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Peek Inside The Castaways

When the corn maze at the Castaway Carnival magically transports Olive to an island occupied by warring teens, she'll do whatever it takes to get back home. But victory may require more betrayal, sacrifice, and heartbreak than she's ready for...

The Castaways

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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.

But victory may require more betrayal, sacrifice, and heartbreak than she’s ready for.

Praise

5 stars: “A page-turning fantastical mystery with heartfelt characters.” –Julie Cross, NYT bestselling author of Tempest

 5 stars: “A gripping story that held me until the final page!” –Brenda Drake, NYT bestselling author of Thief of Lies

 5 stars: “This book was a YA version of Lost, in all the best ways - a mysterious island with a "brain" of its own, characters with compelling backstories, infighting among different factions of those who landed there under mysterious circumstances - yep, I loved it!!” –Jen Malone, author of  Wanderlost

 5 stars: “Oh my gosh, this book. I'm not sure what I expected, but it chewed up all my feelings and was so, so, so good! [...] A fantastic, exciting, romantic read -- and get your tissues for the last few chapters!” –Gail Nall, author of Exit Stage Left

 5 stars: What a great read! Amazing imagery and character descriptions, who, by the way, are impossible to not fall in love with.” –Gwen Cole, Cold Summer

 5 stars: “Full of vivid island imagery and characters who will grab your heart, and a knockout concept, make this an absorbing read.” –K.L. Hallam, author of The Unmoving Sky

 5 stars: The Castaways is a fast-paced, wholly original fantasy that reminded me of a YA Lost. And I say that as a Lost super-fan who never missed an episode!” –Jennifer Fenn, author of Flight Risk

 5 stars: “It's a little bit Lord of the Flies and a little bit Peter Pan--but really a unique story all its own!” –Amanda Searcy, author of The Truth Beneath the Lies

 5 stars: “[A] strong, fascinating and fast-paced book that will keep you guessing. I could easily imagine this turning into an amazing series, but this book has a complete story with an ending that doesn’t leave much room for sequels.” –Olivia Farr, Goodreads Reviewer

 5 stars: The Castaways is an absolute gem of a book and I loved it.” –Tara, Spinatale Reviews

 5 stars:  “I was sucked into the story and felt each high and low of the characters. It's a book that everyone can identify with, especially young adults who are finding their own sense of worth.” –Dani Bird, Goodreads Reviewer

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781633759183
Release Date: Apr 3, 2017
Page Count: 349
Imprint: teen
Genre: fantasy, young adult
Tropes: forbidden love/off limits, opposites attract

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on Goodreads.com
By Carrie April 01, 2017

Olive Maxi Gagmuehler lives everyday in fear of being tortured by a trio of mean girls at her school causing Olive to suffer from anxiety attacks. Olive in a way blames her parents for her name that is just asking to be made fun of in her opinion. But as much as Olive wants to avoid the torture o... ...more

By Tink Magoo is bad at reviews March 14, 2017


Oooooooooooo I loved this. All of it. Everything. It was so good!

description

The writing was so easy to read that I flew through this hardly putting it down long enough to pee. The characters, the setting, the conflict, the development, the romance, the cover - EVERYTHING was done so well. It's going straigh... ...more

By Nicole May 11, 2017

The Castaways!!! First things first: I received this book through NetGalley.
 
Summary: 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... ...more

By Jen February 20, 2017

Really beautiful writing amid a cinematic story with perfect pacing. This book was a YA version of Lost, in all the best ways- a mysterious island with a "brain" of its own, characters with compelling backstories, infighting among different factions of those who landed there under mysterious circ... ...more

By Gwen March 01, 2017

What a great read! Amazing imagery and character descriptions, who, by the way, are impossible to not fall in love with. I loved every character and there was such much emotion and background behind each and every one. Along with such a unique plot, this book was impossible to put down. ...more

By Wendy February 28, 2017

Wow! An imaginative, thrilling book. The bullying in the beginning is soul-searing; the violence on the island shocking and riveting. Olive is transformed through friendship and love and stands up for herself and others when it matters most. Well done! ...more

By Olivia March 13, 2017

“Castaways” is an incredible YA fantasy that takes place on “The Island.” Think “The Lord of the Flies” or “The Maze Runner,” although this book is a masterpiece in its own right. Olive Maxi Gagmuehler has always hated her name- she believes it is at the center of why she is bullied and represent... ...more

By Brenda March 14, 2017

A gripping story that held me until the final page! The concept is so unique and wonderful, and the writing is beautiful. When Olive runs from a horrible bullying incident, she sprints through a cornfield and transports to "The Island," where she discovers other kids from different times who are... ...more

By Gail February 16, 2017

Oh my gosh, this book. I'm not sure what I expected, but it chewed up all my feelings and was so, so, so good! I adored the characters -- and there are a lot of them, but they're so distinct and real, that I never found myself confused about who was who. The pacing is perfect, and the romance bet... ...more

