I recently got a free copy of The Castaways from author Jessika Fleck in exchange for an honest review. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it but ended up really enjoying it. It’s a contemporary fantasy read with a dystopian feel without the apocalyptic outer world.
Olive is losing herself to the daily bullying she receives from a trio of mean girls in her high school. She considers her name the bane of her existence. When running away from an encounter with the girls at a local carnival, she gets lost in a corn maze and ends up on an undetectable island where two factions of lost kids from different eras are at war. Can Olive overcome her issues and help bring peace to the kids on the island? What is charismatic leader Will hiding? Will any of them ever find their way home?
I was afraid this book might be a fail for me, thinking it would follow too closely in the footsteps of the many other dystopian reads before it. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find it had a plot of its own. It was a bit Lord of the Flies, but with its own personality. The growth of each character felt natural, as did the romance between Olive and Will. I was happy to see everyone move on from their painful pasts through cooperation and friendship. Olive and Will especially grew into the people they should have been had their histories been different.
If you’re a fan of YA fantasy literature or magical islands with minds of their own, this should be on your TBR list. It was a fun read with a lot of heart, a dash of drama and an anti-bullying theme. Pick it up today at one of the retailers below.
4 out of 5 stars