What to Read When You Are Stuck on an Island


The Fyre Festival, founded by Ja Rule, was supposed to be the event of the year for the wealthy, young people who could afford to attend. Hyped on Instagram by Kylie Jenner, and other people who we’ve never heard of because we’re too old, it was supposed to take place on a private island (known as the Islands of the Exumas) once owned by Pablo Escobar. But like every rich promise in this era of Trump, it was too good to be true. The private jets turned out to be commercial airplanes. The gourmet food, deli sandwiches. The private accommodations? Just tents, stacked together on the beach like a bunch of Dixie cups. And no, there is no Escobarian legacy. It’s not even a private island—a Sandals resort is mere steps away.

Due to the backlash (and clear lack of preparation), the festival has been cancelled. The rich utopia is now a dystopia, not even worthy of Instagramming. But! Here are some reading suggestions for those of you stuck on an island with no Tyga or blink-182 to distract you.


Lord of the Flies by William Golding
When a bunch of kids get stuck on an island, all hell breaks loose. Yes, it’s a little on the nose.


The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
This classic YA novel tells the story of a young girl left alone on an island for eighteen years.


To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
A novel about the Ramsey family and the visits they make to the Island of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, the plot is secondary to Woolf’s philosophical insights. Much like the planning of the Fyre Festival was secondary to its hype.


A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea by Melissa Fleming
This incredible, true story follows Doaa Al Zamel as she flees Syria and fights for a better life.


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Buried treasure, buccaneers, and adventure have made this classic a lasting influence on what we think of when we think of pirates and island life.


Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
At least there are no dinosaurs on the Islands of the Exumas?