Review: This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham

Posted 06/18/2023 by Charli in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley to facilitate my review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may contain material that is disturbing to some readers. Please Google for trigger warnings as I cannot possibly find/relay every trigger warning. Thank you!
Review: This Delicious Death by Kayla CottinghamThis Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 04/25/2023
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Horror, Young Adult Fiction / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Zombies
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Amazon US // Barnes & Noble // Bookshop

From the author of the New York Times bestselling My Dearest Darkest comes another incredible sapphic horror. When four best friends with a hunger for human flesh attend a music festival in the desert they discover a murderous plot to expose and vilify the girls and everyone like them. This summer is going to get gory.

Two years ago, a small percentage of population underwent a transformation known as the Hollowing. Those affected were only able to survive by consuming human flesh. The people who went without quickly became feral, turning on their friends and family. Luckily, scientists were able to create a synthetic version of human meat that would satisfy their hunger. As a result, humanity slowly began to return to normal.

Cut to Zoey, Celeste, Valeria, and Jasmine, four hollow girls living in Southern California. As a last hurrah before graduation they decide to attend a musical festival in the heart of the desert. They have a cooler filled with seltzer, vodka, and Synflesh... and are ready to party.

But on the first night of the festival Val goes feral and ends up killing and eating a boy in one of the bands. As other festival guests start disappearing around them the girls soon discover someone is targeting people like them. And if they can't figure out how to stop it, and soon, no one at the festival is getting out alive.

CW: Gore, blood, graphic depictions of violence

I have to say, this is probably the best take I’ve seen on a zombie apocalypse ever. It’s not your typical take on it because for one, the “zombies” aren’t zombies, they’re ghouls. For another, they’re not mindless creatures incapable of doing anything but shambling along and eating flesh. What makes them even more unique? They can only eat human flesh – animal flesh or plant-based foods make them sick. I love it.

While I’m not overly fond of Jasmine or Valeria, I love Zoey and Celeste. I love that most, if not all, of the friend group are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. The characters are well defined and we get back stories for each of them from the Hollowing, which gives insight into their experiences. Oh and I want slap the crap out Zoey’s parents, just saying.

The writing is well done and is easy to read, with the pacing of the book moving along at a great speed. It took me less than 24 hours to finish the book. There are interesting plot twists that you don’t see coming but that make the story even better.

I gave this book 5 stars because Kayla Cottingham does an amazing job of taking the tired zombie trend and bringing it back to new life.

About Kayla Cottingham

Author Kayla Cottingham

Kayla Cottingham (she/they) is a YA author and librarian. Her first book, My Dearest Darkest, was a New York Times and Publisher's Weekly bestseller. Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, Kayla lives in Boston where she loves to go hiking in the woods, play RPGs, and snuggle on the couch with her ridiculously large black cat, Squid.


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