A Girl Undone: A Girl Called Fearless, Book 2

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
A Girl Undone:  A Girl Called Fearless, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Angsty, suspenseful sequel is less socially conscious.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Dystopian suspense tale meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Politics isn't about boring theories; it's about real people, even teens. Killing isn't the answer; it doesn't serve justice. You can't force someone to love you. Sometimes there are no good choices, only less terrible ones.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Avie, 16, is a good role model for learning how to make good choices when there aren't any good options. She realizes the individual isn't important; what's important is continuing the fight for justice and freedom. Given the opportunity to run away to safety, she chooses to stay and bring down the dystopian government. Friend and love interest Luke gets caught up in wanting to avenge his family but ultimately does the right thing. Avie's father is loving and tries to help her escape.

Violence

A few hits, including a hard slap between a man and his fiancée. Avie pictures a past murder with a baseball bat. Murder and suicide by gunshot with blood mentioned and the bloody aftermath described briefly.

Sex

A few kisses, a past forced kiss remembered. Teen girls are auctioned off to strangers to be married.

Language

"Crap," "hell," "damn," "s--t," "whore." "F--k" (with dashes) used several times and spelled out once or twice. 

Consumerism

One or two brand names to establish location or character.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Illegal trade in pharmaceuticals mentioned. Avie takes "painkillers" a couple of times for headache and sprained ankle. A suicide attempt with pills and alcohol mentioned. Avie, 16, is offered wine with dinner. She doesn't want it because she doesn't want to be vulnerable and is coerced into a few sips. An adult and older teen whose exact age isn't known drink beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Girl Undone picks up where A Girl Called Fearless left off, and teens who haven't read the first volume may not find it compelling. There's less food for thought as the focus shifts to the choices Avie makes and how they affect her. Strong language includes infrequent use of "f--k," with dashes, but it's spelled out once or twice; also infrequent are "crap" and "s--t" (spelled out). Violence is infrequent, but there is a murder-suicide with brief descriptions of the bloody aftermath. Older teens exchange a few kisses. An illegal pharmaceutical trade is mentioned, as is a suicide attempt involving pills and alcohol.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Avie is still on the run from the Paternalist government. She has evidence of the new political party's wrongdoings, including selling nuclear weapons to a foreign government. She heads to Canada so she can find a way to expose the Paternalists from a safe place. Eventually she's recaptured by Retrievers, thugs hired by her fiancé, who take her back to her life as a trophy and virtual prisoner of the Paternalist candidate for governor. She'll have to decide whether she can live with her decision to save herself or whether she can sacrifice herself to bring an end to the Paternalist's stranglehold on women's lives and personal freedom.

Is it any good?

Catherine Linka's follow-up to A Girl Called Fearless is suspenseful and compelling but less meaty than its predecessor. It doesn't explore important social issues as it follows Avie's inner journey to making the right decisions, which gives it a more angsty, hand-wringing feel. Readers who haven't read the first book may feel lost, as some of the recapping of what came before is convoluted and confusing. Details about women's lives under the authoritarian government are rediscovered late in the novel, and, until they are, readers may find themselves wondering what the big deal is. The plotting is not as well structured, with some events seemingly happening at arbitrary moments.

But Avie is still a compelling, strong, believable hero, and teens who enjoyed the first book will enjoy rooting for A GIRL UNDONE as she struggles with choosing between saving herself and trying to help others. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sequels. If you've read both books, do you think the author had two volumes in mind from the start? Why are sequels and series so popular in all kinds of media (books, TV shows, movies)?

  • Would you try to run away or stay and continue the fight? If you'd stay, how would you fight for your freedom?

Book details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love dystopian novels and suspense

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate