A hilarious, page-turning take on influencers and true-crime fandom.

LORD OF THE FLY FEST

Fyre Festival meets Lord of the Flies in this deliciously unhinged narrative.

Eighteen-year-old Rafi Francisco is proud to have her own podcast, Musical Mysteries, and will stop at nothing for a good true-crime story—including spending all her money on Fly Fest, a festival of nearly mythical proportions that has gone viral and promises to make headlines. Rafi isn’t there for the partying, the supermodels, or the yachts, though. She’s there for River Stone, one of the musical acts, hoping to uncover the real story behind what happened between him and his girlfriend, who disappeared years ago when both were 17. Rafi intends to prove that River is a murderer. When she arrives on the Caribbean island, though, she realizes no one from the festival is there to receive them. As it becomes increasingly obvious the whole event is a scam, Rafi’s desperation grows: She’s sure if they all stick around for longer, she’ll get an interview with River and her podcast will become a huge success. Full of humorous absurdities that mirror real-life subcelebrity culture and true-crime fandom, the story is a sarcastic and engaging modern take on William Golding’s classic. Rafi is, as another character puts it, a little unhinged; she is a delightful protagonist whose characterization makes the book a quick and compelling read. Names and other contextual details cue some diversity in the cast.

A hilarious, page-turning take on influencers and true-crime fandom. (Humorous thriller. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-23012-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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Will leave readers looking nervously over their shoulders.

THE ISLAND

Paisley, a true-crime podcaster, finds herself at the center of a mystery.

Six teen influencers in the worlds of beauty, gaming, books, and more are invited to a late medieval Gothic era–themed resort, the brainchild of a billionaire who has spared no expense in building an eerie amusement park on the newly created, human-made Jagged Island. The influencers get to see everything before it’s open to the public—they have one exclusive weekend of posting to their collective audiences. The rides are great, but the staff is limited, and a big storm is closing in. Things turn sinister when one of the influencers goes missing, the island’s internet connection is sabotaged, and the cell service is jammed. Paisley needs to use her intuition, honed from digging into murder cases, to figure out who is doing this and why. Preston displays her usual exceptional pacing, with murderous delight sprinkled throughout the plot. The author effectively presents a mystery littered with clues, including red herrings, shown through the lens of a paranoid protagonist. In essence, this is a slasher film in book form, filled with the gore and violence fans anticipate and expect. Most characters, including Paisley, read White; an island staff member and one influencer are cued Black.

Will leave readers looking nervously over their shoulders. (Thriller. 12-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-48149-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2022

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