I’ve been so lucky getting to read really good books lately, and Stranded by Sarah Goodwin is one of those books I absolutely enjoyed reading. It has a very simple premise: A reality show/ social experiment type of thing with eight contestants that are to live on a secluded island and try to survive for a year, pretending that the world is ending and they are the only remaining survivors. I mean, what a very interesting scenario!
I was absolutely hooked from the very beginning. Maddy is the protagonist of the story. She had a unique upbringing and lost her parents prior to joining the show. I loved her voice and characterization because she’s very relatable, and she’s not your usual Katniss, Bella, or Hazel Grace; and she’s basically just a socially awkward adult who grew up without any friends at all. I know it may sound weird for me to say that I loved that she is all that prior to meeting the other seven contestants, but it’s just fun to see how she’d overcome all of those things and see her in group dynamics. There were times in the book that I got frustrated and annoyed by her, but in hindsight, her whole demeanor kinda worked with the whole set-up of the ‘game.’
It has a “Lord of the Flies” feel, with the whole power-grabbing, and we see here how wicked people are with the things they’re willing to do in order to survive. See, after their initial rations run out, it became clear that this whole thing was very serious – and it really did turn graphic, I’m telling you. It’s fascinating in a sickening way, and I think this is what makes this book worth reading. I got really into it midway, and I just couldn’t put it down. It’s very engaging, compelling, exciting, frightening, and just a whole lot entertaining.
I’d definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for an exciting and delicious thriller. Absolutely worth your time and dime!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
An advance review copy was provided by the publisher, Avon Books UK via Netgalley for an impartial and honest review.
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: September 16th 2021 by Avon
Pre-order your copy below:
About the Author
Sarah Goodwin is a novelist who grew up in rural Hertfordshire. She was raised on ‘The Good Life’ ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and ‘Little House on the Prairie’ by her parents, who turned a blind eye to her dabbling in herbal medicine, feminism, eco-warrior ideals and witchcraft. They were understandably unsurprised when she developed the lifetime ambition of building a hut in the woods and living there like a soothsayer.
Her second preferred career, was author.
At Bath Spa University Sarah studied for a BA in Creative Writing and self-published many novels across various genres, including YA magical realism, contemporary women’s fiction, romance and horror.
Sarah graduated in 2014 with an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. After writing several historical novels, she decided to return to her roots and write instead about the wild, the darkness and survival, which led to her coming up with the idea for ‘Stranded’ which would become her first professionally published novel.