This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham | Book Review

It's more of a girl eat boy world, tbh.

This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham

Released April 2023

Source: Received for Review Consideration

Goodreads  | Amazon

Four best friends, one music festival, and a cooler filled with human organs: this summer is about to get gory. ​​​

Jennifer’s Body fans will clamor for this new sapphic horror standalone from New York Times bestselling author Kayla Cottingham.

Three years ago, the melting of arctic permafrost released a pathogen of unknown origin into the atmosphere, causing a small percentage of people to undergo a transformation that became known as the Hollowing. Those impacted slowly became intolerant to normal food and were only able to gain sustenance by consuming the flesh of other human beings. Those who went without flesh quickly became feral, turning on their friends and family. However, scientists were able to create a synthetic version of human meat that would satisfy the hunger of those impacted by the Hollowing. As a result, humanity slowly began to return to normal, albeit with lasting fear and distrust for the people they'd pejoratively dubbed ghouls.

Zoey, Celeste, Valeria, and Jasmine are all ghouls living in Southern California. As a last hurrah before their graduation they decided to attend a musical festival in the desert. They have a cooler filled with hard seltzers 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. As other festival guests start disappearing around them the girls soon discover someone is drugging ghouls and making them feral. And if they can't figure out how to stop it, and soon, no one at the festival is safe.

My 2 Cents for Free!

This Delicious Death caught my attention with its eye-catching bloody cooler cover. I mean, what’s not to love there?

The cooler is actually filled with synthetic meat because in this story the world has experienced something called “The Hollowing” which appears to be a plague that turned some people into flesh-craving ghouls. Some people just got sick and recovered, some people were eaten and others now and forever will crave the delicious flesh of humans. Fortunately for the remaining humans, science came to the rescue with a synthetic substitute to sate the flesh hunger and allows the ghoul folks to be reintegrated into society.

Sounds a little dangerous to me and this story proves that, well, IT IS!

Four teens all afflicted with the flesh cravings head out to their first event since the trauma of The Hollowing. They’re attending a Coachella-like festival with a cooler filled with flesh snacks. They’re so excited to finally have some fun. What they find instead is a nightmare and a maybe little romance.

This is a fun book in parts and in others it's a little sloggy. The pacing felt somewhat off. Sometimes it was engaging and gross fun and then it would slow down to a crawl and the last few chapters were a whirlwind of action. It’s very gory but there is a campy Scooby-Doo Mystery feel to the whole thing and there’s also a teenage love triangle as one of the characters struggles with her feelings for her best friend as well as a new boy she meets. None of this is a bad thing if that’s your thing but I am of little patience and some of it was frustrating for me.

There is good diversity representation here with the friend group and I loved the flashbacks to the time before - when all of the horrors were going down for society and folks were starting to go feral. In all honesty, I probably would’ve much preferred to read that book instead of the one I just read because I simply didn’t think running around the festival and following them as they attempted to solve a mystery was super interesting. But you may think differently. We’re all different people here.



  1. I don't love love triangles either. But the rest of this one sounds like a fun premise.

    1. The love triangles are so played out for me but I've probably just read too many,

  2. That cover is awesome! Yeah - carnage would probably be more interesting than solving the mystery lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  3. Well that's an interesting premise. Reintegrating ghouls back into society sounds dangerous. lol

  4. I enjoyed this but the whole music festival setting didn't work for me at all, and the story stalled during those parts.


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