📚  "Lord of the Fly Fest" by Goldy Moldavsky

Reviewed by Education and Youth Librarian Carrie

"I just know now that the truth is everything. You just have to be careful how you wield it."


Dive into the chaos of influencers, a Caribbean nightmare, and a wickedly addictive YA thriller in "Lord of the Fly Fest." 🏝🕵️‍

Rafi Francisco, an aspiring podcaster, gambles everything on Fly Fest, an exclusive event featuring the enigmatic musician River Stone. The fest promises fame, but what unfolds is a disastrous blend of Lord of the Flies, and a hint of Pirates of the Caribbean.

The book cleverly satirizes society's obsession with influencers, spotlighting the absurdity of our social media culture. 📱💔 The narrative, a hilarious mockery of influencer excess, unfolds as Rafi and her fellow influencers find themselves stranded on an abandoned island without internet, accommodations, or their beloved acai bowls.

The tone is brilliantly ironic, akin to the devilish allure of the cover that drew me in. 😈 The author's parody of influencer culture is sharp, holding a mirror to those who consume it. The blend of musical culture like the chaos of Fyre Fest and YA mystery creates a hot mess that's both entertaining and thought-provoking.

While the constant commentary on physical appearance could be toned down, I wished for a clearer plot focus. Yet, the witty writing and Rafi's journey from podcast ambitions to a fight for survival keep you hooked. 🎤🤯

The book seamlessly weaves the disastrous escapade with Rafi's quest for truth about River Stone's dark secrets. As the influencers go missing, the suspense builds, offering a gripping thrill ride. 🕵️‍🔍

Lord of the Fly Fest is a captivating read, a rollercoaster of hilarity, and a critique of our influencer-obsessed world. If you crave a blend of One of Us Is Lying, Lord of the Flies, and Pirates of the Caribbean, this YA thriller is a devilishly good choice! 📖🔥

Borrow a copy here Lord of the fly fest

#Lordoftheflyfest #IslandOfDeceit #BookReview #YAThriller #InfluencerCulture 🏝📚

Catfish Rolling by Clara Kumagai

Librarian Stephen holds a copy of Catfish Rolling

Our new YA Book of the Week is 🐱🐠 ‘Catfish Rolling’ by Clara Kumagai. This poignant yet heart-warming story captivated me, drawing me into its narrative. Told through the eyes of a ‘Hafu’ a term for someone who is half Japanese. It is used in a way that invites readers to understand Sora's unique identity and perspective, highlighting the diverse cultural dimensions at play. We gain unique insights into life in Japan, adding layers of nuance to the tale. ‘Catfish Rolling’ is a narrative that prompts readers to contemplate grief, time, and the simple joys of life, like the beauty of nature and yummy food 🍙🍙 However, it does not let us forget the complexities and immediacy of growing up and young love, which can engulf our lives.

In ‘Catfish Rolling’ we accompany Sora Campbell’s coming-of-age story as she graduates from high school and ponders her path during a gap year which clashes with Japanese culture, where, even after her years of schooling, she is still made to feel like an outsider.

This isn’t the Japan we are familiar with, as we are transported back in time to when young Sora lost her mother after a bizarre earthquake created temporal anomalies. These zones experienced time differently, either faster or slower than the outside world, Even though revisiting these areas didn’t seem perilous, those inside during the earthquake disappeared. Sora grew up away from her family home, haunted, by the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.

Sora is one of the few who dare to explore these zones around her town, while grappling with the profound questions of youth. What would happen to her relationships? What path will she choose in life? Do I like this new friend, or do I 🥰like 🥰 this new friend?

The pace increases when Sora’s father vanishes, and Sora’s connection with time and these enigmatic zones becomes her sole hope in preventing her father from suffering the same fate as her mother.

Reviewed by Education & Youth Librarian, Stephen.

Place a hold on ‘Catfish Rolling’ here: Catfish rolling

Stranger Things Graphic Novels:

Librarian Stephan holds a copy of Stranger Things

This week’s YA Book of the Week for spooky 🎃👻 season is the ‘Stranger Things’ graphic novels series written by Jody Houser and Greg Pak together with stunning illustrators and designers.

I always find that revisiting a story months or years after its previous release is often a catch–22; I can either be left scratching my head trying to remember what happened last or consign myself to hours of re-watching just to make sure I’m up to date. Instead these graphic novels with their own stories to tell will be a great way to catch up on the series ahead of the next release. Whether you want to revisit some of your favourite characters between seasons, find out different perspectives or details on existing storylines - I was always very curious just what Will went through on ‘The Other Side’ – or to discover new characters and happenings in the 'Stranger Things' world, these graphic novels have something for everyone.

The medium of graphic novels is particularly well suited as the slight changes in visual style completely transforms the story being told. I particularly loved in the ‘Zombie Boys’ issue when it felt like I was in Will’s drawings and really had time to enjoy them rather than catching glimpses of them being used as plot devices in the show. It was heart-warming to be back with these boys in a setting where they had to confront their trauma together. One of Jody’s storylines focuses on the other children undergoing experiments like Eleven, which might be at odds with the later seasons of the show but has scenes which left my mouth agape!

For any fans of the show who are into comics this is a no brainer, but don’t let the graphic novel medium hold you back, I don’t read a lot of them myself but I devoured these.

Reviewed by Education & Youth Librarian, Stephen.

Place a hold on ‘Stranger Things’ here

Recommended for audiences 13+, some issues deal with more mature themes only suitable for older audiences.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer


This week's Young Adult Book of the Week is none other than 🩸 Twilight 🩸 by Stephanie Meyer. This timeless classic follows the epic love story of Bella Swan, a human, and Edward Cullen, a vampire. Turned into a film in 2008 starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, the movie and book were an instant hit.

The book is much better than the film (even though the movie is great!). The characters are more intricate and complicated, the story itself is captivating and exciting, with lots of twists and unexpected turns. As Halloween gets closer, there's no better time to get lost in a novel set in a beautiful, rainy town, with paranormal characters and everlasting romances.

If you like the idea of reading one of the most famous young adult novels of all time, reserve your copy by clicking this link Twilight 🥀 Happy reading! 🥀

Reviewed by Education & Youth Librarian Alisha 🎃

The Promised Neverland by Kaiu Shirai

Librarian Carrie holds a copy of The Promised Neverland

Reviewed by Education and Youth Librarian - Carrie

The Promised Neverland is a gripping manga that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster with unexpected twists. Initially, I anticipated a heart-warming tale but found a horror masterpiece that had me hooked from page one. 😱📚

The story follows 3 bright orphans living in Grace Field House orphanage, with a daily routine of studying, exams, meals, and playtime under the care of their enigmatic "Mom." However, their lives take a dark turn when they uncover the horrifying truth about the outside world they've been forbidden to see. 😮🏠🌟

This manga lures readers into a false sense of security,  but soon reveals murder, cannibalism, and demons, creating constant unease. 😬🌄👹 This shift makes The Promised Neverland a masterpiece.

The anime and manga excel in storytelling. The animecaptures the atmosphere with stunning production values and a haunting soundtrack. The manga's detailed artwork and fast-paced narrative offer a gripping experience. 🎥🎨

One strength is its ability to shock and surprise, even in horror. The twists and turns are well executed, a testament to the creators' storytelling prowess.

The Promised Neverland masterfully blends innocence with horror. Whether you watch the anime or read the manga, you're in for an unforgettable journey. Going in blind enhances the impact, keeping you guessing until the end. 🤫❓🔥

Recommended reading age: T+ (16+). Find a copy on our catalogue here

Back to top