By K.L. February 21, 2017

What a fun and thrilling read. Full of vivid island imagery and characters who will grab your heart, and a knockout concept, make this an absorbing read. Kids tested to their limits and how they resolve conflicts and how cause and effect created their present situation. They also learn about the... ...more

By Kim April 06, 2017

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Castaways is an imaginative cross between Mean Girls and Lord of the Flies, which combines an exciting fantasy/adventure with a thorough look at the all too real issue of bullying. It also sends a po... ...more

By i fall in love book blog July 24, 2017

4.5 Stars

The Castaways by Jessika Fleck caught me by surprise. The blurb sounds amazing and I was ready to follow Olive Gagmuehler anywhere on her adventure. I thought I was going to like it, but then in chapter three we meet her tormentors... they were really cruel (and I'm really softhearted) s... ...more

By Tara March 22, 2017

This review was originally published on Spinatale Reviews.

When I first started reading The Castaways, I wasn't sure what to expect. A few hours later, I was turning the last page. The Castaways is an absolute gem of a book and I loved it.

The story does begin with a very brutal, slightly difficul... ...more

By Sarah March 16, 2017

Loved this! I really liked the concept and the lessons that the Castaways had to learn about themselves through their journeys. The writing was easy to read and told a really great story. The characters were all great and complex as well and there was great character growth throughout the story.... ...more

By ☘Tara March 15, 2017

Jessika Fleck created an addicting story that makes you dive full in and not come up for air until you’re done reading the last page. Whether you’re young or young at heart there is something in the story or characters that everyone can find themselves investing in, can discover about themselves.... ...more

By Jennifer March 13, 2017

Jessika Fleck's debut novel, "The Castaways," is a fast-paced, wholly original fantasy that reminded me of a YA "Lost." And I say that as a "Lost" super-fan who never missed an episode! Like the intriguing TV series, "The Castaways" follows two tribes stuck on a mysterious island, unsure how they... ...more

By Meg April 03, 2017

Once I started it, this book was hard to put down. Olive, in an effort to escape bullies, finds herself in a maze that takes her to a deserted island of other “castaway” teens. There’s rival groups and amazing characters (who are as interesting as Olive). The romance between Olive and Will, the l... ...more

By Sarai March 16, 2017

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review

Wow! I can't even express how epic this book was. I couldn't put it down and read it from cover to cover in 24 hours. The Castaways pulls you in from the moment you open the cover when you realize that the main character, Olive is being... ...more

By Dani February 12, 2017

I absolutely loved this book. I was sucked into the story and felt each high and low of the characters. It's a book that everyone can identify with, especially young adults who are finding their own sense of worth. I was fortunate enough to receive and early copy, and I can't wait to buy a copy f... ...more

By Amanda February 23, 2017

This story has such a fantastic premise: run from the bully...and get sucked onto a mysterious island with no means of getting home again. Oh and there's a war and bombs and cute boys. I really enjoyed this book. It's a standalone and the resolution is really clever. It's a little big Lord of the... ...more

By Heather March 12, 2017

A gripping fantasy-adventure story with a strong cast of characters and a unique concept. Really enjoyed it. ...more

By Roxanne April 03, 2017

Thank you to Entangled Teen and Netgalley for a copy of this eARC in exchange for a fair review.


Olive's life is pretty miserable mostly due to her name. Which has led her to be tormented for six years by the trio. Olive makes plans to try and get back at them by meeting her friend at the Castaway... ...more

By Yvonne March 18, 2017

*I recieved this advanced reader copy for a fair review*
I really did enjoy this book, so much that i read it in one go. There are alot of characters in this book, each is unique and memorable and has their own story. It moves along at a great pace, though at the start the bullyiing scenes were no... ...more

By SerialReader April 04, 2017

Magnetic book cover + engaging story = the perfect read.
I loved The Castaways, debut novel by Jessika Fleck and I absolutely recommend it! Well written, strong / positive characters and a truly empowering message make this book a "must read".

Read more onThe Serial Reader Blog ...more

By Keri July 14, 2017

Olive Maxi Gagmuehler is a teenager who trying to survive high school, her name, and the trio. In a sense the book reminded me a little of lord of the flies meets the mean girls. The Castaways takes us on adventure full of pirates, a mysterious island, survival, and self realization. Upon taking... ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
4.22 avg Goodreads.com rating
Jessika Fleck

About the author

Jessika Fleck

Jessika Fleck is a writer, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. She loves writing novels for young adults and her work verges on fantastical and dark with a touch of realism. She is also a regular contributor to the fantastic kidlit blog, The Kidliterati. Jessika has lived all over the U.S. from Hawaii to Vermont, but currently calls Illinois home. She lives there with her sociology professor husband and two daughters where she’s learning to appreciate the beauty in cornfields and terrifyingly large cicadas.

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