A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bang is the second installment of Lisa McCann's Visions trilogy, which started with Crash. Like the first book, Bang has profanity galore ("f--k," "s--t," "crap," "boob," and antigay slurs), and there's more sexual talk than in Crash. There are also a couple of steamy make-out scenes, violence (a school shooting, general brawling, a father who beats his son), and two sets of dysfunctional parents. But the book also has a strong moral compass: Despite raging hormones, teen love, and her parents' constant paranoia that she's pregnant, 16-year-old protagonist Jules is not sexually active; she's strongly loyal to her siblings and works hard to help her family. There are true ethical dilemmas: How much obligation do we really have to help strangers, and what happens if we walk away? Also, as star-crossed, family-feud-plagued lovers go, Jules and Sawyer do a better job than, say, Romeo and Juliet in taking control of and responsibility for their lives.
What's the story?
Picking up where Crash left off, BANG finds 16-year-old Julia (Jules) DeMarco recovering from her injuries after heading off a catastrophic accident that constantly appeared to her in visions. Also, after years of apparently unrequited love for classmate Sawyer Angotti, they're now a couple -- aside from the fact that their parents still hate one another and the family feud still rages. The hormones also are raging when the two teens manage a few minutes alone, but they have a bigger problem: Ever since Jules averted the accident that was supposed to kill Sawyer, she hasn't been troubled by any more visions, but he's bombarded by scenes of a mass shooting. Along with Jules' siblings Trey and Rowan, they struggle to figure out what the vision means and how to avert the mayhem.
Is it any good?
There's plenty to keep teen readers riveted here. The family drama and visions of disaster add constant suspense, and the steamy make-out scenes are punctuated by speculation on how sex suddenly makes the whole world different. Prolific author Lisa McCann crafts a compelling (if somewhat frothy and potty-mouthed) tale that raises plenty of real-life issues: coping with abusive families, building real relationships, and the kindness of strangers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why stories about teen lovers whose families hate each other have been so popular over time. How do Jules and Sawyer compare with other couples in the same situation?
Do you think that Jules and Sawyer make the right decision in trying to save strangers at great risk to themselves? Do you think you'd do the same?
Have you encountered any examples of homophobic behavior, violent or otherwise? What was it? How did you react?
- Author: Lisa McMann
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publication date: October 8, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 256
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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