Review: Lord of the Fly Fest

Title: Lord of the Fly Fest
Author: Goldy Moldavsky
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Horror
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Source: Once Upon a Book Club
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: August 30, 2022
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

One of Us Is Lying meets Lord of the Flies meets Fyre Fest in this wickedly addictive and funny YA thriller.

Rafi Francisco needs something really special to put her true crime podcast on the map. She sets her sights on River Stone, the hearthrob musician who rose to stardom after the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend. Rafi lands herself a ticket to the exclusive Fly Fest, where River will be the headliner.

But when Rafi arrives on the Caribbean island location of Fly Fest with hundreds of other influencers and (very minor) celebrities, they quickly discover that the dream trip is more of a nightmare. And it’s not just confronting beauty gurus-gone-wild and spotty WiFi. Soon, Rafi goes from fighting for an interview to fighting for her life. And, as she gets closer to River, she discovers that he might be hiding even darker secrets than she suspected . . .


Rafi Francisco has a true crime podcast called “Musical Mysteries.” For season 2 of her podcast, she decides to explore her theory that heartthrob musician River Stone killed his girlfriend and lied that she mysteriously disappeared. Rafi goes to Fly Fest, an influencer festival on a Caribbean island where River will be performing. However, there isn’t anything set up on the island when everyone arrives. There are no buildings, no food, and almost no Wi-Fi. Rafi convinces everyone to stay so that she can get her interview with River, but she discovers what lengths influencers will go to to have a good time at the festival. 

This story was more funny than I expected. The influencers who were on the island with Rafi were caricatures of influencers, going to extreme lengths to make it look like they were having a good time. I loved the quote: “People would rather live in a lie utopia than in a true dystopia.” So much on social media is a lie made to look much better than real life. I’ve done that too. When I’ve been having a bad day, I’ll post a positive, happy post rather than something that reflects how I’m really feeling. This story took it to the extreme where the influencers made it seem like they were having a great time while it was actually a disaster. 

I was expecting this story to me more dark and graphic, but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t that dark. It had a creepy atmosphere on the island, but everything that happened had a logical explanation. There were some gross scenes, but there were so many funny parts that made up for it. 

Lord of the Fly Fest is a fun YA story.

What to read next:

You’re So Dead by Ash Parsons

The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky

Have you read Lord of the Fly Fest? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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