A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Gasp is the third book in popular author Lisa McMann's Visions series, following Crash and Bang. It brings the trilogy to a satisfying close with a fast-moving plot, appealingly believable characters, suspense, and moral quandaries. As in the previous installments, there's lots of typical teen profanity ("s--t," "f--k," and "douche," for example) and a couple of steamy make-out scenes. Many of the teens' choices (such as cutting school to travel to another city and getting caught up in a maritime disaster) would terrify any parent, but it's all part of their heroic efforts to save victims of a future catastrophe. Amid the hormones, teen angst, and affectionate sibling bickering, there are more adult issues: A long-ago affair involving some parents still affects their children; Sawyer has fled a father who beats him; and Jules' father suffers from depression and has become a hoarder. A family loses everything in a fire, and the teens aren't quick enough to prevent people from dying of carbon monoxide poisoning.
What's the story?
Scions of warring pizza dynasties in the Chicago suburbs, Jules DeMarco and Sawyer Angotti would like to be normal teens in love, but they know the "vision curse" that struck them with vivid previews of deadly disasters has moved to one of the survivors of their last adventure, and they have to be there to help. So do Jules' siblings, Trey and Rowan, along with Trey's new love interest, Ben. As they try to save the next round of unknown victims, the teens face other challenges, from a house fire to lifelong personal terrors.
Is it any good?
The looming peril, well-paced revelations, lively plot, problem-solving challenges, race against the clock -- and Jules' appealing sense of humor -- will keep readers riveted.
We'd strongly recommend reading the first two books in the Visions series before GASP so you're familiar with the characters and issues. In various plot threads, the characters come into their own, in romantic relationships and in crucial decision-making. As in the previous books, they use a fair amount of crude language; a couple of make-out scenes don't use explicit language but are still pretty vivid.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why stories about being able to see the future and prevent disasters from happening are so popular. Do you have any favorites? How does the Visions series compare?
Do you find Gasp believable, in the sense that you can imagine something similar involving your friends or family? How might that go? How would the different people make the story different?
Would you find it hard to go back to your normal life after having a heroic adventure? Why, or why not?
- Author: Lisa McMann
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and sisters, Friendship, High school, Misfits and underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publication date: June 3, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 288
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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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.