A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
This may be a good choice for teens who don't consider themselves readers -- all those IM messages make those pages turn quickly. Parents who want to read this book with their teens could talk about some of the characters' choices -- including sex, drinking, and pranks. See our "Families Can Talk About" section for some other more general ideas.
There's more sex and bad behavior on display in this book than in the others in the series, but teens ready for the content will find a story about strong girl friendships, and girls who are on the way to finding themselves (even while they make some missteps).
Positive Role Models
Teens do pull pranks, have sex, drink until they throw up, etc., but they do have a tight bond and are a good support system for one another.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Teen loses virginity, performs oral sex, describes safe sex practice, kissing, fondling. Stepmother caught having affair with another man. Aunt of character has party with sex toy theme. A prank involves posting a fake ad for sex.
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Plenty of swear words like "holy s--t," "damn," "dumbass," f--kers," "hell."
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Products & Purchases
Name dropping of celebrities, stores, and products, such as Starbucks and Jeep.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking beer and throwing up, Vicodin is offered at parties, references to classmates who use drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this third installment in the popular series features more sex and bad behavior than in the others, all conveyed through instant messages and chats. One main character loses her virginity, while the other two also have romantic, physical relationships with boyfriends. Teens drink heavily and throw up, participate in drinking games, and there are references to using drugs and abusing prescription drugs. Mean-spirited pranks include posting a faux ad for sex. A stepmom has an affair. An aunt has a party with a sex toy theme. But young adult readers who are ready for the mature content will find a decent beach read about three very close, caring, and unique friends.
Is It Any Good?
Young adult readers who are ready for the mature content will find a decent beach read about three very close, caring, and unique friends. In the end, the girls finish their senior year with more understanding about who they are, excitement about their futures, and the security of knowing they're only a computer connection away. The book is a great lesson for parents in Teenspeak 101.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.