Samantha (“Sam”) Mishra
Half Asian and half Caucasian, Sam comes from a dysfunctional blue-collar family and has internalized a lot of conflict, especially the turmoil between her domineering father and her self-harming sister. A high school student at tony Drake Rosemont Preparatory Academy, Sam feels like a fish out of water until she meets Mel, who becomes her best friend.
Amelia (“Mel”) Sharpe
The youngest of five intrepid sisters, Mel is a gutsy combination of her father, a survivalist adventurer, and her mother, an accomplished botanist. Mel is neither pretty nor popular, but she is also unconcerned about the opinions of others. Her natural inclination is to learn, invent, and protect. She is the de facto leader of the group and Samantha’s ally in good times and bad.
The wealthy daughter of an Indian business tycoon, Rittika seems to have it all: confidence, beauty, brains, and social status. While she cares about her twin brother, Rish, she is often self-serving and unwilling to compromise. Her charisma is a powerful force capable of luring Sam away from Mel.
Lacking prescription medication that stabilizes her mental health, Anne Marie is especially vulnerable to danger, both within her group of friends and beyond it. Fragile, artistic, and incredibly creative, she is keenly attuned to the island’s dark secrets.
This self-proclaimed environmental activist is a bright, sociable, good-hearted young man. He is awed by the pristine state of the island and distraught by the inhumane way some of his friends begin to behave. As the group frays, though, Pablo’s extremist viewpoints may be cause for worry.
The captain of the boys’ fencing team at Drake Rosemont, part-Native American Chester is popular, athletic, and well-liked by all. Strong and decisive, he may have been the protagonist in another novel, but in Damselfly he is outmatched by Mel and Rittika. Though Sam has a crush on him, Chester is romantically drawn to others.
Clever and industrious, Betty is an indispensable member of the group. She weaves tents out of vines, makes “Camp Summerbliss” a habitable place, and is often at the service of her peers. With so many strong personalities around her, Betty comes across as refreshingly balanced and diplomatic.