"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

23 July 2018


Prasad, Chandra. Damselfly. Scholastic Press, 2018.

Touted as a modern retelling of Lord of the Flies, Damselfly follows a group of private school students as their plane crashes on a remote tropical island with no civilization, no adults, etc. If you know the plot of Lord of the Flies, you know this one.

In spite of the diverse representation of characters and discussion of race issues, bullying, etc., this book fell flat for me. The story was not intense enough to match the intense situation the teens were facing. There were times when the pace slowed to a plod. The dialog didn't match with the supposed age of these teens at all; they sounded more like young middle school students than upperclassmen.

The idea of retelling Lord of the Flies in a modern setting and tackling modern issues relevant to teens by using the story is a good one, but it isn't original with Damselfly; Libba Bray's Beauty Queens does the same thing, but does it in a much better way. This set itself up to be Beauty Queens without the humor, but it didn't work for me: too many weird plot holes or inexplicable character actions. That being said, teens who like "trapped on an island" type stories may enjoy this one.

Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: language, bullying, fat-shaming, racist language, violence
Overall Rating: 2/5 stars

Read Instead: Beauty Queens by Bray, The Island by Levez, I Am Still Alive by Marshall

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