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Description

Product Description

In the wake of crash-landing on a deserted tropical island, a group of private-school teens must rely on their wits and one another to survive.

Their survival is in their own hands...Samantha Mishra opens her eyes and discovers she''s alone and injured in the thick of a jungle. She has no idea where she is, or what happened to the plane taking her and the rest of the Drake Rosemont fencing team across the Pacific for a tournament. Once Sam connects with her best friend, Mel, and they find the others, they set up shelter and hope for rescue. But as the days pass, the teens realize they''re on their own, stranded on an island with a mysterious presence that taunts and threatens them. Soon Sam and her companions discover they need to survive more than the jungle... they need to survive each other.This taut novel, with a setting evocative of Lord of the Flies, is by turns cinematic and intimate, and always thought-provoking.

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—When Sam Mishra''s plane crashes on an uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, she and the surviving members of the Drake Rosemont fencing team have to figure out how to stay alive. Finding food, water, and shelter turns out to be relatively easy—it''s other, more insidious forces that prove challenging for these students from an elite boarding school. When the teens discover threatening messages written in the sand, they realize that they are not alone on the island. In addition to the looming menace of the unknown inhabitant, rifts between the teens expose cracks in the veneer of civility. Issues of class and race come into play as group members form allegiances and make decisions that have life-or-death consequences. One charismatic teen, Rittika, attempts to pit those with brown skin (Golds) against those with white skin (Pales), claiming that those with brown skin are survivors, better able to adapt, and in all ways superior to those with pale skin. Sam is forced to decide if she will align herself with Mel, her very white best friend, or with Rittika, a fellow Indian American. Reminiscent of The Lord of the Flies (with a bit of The Swiss Family Robinson), Prasad''s debut is a compelling modern-day adventure. The tale of survival outshines the less well-developed exploration of race and class as it affects student relationships. The rushed and somewhat unresolved ending begs for a sequel. VERDICT An entertaining choice, recommended for additional purchase.—Ragan O''Malley, Saint Ann''s School, Brooklyn

Review

"Prasad''s [YA] debut is a compelling modern-day adventure... An entertaining choice." -- School Library Journal"Ethics balance on a knife''s edge as the characters make difficult choices and adapt to their new reality... A compulsive read." -- Booklist"Unseen antagonists and unpredictable plot twists... create a layer of mystery that''ll have readers invested until the intriguingly inconclusive end... A fast-paced, heart-stopping tale." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children''s Books "Prasad deftly builds on familiar themes while also exploring issues like race, mental health, and the toxicity of teenage queen bees... A fun and compelling novel, one that is sure to attract a wide range of readers." -- School Library Connection"Chandra Prasad gives us a terrifying, modern-day Lord of the Flies, rendered in exquisite and exacting prose. A brave take on teen cruelty, identity, mixed race experience, class, and survival." -- Marina Budhos, author of Ask Me No Questions "Who are we when we are only accountable to ourselves? This bold, deft novel exposes how fragile the world we inhabit really is and what it might take for us to survive." -- Neela Vaswani, co-author of Same Sun Here "Prasad breathes fresh life into this fusion of Lost, Prep, Gossip Girl, and William Golding''s classic." -- Jake Halpern, author of Fame Junkies and Dormia


"Prasad''s [YA] debut is a compelling modern-day adventure... An entertaining choice." -- School Library Journal"Ethics balance on a knife''s edge as the characters make difficult choices and adapt to their new reality... A compulsive read." -- Booklist"Unseen antagonists and unpredictable plot twists... create a layer of mystery that''ll have readers invested until the intriguingly inconclusive end... A fast-paced, heart-stopping tale." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children''s Books "Prasad deftly builds on familiar themes while also exploring issues like race, mental health, and the toxicity of teenage queen bees... A fun and compelling novel, one that is sure to attract a wide range of readers." -- School Library Connection"Chandra Prasad gives us a terrifying, modern-day Lord of the Flies, rendered in exquisite and exacting prose. A brave take on teen cruelty, identity, mixed race experience, class, and survival." -- Marina Budhos, author of Ask Me No Questions "Who are we when we are only accountable to ourselves? This bold, deft novel exposes how fragile the world we inhabit really is and what it might take for us to survive." -- Neela Vaswani, co-author of Same Sun Here "Prasad breathes fresh life into this fusion of Lost, Prep, Gossip Girl, and William Golding''s classic." -- Jake Halpern, author of Fame Junkies and Dormia

From the Inside Flap

Their survival is in their own hands
Samantha Mishra opens her eyes and discovers she''s alone and injured in the thick of a jungle. She has no idea where she is, or what happened to the plane taking her and the rest of the Drake Rosemont fencing team ac

From the Back Cover

Their survival is in their own hands…

Samantha Mishra opens her eyes and discovers she''s alone and injured in the thick of a jungle. She has no idea where she is, or what happened to the plane taking her and the rest of the Drake Rosemont fencing team ac

