Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Castaways by Jessika Fleck

Book Blurb:

Book Title: The Castaways

Author: Jessika Fleck

Release Date: April 3, 2017

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.

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Read an Excerpt from the book--

But everything’s clear. I do know where to go. “I’m going to find that boulder—” I suck in shallow breath. “The…hhh…maze.”

“It’s no use. We’ve tried everything. It doesn’t work! Wait!”

But I’m not listening because it has to work. It’s the only way. If it got me in, it’ll get me back out.

I run until my body, my mind, and, mostly, my lungs give up. Because, problem is, Will’s right. I don’t know how to find it.

I stop.

Will stops.

Bent at the waist, hands on my knees, I cough and spew, trying to catch my breath. The hyperventilation has passed, but my insistence on sprinting like I’m a track star when my lungs and legs have no business running, has taken its toll.

I look up.

Will isn’t fazed. At some point he took off his shirt and now stands with his hands on his hips, chest rising and falling, barely winded. His abs flex with each effortless breath. “Get it out of your system?”

It’s when my stomach springs that I realize I’m staring at his body. I quickly glance away and completely ignore his question. “Take me there.”

“I told you. It’s no use.”

“Please,” I whimper. Tears race down my face.

Tucking his T-shirt into the back of his pants, Will walks in another direction.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m taking you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

With Will now leading the way, I watch his suntanned back, the sweat beading at his shoulders and slowly, one by one, how the beads roll down the center crease. I’m in a daze or a haze or a trance because all I see is his back, his muscles contracting and tightening with each step, and, like magic, we’re there.

The mossy boulder stands before us and, I swear, it mocks me in all its ordinary, commonplace glory.


My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Another-World, Mystery, Supernatural, Survival, Teen, Romance --

Olive has been terrorized by the trio for a long time, secretly hiding her pain from everyone, until she just wants to get away. When the yearly carnival comes to town, her brother is excited to go and Olive agrees to take him, despite the rumors surrounding the corn maze and the kids who have gone missing over the years. When the trio finds Olive at the carnival, Olive is desperate to escape, wildly running into the corn maze. Next thing she knows, she is trapped on an island where a war in under way and she is in the middle of it all.

I'm not going to lie, the first like chapter or two of this book were very hard for me to read because the level of violence and abuse that were heaped on the main character Olive. I was not sure I was going to be able to read a book like that but I wanted to attempt to give the story a fair shot, so I kept plugging on. The story all of a sudden became something else, not the dark awful despair I was introduced to, but instead a mystery full of questions and discovery. For such a dark beginning, the book was able to be full of hope and end on such a high note. I think it is best to have no set expectations while going into this story, but to keep an open mind and enjoy the adventure.

Olive is the narrator of the story and really the book is about her journey to discover her true worth and the importance of standing up for what is right, regardless of what others think, and the desire to "just be". Her character made such growth as a person that I could not help but want to root her on. I was also just as torn as she was about the desire to go home and her draw to stay. I loved watching her realize what she needed to become as well as see the struggles the others had as well to learn about themselves.

All the side characters in the story were developed and layered, each unique individuals with different life paths and inner struggles. Bug was adorable, just a fun quirky kid, and Charlie was also an interesting character. But my favorite was Will (aka my new book crush), the strong caring leader who may not be who he wants everyone to think he is. I am trying to stay vague, but the backstory with him and Dike was a surprise to me and I liked the author's twists.

This was such a surprising (in a good way) read for me and my preconceived notions were thrown on their heads. The ending was just what I could have hoped for, and the idea of what the future may hold is a mystery. This was my first book by this author and I look forward to what else she wants to write about.

I received this title in return for my honest review.

Author Bio:

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 work verges on fantastical and dark with a touch of realism. She is a regular contributor to the fantastic kidlit blog, Kidliterati, and is represented by Victoria Marini of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

You can find her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her newsletter

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