A bunch of boys get stuck on a tropical island without any adults. Sounds pretty tame, doesn’t it?
Lord of the Flies (1954) was the 10th book on my 100 book challenge and drew me in from the very beginning. A group of boys are stranded on a desert island. At first it seems like paradise, but just a few pages in you start to see things going terribly wrong. The boys can’t agree on whether they should focus on being rescued (build a fire) or getting meat to eat (hunt pigs). The two main characters, Ralph and Jack, bicker, argue and viciously fight throughout the book. Everything falls apart quickly when the structure and rules of society are taken away.
It’s a beautiful (and at times terrifying) warning of just how fragile the order of civilisation is.