4 out of 5 stars
I pre-ordered Stranded after seeing Twitter connection and Book Blogger Dawn Robinson post about it being one of her top reads this year. I’m so glad I did!
When botanist Maddy loses her parents, the only two people who have ever cared about her, she signs up to live for a year on a remote island with 7 strangers for a reality TV show. The show is similar to Survivor, but with harsher conditions and no competitions. Things start off well enough, but soon, the socially awkward Maddy finds herself outcast by the group.
This book was a fascinating study in human behavior, and all that can go wrong when people are trapped together, fighting for survival, and toxic groupthink ensues.
The premise grabbed me from the beginning. The book itself built slowly, and then quickly picked up the pace. Once I got to the 40% mark, I literally stayed up all night to finish.
The book is told from Maddy’s perspective, and she is the most likable character among the 8 castaways. I related to her introverted, straightforward nature and thought she was a trustworthy narrator, which made it hard to understand why the others so turned on her. With no competitions or prize winners, the point of the TV show also wasn’t well established. Aside from these minor issues, this was a well-written, absorbing read.
I think this book is one my book club would enjoy. I will most certainly be on the lookout for Sarah Goodwin’s next novel.