About the Author

Chandra Prasad is the originator and editor of Mixed, an anthology of short stories on the multiracial experience. She is also the author of several critically acclaimed novels for adults, including On Borrowed Wings. Damselfly is her YA debut. A graduate of Yale, Chandra lives and works in Connecticut. To find out more, visit her online at chandraprasad.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Looking around, I didn''t know where my old world had gone. The brick, slate, and stone of Drake Rosemont Preparatory Academy were nowhere to be found.I was in what looked to be a jungle. The vegetation was thick, lush, impenetrable as a wall. I pushed away vines, mossy branches, and leaves the size of manhole covers. I closed my eyes against prickers and thorns, but when the branches snapped back like clawed hands, I opened them again.Desperately, I looked in all directions. My brown school oxfords made sucking sounds as I walked. I felt as if I were being pulled down, like the jungle might consume me.When my foot landed ankle-deep in mud, I was forced to stop and try to pull myself together. What I needed was some water. I reached for my bottle in a side compartment of my backpack. Then realized I wasn''t carrying anything. I had nothing but the clothes I was wearing. This fact panicked me even more. I didn''t even know how to function without my cell, my iPad, and my laptop. They were as much a part of my everyday life as my toothbrush.

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4 out of 54 out of 5
62 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A great read!
Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2018
Amazing book! While the early pages immediately bring to mind both Lord of the Flies (LOTF) and TV''s Lost, the story quickly becomes its own...and I couldn''t put it down! I read LOTF nearly 30 years ago, but I remember it fairly well and I found Damselfly to be a... See more
Amazing book! While the early pages immediately bring to mind both Lord of the Flies (LOTF) and TV''s Lost, the story quickly becomes its own...and I couldn''t put it down!

I read LOTF nearly 30 years ago, but I remember it fairly well and I found Damselfly to be a refreshing, inclusive, and compelling take on this classic novel. My son is in middle school and has yet to read LOTF; he devoured Damselfly, connected with its characters, and immediately asked if the book was part of a series. That''s high praise from a 13-year-old!

It''s rare when a book clicks with teenagers and adults. Do yourself a favor and read Damselfly. You won''t be disappointed.
3 people found this helpful
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A Grotzke
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Tropical island adventure woven with topics like race, status, and mental health
Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2018
I''ve been a fan of Chandra Prasad''s work since falling in love with her novel On Borrowed Wings. I was eagerly anticipating her first YA book, and Damselfly did not disappoint. A modern, female-centered take on Lord of the Flies, Damselfly is the story of a private school... See more
I''ve been a fan of Chandra Prasad''s work since falling in love with her novel On Borrowed Wings. I was eagerly anticipating her first YA book, and Damselfly did not disappoint. A modern, female-centered take on Lord of the Flies, Damselfly is the story of a private school fencing team stranded on a deserted island somewhere in the South Pacific. The teens who survive the plane crash must also watch out for the dangers of the island: the environment, the mysterious presence watching them, and ultimately, each other. The main character, Samantha, isn''t the smartest, bravest, or most popular person on the island, but she is a careful observer, and therefore an excellent narrator. Her best friend, Mel, is clever and knowledgeable on many topics like horticulture and entomology, which both help the characters surviving in the jungle, and teach the reader a few interesting facts. I particularly love how Damselfly weaves adventure in with topics like race, status, mental health, and societal expectations.

Just like in her other works, Prasad paints a lush setting and fills it with interesting characters. I''m excited to share this book (and hopefully its sequel) with my kids in a couple years!
2 people found this helpful
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Trina Beck
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A thrilling page-turner rendered with vivid detail
Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2018
With vivid prose, Prasad draws us into a world that most modern teenagers would have a hard time imagining: one with no cell phones, iPads, or Snapchat. Left to their own devices in the absence of electronic ones, the characters find themselves surprised by what they and... See more
With vivid prose, Prasad draws us into a world that most modern teenagers would have a hard time imagining: one with no cell phones, iPads, or Snapchat. Left to their own devices in the absence of electronic ones, the characters find themselves surprised by what they and their peers are capable of, for better and for worse. Bonds are forged and broken as underlying currents of mental health struggles and racial identity politics bubble to the surface. A riveting novel that will have teen readers wondering long after they read it: what would I have done?
One person found this helpful
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PENNY N
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hated the ending
Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2021
I was enjoying the book up until the ending. I HATE books that leave you hanging, just leave things to your own imagination. Laziness to me that the writer doesn’t bother to really finish the story.
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Timh Gabriele
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The best YA novel I have read in years!
Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2018
I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. It grabbed my attention right away and I had a hard time putting it down. Chandra Prasad has a hit on her hands with this one.
4 people found this helpful
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Audrey
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing story
Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2020
This was such a compelling story, beautifully written with vivid imagery. I couldn’t put it down. Great for adults too!
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great value
Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2021
Perfect
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars
Loved this book
Reviewed in the United States on April 1, 2018
Loved this book! Creative and provocative story which evokes a classic with a modern approach which just adds to its appeal. Suspenseful story which grabs you from the start. Really captures the underlying tensions and angst of a diverse group of teens undergoing extreme... See more
Loved this book! Creative and provocative story which evokes a classic with a modern approach which just adds to its appeal. Suspenseful story which grabs you from the start. Really captures the underlying tensions and angst of a diverse group of teens undergoing extreme circumstances. How each reacts and why makes this book a page turner and raises many questions for the reader. Was wondering until the last page what would happen next and would love to read about the next chapter of the characters’ lives. Young and old will relate to this book and it is a great discussion book for book groups.
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