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The Castaways

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  131 ratings  ·  89 reviews
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 m
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 3rd 2017 by Entangled TEEN
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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  131 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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 of the trio she loves her little brother and promises to take him to the Castaway Carnival that is visiting town.

The Castaway Carnival however comes with it's own stories that would put fear into anyone.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it liked it
*Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review*

I had a bit of fun reading this. I don't generally read a ton of YA fiction, but this was permissible for the most part. The Castaways is sort of a cross between Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, with even elements of Carrie.

The idea was kind of neat and exciting; children, from different decades, end up on 'The Island.' Each of them was running away from something, usually fear of another person, which has cause
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, favorites
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 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 l
Tink Magoo is bad at reviews

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


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 straight on my favorites list.

Notes -
*I've added this to my abuse shelf because it contains intense bullying at the start
*No sex of any kind, just kissing
Jen Malone
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 circumstances- yep, I loved it!!
Wendy MacKnight
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
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!
Gwen Cole
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-debuts
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.
Brenda Drake
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 also trapped there with her. What unfolds feels very much like the LORD OF THE FLIES. Olive is such a great main character. She starts out bullied and timid, but becomes strong by the end. I loved the ro ...more
Gail Nall
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
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 between Olive and Will is probably my favorite part of the book. I also really loved the theme of learning to love and accept yourself. A fantastic, exciting, romantic read -- and get your tissues for the l ...more
K.L. Hallam
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 gift of sacrifice. Good stuff. I was sure the characters were fully conscious. Jessika’s deft writing is lovely and at times poetic. I look forward to reading the author’s next work!
Jun 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: discarded-shelf
I was reading it and stopped when I was at 30ish% of the book onlh to find out when I could go back to it that I didn't want to. In all that time I just hadn't warmed up to any character, and most of those on the island were similar between them. I had enjoyed the book when they were on the institute, but even for me there were lots of things that didn't made sense (and I tend to go with the book and not question things): so kids keep disappearing on the corn maze but they don't close... a peter ...more
i fall in love book blog
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) so I thought that I might be adding this to my DNF pile. Luckily/unluckily she escapes her bullies via corn maze and ends up on the island.

This book should have been tagged as a Peter Pan retelling, becau
Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 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 difficult to read bullying scene. We see Olive, the main character, both at home with her family and at school with her tormentors. The juxtaposition really drives home how the bullying has affected every aspect
Sarah Swann
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
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. There were a few times where things seemed to come out of nowhere and I was a little confused as to how that solution was reached or what hints I had missed. I also felt there wasn't really any closure b ...more
☘Tara Sheehan☘
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.

Since bullying is such a hot button issue in American society right now it’s no surprise Fleck would use this social crime as background for part of her story and as a setting for her character developm
Apr 23, 2017 rated it liked it
The Castaways is a harrowing tale of adventure, self-discovery and romance in a mix of Lord of the Flies, Hunger Games, and The Maze Runner.

Olive Gagmuehler is running from bullies at the Castaway Carnival when she falls through some window and finds herself in tropical paradise. Except for the escalating war between factions of teens. And the coconut bombs. And startlingly dangerous cliffs. The teens are all from different eras, different countries, but all were running from something when the
Jennifer Fenn
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-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 got there and how (or if) they can ever return home. Our heroine, Olive Maxi Gagmuelher, is fleeing a trio of "Mean Girls"-style bullies when she somehow transports from a carnival corn maze to the isla ...more
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 leader of one group, is well developed and believable. I really enjoyed reading this book! There is definitely a Lord of the Flies element, and elements of Lost, but it really is its own thing. The writin ...more
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a feel-good story--with a happy ending (whew!), and to me, much better than Lord of the Flies which this book has been compared to. While LotF was disturbing, this was hopeful. The characters and their friendships were so easy to fall in love with. (Bug reminded me of Rue! <3) The whole reason for them being on the island, how they resolve their issues, and the satisfying resolution to everyone's stories seriously put a smile on my face when the book ended. I only wish we had an epi ...more
Sarai Henderson
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 bullied at school. Through the rest of the book, all I could think about was how Olive was going to get off the island alive and would William go with her. At the end, all I wanted to do was scream at W
Dani Bird
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 for my friends!
Amanda Searcy
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 Flies and a little bit Peter Pan--but really a unique story all its own!
Heather Fawcett
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gripping fantasy-adventure story with a strong cast of characters and a unique concept. Really enjoyed it.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Olive has been the victim of bullying for a years now and it's all because of her name, Olive Maxi Gagmuehler. She's been tormented by the same three girls, year after year. When her little brother talks her into taking him to the Castaway Carnival she reluctantly agrees but refuses to take him into the corn maze. There's something up with the maze because kids tend to go missing when they go in there and there's never any trace as to what happened to them. However, when Olive's tormentors show ...more
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 Carnival. However, when her friend is late she is chased into the maze by one of the trio. As she is running away she finds a tunnel and hurries through it.

But she isn't in the maze when she comes out
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
I don't know if I should give this 3 or 4 stars because I wasn't really a fan of the first half of the book. It had some clichés that bored me to death like the typical 3-against-1 bullying/girl-against-girl hate, the omg-this-boy-is-so-hot-and-cute-i-love-him trope and some of the Panthers when we first meet them.

However, I enjoyed the last half of the book! The characters went through some changes and learned to accept who they were, the bond and friendship that the group formed was really swe
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, arc-s
We go out and settle on large boulders in the sun. It beats down on us like a tiny peace of heaven in all this chaos and confusion, orphan stories, and names.

* * * .5
3 . 5 / 5

Confession time: I haven't read The Lord of the Flies, that supposedly is the inspiration behind The Castaways. I tried to once, when I was twelve, and it was incredibly boring so I put it down and went back to reading the Narnia Chronicles. What I can tell you is that The Castaways is firmly a young adult novel, full of ac
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply fantastic!! I love the story and the lessons in this book!! The characters became my family and it felt as if I was on the island with them.
Abena ~gurlwiththebook~
*I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review*

Olive Maxi Gagmuelher has been running from her name for years. The perfect assortment of tease-worthy names has haunted her all through her school years, making her the target of her classmates vicious teasing.

While fleeing from her tormentors through the corn maze infamous for its' record of child disappearances she suddenly finds herself far away from her Texas home.

She's on The Island. The mysterious island is home to two grou
The Castaways is a fantasy of sorts. I mean, it involves a carnival that can magically transform you to an island. That sounds pretty cool, right? Well, what if this island was in the middle of a war and you just unwillingly chose sides?

When the Castaway Carnival rolls into town, Olive agrees to take her little brother with one rule - no going in the corn maze. Because, see, kids go missing in the maze and Olive is not about to take that chance. But when she's cornered by a group of mean girls
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Jessika Fleck is a YA & MG author, 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. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. As is her YA fantasy, BEWARE T ...more

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