The Sandcastle Empire is the Summer Read You Simply Cannot Miss

Kayla Olson’s debut novel The Sandcastle Empire is fast paced with impossibly high stakes and a cast just brimming with characters who can’t be trusted. It is simply not to be missed!

Wine Pairing

I paired The Sandcastle Empire with this Demetrio’s Coconut Wine. Not only does the label perfectly match the cover, but the tropical flavor of the wine definitely lends itself well to the desert island setting.
*All wine recommendations are for strictly for those of legal drinking age only.*

About The Sandcastle Empire

32051724When all hope is gone, how do you survive?

Before the war, Eden’s life was easy—air conditioning, ice cream, long days at the beach. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed.

Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. Eden has lost everything to them. They killed her family and her friends, destroyed her home, and imprisoned her. But Eden refuses to die by their hands. She knows the coordinates to the only neutral ground left in the world, a place called Sanctuary Island, and she is desperate to escape to its shores.

Eden finally reaches the island and meets others resistant to the Wolves—but the solace is short-lived when one of Eden’s new friends goes missing. Braving the jungle in search of their lost ally, they quickly discover Sanctuary is filled with lethal traps and an enemy they never expected.

This island might be deadlier than the world Eden left behind, but surviving it is the only thing that stands between her and freedom.


The Details

  • Title: The Sandcastle Empire
  • Author: Kayla Olson
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Pub Date: June 6, 2017

My Review


The combination of Kayla Olson’s gorgeous writing, her mesmerizing world building, and gripping story line have culminated in a book that is absolutely addictive. I’ve had high expectations for this book ever since I heard about it, and it not only lived up to them, it absolutely demolished them!

Kayla incorporates the most beautiful prose throughout this book, and she blends it so seamlessly into the story that you might miss it if you aren’t paying attention. In my opinion, that is the mark of truly talented writer. As a reader you typically see such lovely writing coupled with a slower plot, but that is certainly not the case here. Kayla has truly mastered the art of putting beautiful words on the page in a way that does not in any way detract from a fast-paced, thrilling plot line. And this is her debut novel!

There is an absolutely brilliant cast of characters in The Sandcastle Empire. They all feel so authentic, like they are all people that you know and can identify from your own life. Main character Eden is such a likable character, who repeatedly demonstrates strength of body, mind, and spirit throughout the story. You’ll be cheering from her from the very first page. Perhaps the coolest thing about this cast though, is that you never know who you can trust and when you can trust them. They keep you on your toes and utterly glued to the pages.

The world building in this book is absolutely phenomenal. Set in a futuristic world, where the society that we know has crumbled upon itself, the political and social climate is fascinating. There is some incredible tech incorporated throughout the story, despite the fact that most of it takes place on a desert island.

The plot of the book is intense and action packed. This story starts with a bang, quite literally, and it just doesn’t quit. I can absolutely understand why this was optioned for a movie so quickly and can see the potential for it to translate to the big screen just so well. In case you haven’t heard, Leonardo DiCaprio has already signed on to produce this one. I am not at all surprised after reading it. For more movie details, click here!

There is also a romance in this book that I was SOOO into. I won’t give away any specifics, because spoilers. But I will say that those of you that like a little swoon in your summer reading will not be disappointed.

We have seen some truly incredibly debut novels in 2017, but this one may just be the best so far. Kayla Olson is without doubt an author to watch!

Pinterest Mood Board

If you saw any of my Tweets while I was reading this book, then I apologize for the image repetition, but here are some of my favorite images that I pinned while reading this book!

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Bookstagram Pics


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About Kayla Olson

From Kayla’s Website


YA writer represented by Holly Root and Taylor Haggerty of Root Literary. Author of the forthcoming THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE (HarperTeen // June 6, 2017—now available for pre-order!), recently optioned for film by Paramount, with Leonardo DiCaprio/Appian Way producing. Usually found in near proximity to coffee, chocolate, Scrivener, and an army of Sharpie highlighters.

Will you be reading The Sandcastle Empire when it hits bookshelves TOMORROW? Because you should. You really, REALLY should!

22 thoughts on “The Sandcastle Empire is the Summer Read You Simply Cannot Miss

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      It’s so, so, so good. And I CANNOT wait for that movie. I think I need to get the audio version and experience it that way too. I think it would be really cool on audio and on the big screen.


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