Hotlanta

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
Hotlanta Book Poster Image
Rich twins find family secret. Formulaic but fun.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Both twins are pretty self-centered and shallow.

Violence

Lauren's boyfriend's brother is killed right on his front lawn. The girls discover that their father works for the mob.

Sex

Lauren tells her boyfriend she's a virgin, and wants him to be his first. He is interrupted on his way to get a condom.

Language

A range, from "hell" and "damn" to "s--t," and even the f-word.

Consumerism

Teen Vogue, Marc Jacobs, Roberto Cavalli, Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton, MAC, Diet Coke, Sidekick, etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book features lots of designer name dropping, some swearing, and a young couple who decides to have sex for the first time (though they don't end up actually doing it). The twins also spend time with men who have gotten out of jail (their father and Lauren's boyfriend's brother), attend the funeral of someone who is shot, and discover that their stepfather runs a gang.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bychristina4703 February 15, 2011
Hated it. The language is clunky and poorly constructed. The blatant consumerism, instead of making me envious of the twins' glamorous life, made me roll m... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTinkerboo618 January 6, 2011

My thoughts

Well i didn't finish reading the whole book i was almost done but i really like it i don't think its iffy because i wanted to learn age way ahead of... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bybookreader August 12, 2009

Good book whether everyone likes it or not.

I love it . It was one of the best books I've ever read. Even though suburban families may not enjoy it, urban books like these help people like me with li... Continue reading

What's the story?

Twins enjoy the princess life in Atlanta: attending the "premier, predominantly African-American private institution of learning in the Atlanta area," shopping for designer clothes, driving luxury cars, and generally having it all. But when good girl Sydney starts spending time with her father, who is just out of prison, and sexy Lauren hooks up with a boy from the right side of the tracks, they begin to find cracks in their perfect life -- including that their stepfather may actually be a mobster.

Is it any good?

Readers who like reading series about rich girls with problems will likely enjoy this debut about African-American twins growing up spoiled in Atlanta. At least as much as Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars or any other series. This book is contrived down to the last detail -- even Sydney's and Lauren's opposite natures seem scripted -- but it has all the stuff that many of today's teens are gripped by: It's packed with labels. It has romance. It even has intrigue: The girls discover that their father is not a car dealer, but rather a mobster.

The Duke twins don't give you a lot to like. Both seem self-centered, though Sydney is more concerned with good-girl appearances, while Lauren has a bit of a bad-girl rep. But there is probably enough drama here between Lauren's relationship with a boy from the poor side of town, and the girls' recent revelation about the stepfather who has always bought them everything, to keep readers looking forward to the next installment. Hopefully, next time around the girls will gain a bit more depth -- and maybe actually solve a few of their problems.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of series about rich girls. What is it about these books that are appealing? Like most of the books, Hotlanta is filled with lots of designer labels, makeup, and cars. Why do the authors label-drop like this? Does it make you more aware of labels? Does it make you want to buy more designer goods?

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