably the coloring and detail of the sand and sky behind them — it's just not a good blend.
The Verdict: I think what really put me off almost immediately was Kalina. She's pretentious and spoiled, surrounds herself with people as shallow as she is, and basically has no respect for herself — despite her entitled ways. Adam is her polar opposite, and he's terribly judgemental, though one can't really blame him when considering the people he's having to work with.
The pirate action was pretty interesting, though, and a lot more gritty than I expected. I sort of figured it would be a watered down hostage scenario, one in which everyone but that one sacrificial jerk lives to tell the tale. Not so, though, as decent people are gunned down and Kalina and Adam are set adrift in the ocean. After that, though, the story takes another nosedive.
Kalina and Adam are immediately at odds, though she's clearly dependent on him to get them through the mess they're in. She spots and island, they make do with what they can find there, and the rest of the story takes predictable turn after predictable turn.
The ending simply wrapped up what we all could have guessed would happen, so in finishing the book, I feel like I could probably have been satisfied if I'd stopped at the synopsis. To be fair, it's not an awful read, but I have read much more entertaining stories that follow the whole stranded on a desert island idea and do it much better than Island Escape did.