I flew through this book and wanted to know what was going to happen to the boys next. The writing is pretty graphic, so if reading about wounds and blood and the like is going to make you put this book down, don't pick it up. I usually can't handle reading about these things, but because the book moves so quickly, the author doesn't linger on these scenes for too long and I was fine. The horror is definitely something you could see happening in real life which makes it that much more horrifying.
My issues were that the characters were all stereotypes. The troop leader is a single, adult man who lives alone with rumors in town that he might be gay. There is the fat, nerdy kid who you root for. There is the dumb jock whose dad is the chief of police and you want to grow out of this bullying phase. We have the angry kid whose dad is in jail. We have the normal kid with no stand-out characteristics. And very early on, we are clued into the fact that one of the boys is a socio/psychopath who likes to torture animals and is definitely going to be a problem as the boys try to survive the horror of the island.
Putting all these flat characters together just left me wanting to know how those that didn't survive the island died. I didn't really care who survived and who died, just how they did it. That was the most interesting part. I also felt like they didn't speak like 13 and 14-year old boys actually speak which didn't help my connection to the characters.
I still think this is a good book to read if you like “gross”, realistic horror, but I wish the characters had been fully developed.