By: Jessika Fleck
Publication Date: April 3rd, 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.
First off, I’m thrilled to be here at Bibliobibuli YA! I’m a huge fan of your gorgeous blog! If you’ve read the blurb for The Castaways, you’ll know when our main character, Olive, arrives on the island she’s thrown into a war between two factions of kids: the Lions and the Panthers. Olive falls in with the Lions, the island’s less aggressive group, and she becomes their seventh member. Want to meet her comrades? Do you? Here we go…!
Will: Will is the leader of the Lions. He’s been on the island the longest (about ten years). Will is eighteen and from the year 1962. He arrived from the same location as Olive, Hillings, Texas. He wears an eyepatch over his left eye from a fight with the leader from their opposing faction. Will wears a lot of hats (provider, hunter and gatherer, weapons upkeep, etc…), but is first and foremost protector. He takes his role as leader very seriously and would lay down his life in a heartbeat for any of his island family members. His first words to Olive are: “Who are you? Where are you from?”
Bug: Bug is seven-years-old and is one of the two youngest members of the Lions. She was the second member of the Lions to arrive on the island. Nicknamed Lightning Bug because Will had trouble pronouncing her given name, she’s lovingly and proudly taken on her new moniker and her role as comedian, survival expert, and cuddler. Bug is from a place and time that the rest of the group are unable to pinpoint, but they know she lived on an island in an orphanage of sorts. Bug’s first words to Olive are: “I’m Bug.”
Lewis: Lewis is the fifth of the Lions to arrive on the island. He’s the fifteen-year-old genius and inventor of the group and has an adorably huge crush on Olive from first sight, though they definitely have more of a brother-sister bond by the end. He does everything from creating a system to inconspicuously vent smoke from their fire out of their shelter to whittling stakes for weapons to coming up with the island version of water bottles. He’s from a 1953 Memphis, Tennessee. His first words to Olive are: “I’m Lewis. That’s Will.”
Jude: Jude arrives 4th from 1979 Colorado. He’s eighteen and has been on his own for a while making money by random guitar gigs and part time job stints. He’s all rough edges on the outside–protector, fighter, hunter and gatherer–but a total pile of heart on the inside… One of his favorite past times is braiding Bug’s hair. His first words to Olive are shouted: “Come on!”
Tilly: Tilly, by a sense of responsibility and virtue of who she is, becomes maternal caretaker of the Lions. She takes Bug and Charlie under her wings and makes the most unlikely of scraps into clothing, meals, and things like toothpaste and soap. Tilly, full name Matilda, is sixteen and from a WWII era England. Her first words to Olive are in introduction: “I’m sixteen, from Sheffield, England, 1940.”
Charlie: Eight-year-old Charlie is the third of the Lions from Hillings, Texas, but he’s from Olive’s time and went missing just the year before her. He’s the 5th Lion to arrive on the island and has a really tough go of it. When he arrived he wasn’t found for a few days and, aside from not understanding how he went from a corn maze to an island in a flash, must fend for himself. Because of this trauma, Charlie doesn’t speak his entire first year on the island (except in his sleep). His first word to Olive and his first since arriving on the island is: “Home.” He’s Bug’s best friend and companion. Despite his non-speech, they communicate without issue, speaking their own language with one another.
I do have a super snazzy Pinterest board with images of how I imagined each of the Lions! If you’d like to see for yourself, along with a bit more of the inspiration that went into The Castaways, please feel free to check it out here: THE CASTAWAYS Pin Board!
I also wrote a blog series called Countdown to THE CASTAWAYS that digs deeper into a few of the main characters including their personalities, colors, and songs. You can check that out here: Countdown to THE CASTAWAYS!
This was a blast! Thanks so much for having me here at Bibliobibuli YA, Emily and Rosi–such a pleasure!
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.
About the author:
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author image, info, giveaway, and more were provided by YA Reads Blog Tours.