Title: Stranded
Author: Sarah Goodwin
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: September 16th 2021
Publisher: Avon
Finished reading: July 24th 2021
Pages: 400

“If it was to be survival of the fittest, I would play to win.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Avon in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I admit that I was hooked as soon as I read the blurb of Stranded. I love a good survival thriller and the mystery around eight people arriving and only three surviving made me want to read this story instantly. I’ve been looking forward to read it, and I can now say that I definitely liked what I found. Stranded is a true survival thriller that also offers its very own little locked room mystery to boot. The story is strangely infuriating while also being highly entertaining, and it’s definitely one that will have you in its claws until the very end.

The setting on the remote Scottish island Buidseach Isle is without doubt a perfect backdrop for the story. The eight contestants have to survive during a whole year on the island, relying mostly on what they can find on Buidseach to keep themselves alive. The many descriptions of the island, its fauna and everything related to the survival element in general where thorough and vivid, and I really felt like I was there right next to Maddy seeing everything unfold. The setting and the survival element of the story were both reasons I ended up enjoying this story considerably, and it made the story stand out for me too.

As for the characters… Some can be quite infuriating, and most are quite unlikeable, but somehow I wasn’t too bothered by it as they make the story strangely entertaining. Maddy herself was an interesting character, and while I wanted to slap her at times for not standing up for herself, I can’t say I’m surprised by her initial reactions due to her past and it was interesting to see her character evolve over time. The character development as the eight contestants spend more time on the island is intriguing in general, and especially when things start to escalate.

Like I mentioned before, this story also has that locked room mystery vibe, which is an element I always love. It was interesting to see this part of the story develop, and Stranded will definitely have more than one surprise for you in store before you reach the end. It turned out to be a highly engaging, addictive, frustrating and suspenseful read and I will definitely be looking out for any future Sarah Goodwin books.


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