on April 3rd 2017
“A page-turning fantastical mystery with heartfelt characters.” -Julie Cross, New York Times bestselling author of Tempest
The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous.
Renowned for its infamous corn maze…and the kids who go missing in it.
When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing.
Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically quiet, and handsome leader—steals hers.
Olive is only sure about one thing: her troop consists of the good guys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them win the war and get back home.
Castaways is definitely a different kind of story! There is an island that kids and teenagers end up on after running from something in their lives. The main character Olive is brutually bullied (I was quite angry for her it was really intense!) and she ends up on the island as such an insecure girl. You can’t help but feel really bad for her. Anyway, it has a mean girls/Lord of the Flies vibe. She goes to the Castaway Carnival and ends up running from the bullies which puts her in the corn maze (which is known for kids going in but NOT returning hmm). That night at the carnival changes everything for her. Because the corn maze lands her on a weird island. Once on the island we learn that the ones on the island are from different time periods which is really interesting in of itself.
Even though the island is kinda like a safe haven from what they were running from, there is a war going on between two groups that was formed ages ago. Plus they have to just survive in nature. Olive gets right into her group helping out and a little love is in the air for her and the group’s leader – Will. Each group member has their own quirks and abilities when it comes to surviving on the island. I love how they all come together to make life the best they can even though they don’t understand what led them to the island and how to get off. I loved all the side characters and it was amazing how each character really developed by the island experience.
I understand the point of the island was about acceptance and self love, but I would have liked to know more about where this island came from. Maybe where it was located. I wanted more history on the island. We get a lot of the why but not the how. I kept waiting to find out how it came about. Nevertheless, it is an awesome story of redemption and love when life throws you lemons. Each character has their own story which led them to the island and they all go through so much growth and change.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.