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The Castaways

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  82 Ratings  ·  64 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 myst
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 3rd 2017 by Entangled TEEN
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Candace Robinson
Mar 05, 2017 Candace Robinson rated it really liked it
This book was actually pretty cool, if you can push aside the clichéd lines, like how the mc can't decipher a look, and how the main guy has a crooked or once broken nose. There is a trio of mean girls in the beginning that definitely put other bullies to shame. They were rough.

Loved the side characters. Especially Tilly and Bug! The whole island situation is pretty cool. The romance did happen a little fast, but it was still cute.

Full review on my blog
Apr 01, 2017 Carrie 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 Jason 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
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
Apr 06, 2017 Kim rated it really liked it
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 positive message about the drawbacks of running away from your problems. With its relatable characters and intriguing storyline, The Castaways will have wide appeal with teens and would be an excellent pic
Sarah Swann
Mar 16, 2017 Sarah Swann 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
Jen Malone
Feb 20, 2017 Jen Malone 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!!
Mar 12, 2017 Atlas rated it liked it
Shelves: 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 24, 2017 Kristin 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
Olivia Farr
Mar 13, 2017 Olivia Farr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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 represents everything terrible about her life. Olive is horribly bullied by a trio of girls at her school with real violence. One of the first scenes we witness is the trio holding her down on the bathroom floor ...more
Apr 23, 2017 Care 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
Apr 03, 2017 Roxanne 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 Jackie rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-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 09, 2017 Abena rated it liked it
*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
Brenda Drake
Mar 14, 2017 Brenda Drake 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
Wendy MacKnight
Feb 28, 2017 Wendy MacKnight 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 Gwen Cole 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.
Gail Nall
Feb 16, 2017 Gail Nall 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 K.L. Hallam 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!
Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
Mar 22, 2017 Tara (Spinatale Reviews) rated it it was amazing
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
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
Kelly deVos
Apr 03, 2017 Kelly deVos rated it it was amazing
I first heard this book described as Mean Girls meets LORD OF THE FLIES and thought, "Yes please!" For me, those comparisons were right on the mark and made THE CASTAWAYS one gripping, page-turning read. The book begins as teen, Olive Gagmuehler, experiences more abuse at the hands of a horrible high school girl gang. And these are some mean, mean girls who torment Olive with gross, violent attacks.

When Olive is forced to take her brother to the school's Castaway Carnival, she finds herself agai
Apr 02, 2017 Veronica rated it liked it
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

Olive has been the victim constant bullying at school. Very early on there is a scene in the girls loos where Olive is being assaulted by the bullies and it was so disgusting I had to force myself to continue reading. Soon after, at the local carnival, one of the bullies chases Olive through a maze and she winds up going from a corn field in Texas to a tropical island in the blink of an eye.

The mystical doorway which sent Ol
☘Tara Sheehan☘
Mar 15, 2017 ☘Tara Sheehan☘ 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 developme
Apr 12, 2017 Stacy rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I requested a review copy of THE CASTAWAYS on a bit of a whim. It sounded interesting, but I wasn't quite sure that it would keep my interest. Thankfully it did.

Olive's life is anything but perfect. She is bullied daily at school and although she has a great home life, it ways heavily on her. She runs from her bullies after being cornered at the carnival and tries to get lost in the corn maze, but ends up on an island with a bunch of other kids from different places in time. Olive slowly puts to
Mar 18, 2017 Yvonne rated it really liked it
*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 not nice to read, but it added to the suspense and was used well through the story, so was essential .
This book has a Lord of The Flies feel to it, take away the plane crash and have a corn maze instead.
Apr 03, 2017 Meg 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
Apr 04, 2017 SerialReader rated it really liked it
Shelves: hello-spring
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
Jennifer Fenn
Mar 13, 2017 Jennifer Fenn 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
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
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Jessika Fleck is an 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), releases 4/3/17. Her next YA novel, THE OFFERING (Swoon ...more
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