Review: Dragonfly (Dragonfly #1) by Leigh Talbert Moore

Pub. Date: June 6th, 2013
Publisher: All Night Reads
Edition: eBook
198 pages

After her best friend moves away, Anna Sanders plans on a quiet and lonely senior year, with lots of college prep. Her plans quickly change when Lucy and Jack Kyser, the twins of wealthy land developer Bill Kyser, enter her life. Lucy becomes the friend Anna needs, and an encouraging force behind the sparking of more than friendship between Anna and Jack. Even though Anna feels a strong pull towards Jack, the very hot and cold nature of their relationship leaves her confused. Adding to her confusion is the reentry of Julian, an artistic prodigy that Anna tutored in math the previous year, to her life. Julian is equally as charming and attractive as Jack, but where Jack is secretive and standoffish, Julian is straightforward and honest about his feelings for Anna.

When Jack pushes away, just as their relationship is starting to progress, Anna begins to wonder how much his father is pulling the strings. Under the guise of her internship at a local newspaper, and driven by her own curiosity about Jack, Lucy and the Kyser family, Anna becomes entangled in the secrets the Kyser’s have worked very hard to keep hidden. Just as Anna uncovers one mystery, she discovers that the secrets she has learned, and what she thought she knew about the family, is really just the tip of the iceberg.  


Dragonfly gets off to a slower start with a lot of emphasis on the love triangle between Jack, Anna, and Julian. In the beginning, the triangle can seem unfair to all involved, and it is hard to pull for either of the relationships. Jack is somewhat condescending and entirely cruel in the way that he is hot and cold with Anna, while Anna’s confusion over her feelings for Julian is entirely unfair to him. Once the story begins to focus more on the Hammond Island mystery – Bill Kyser’s past and the secrets that he is holding close - the more developed and interesting the story becomes. Anna’s character is much easier for the reader to pull for and rally behind when she stops focusing all of her attention on the boys, and uses her sleuthing skills to investigate and piece clues together. While the big reveals is anything but a shock for the reader by the time Anna figures it out (and I believe the reader is supposed to have figured it before Anna), the first novel definitely lays solid ground work, and drops interesting leads about where the story is going throughout the series.

While I am generally growing tired of the love triangle storylines in YA Lit, even I have to admit that by the end of the novel, I found the triangle to be engrossing, and while I have no idea who Anna will end up with in the end, I am invested in finding out. The mystery aspect is more slowly introduced than I would have liked but overall I felt that Dragonfly was a compelling contemporary teen read, full of surprisingly realistic and well-handled situations. Moore does a really good job keeping the storyline accessible, given how easily family dramas, mysteries and secret keeping could have forayed into the melodramatic.

Recommended for 16+, given some of the more adult relationship aspects depicted.

Rating 7.5-8/10

Note for readers: If you don’t like getting invested in a series until all of the books are out, with the Dragonfly series you’re in luck. All four books will be published before the end of 2013. Undertow (Book 2) is due July 18th, Watercolor (Book 3) is due sometime in September or October, and Book 4 by the end of the year.
* These dates are according to Leigh T. Moore’s post on her Goodreads page

** I received a copy of this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was in no way compensated.