A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kill the Boy Band is a zany, madcap whodunit about four fangirls who go way too far in pursuit of their boy-band obsession. Best for older teens due to frequent profanity (including "f--k," "s--t," and made-up, colorful combinations of swear words) and their occasional use of highly sexualized talk ("I'd swallow" when talking about a man's attractiveness). A kidnapping, a death, and solving the mystery are the main plot points. There's no gore, but a body fallen from a tall building is briefly described, the kidnapping victim is described tied to a chair, and strangulation is speculated about. There's some food for thought about celebrity and fans' roles in creating or ending it and about fan-type obsession being an age-appropriate exploration of attraction versus using your talents and energies on something more important than a boy band.
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What's the story?
Obsessed with the boy band the Ruperts, four high school girls get a room in the hotel where the band is staying in Manhattan, hoping to increase their chances of meeting them. After a chance encounter at the ice machine, one of the Ruperts is knocked unconscious and dragged back to the girls' room. If only they could have realized that kidnapping was only the beginning of the trouble they'd get into. To get out unscathed, are they going to have to KILL THE BOY BAND?
Is it any good?
This book is fast-paced, madcap, and hilariously way over the top, so teens who can handle comic exaggeration and some very frank sex talk will enjoy laughing their way through the crazy caper. Think Stephanie Plum meets Weekend at Bernie's. Teens will relate to the four friends' obsession and to the narrator's feelings as events around her spiral out of control. Surprises around every corner, clues, red herrings, betrayals, and a perfect first kiss make it a fun, light read for older teens who understand negative examples.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about strong language in books, TV, and movies. Is it a big deal? Why? Is it how you talk to your friends?
Do you agree with Erin that boy bands turn fans into zombies and that fans should find better outlets for their talents and emotions? Or is the narrator right, that obsessing over cute boys is what you're supposed to do as a teen? Why?
Is there something you're a big fan of right now -- music, a movie franchise, a game, a book series? How do you think it will seem to you five or 10 years from now?
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