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Loved: House of Night Other World, Book 1

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Loved: House of Night Other World, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Spin-off more chummy reunion than zombie apocalypse.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Readers can compare the vampire lore here -- two kinds actually, with the introduction of a parallel world -- with other vampire stories they've read. Also, there's a hint of Japanese Five Element philosophy in the casting of circles of protection.

Positive Messages

It's important to work through grief instead of feeling shame about it. Choose healing over self-destruction. Accept comfort from loved ones when you need it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Zoey has some discomfort in her leadership role but works past it to guide others. Aphrodite makes a conscious decision to not turn to alcohol and pills when she's stressed. Damien learns how to work through depression and loss and ask for help when he needs it.

Violence

Zombie-horror-movie-style violence involving a fountain of blood, the tearing of limbs from bodies, cannibalism, a head severed with a sword, an arrow through the neck of a zombie/vampire, and a ripped-out throat. Dozens of humans are killed. Three vampires commit suicide by threatening law enforcement. A vision of a zombie/vampire tearing out a neck with its teeth. A pill/booze mix overdose resulting in death. A mention of a father raping a daughter, of an abusive father strangled to death, of slit wrists after a bout of depression, and of priestesses decapitated, disemboweled, and nailed to a gate.  

Sex

Almost-18-year-old has sex with boyfriend, not described. Gay characters kissing and someone joking they wanted to watch "boy-on-boy action." A joke about a girl being "slutty."

Language

Gets creative with most offensive language: "oh my holy s--t f--k." Also, crass but not so creative like "eat p---y." "F--k" said often by one character. "Bitch," "ass," and "hell" said by many.

Consumerism

Many high-end products and stores mentioned for a posh character: Saks, Nordstrom, Burberry, and more. Mentions of Count Chocula cereal, Joss Whedon, The Breakfast Club, Finding Nemo, Project Runway, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mixing of Xanax and mimosas, Xanax and scotch, etc., by an older teen and an adult. A lesson is learned by one character, and another dies of an overdose. "Damn, she's touchy. She should drink more," is uttered.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Loved: House of Night Other World, Book 1 is the first in a spin-off series launched 10 years after the first House of Night novel, Marked. Readers get a character refresher in a quick foreword, but overall it helps to have read the previous series before delving into this one. This continues to be for high school and up with mature content across the board: heavy swearing, substance abuse, the tackling of depression and loss, sex between straight characters and LGBTQ characters (though not well described), and, oh yeah, the zombie-vampires. Get ready for some cannibalism, torn limbs from live bodies, the works. It feels more horror movie than intense visceral experience, but there's still cannibalism involved. Besides zombie violence, there's a drug overdose and suicide by threatening law enforcement.

User Reviews

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Teen, 16 years old Written byMurray The Pizza November 8, 2017

This is a terrible book

Worse than twilight. If you’ve started the series you know how bad it is. It’s poorly written by a mom and her daughter. The mom tries to imagine what it’d like... Continue reading

What's the story?

In LOVED, it's almost High Priestess Zoey Redbird's birthday when the visions and prophecies start rolling in. First Zoey is told to find the imprisoned Neferet's childhood diary to avoid coming danger, then her friend Aphrodite gets a vision of a zombie apocalypse starting in the park where Neferet lies entombed. Luckily, all her friends are coming for what's now a spoiled surprise party, so they can cast a circle of protection in the park. When they're almost finished, Aphrodite's highly suspicious mother interrupts the ceremony and the zombies are upon them all, eating any human they can get their hands on. But they're not just any zombies. They appear to be a form of vampire soldier, and some look very familiar. Damien's sure that his boyfriend, Jack, is there, and Zoey sees someone who looks exactly like her brother. Zoey needs to protect Tulsa, but she needs answers, too. Because Jack is supposed to be dead, and her brother already exists in this world, and not as a cannibalistic vampire.

Is it any good?

Usually when a story features zombies, you expect action and gore, but with an excess of chummy chit-chat, this spin-off comes off as a teen vampire reunion instead. There's a vampire reunion with characters readers know from the first House of Night series (the "Nerd Herd") having lengthy meet-and-greets in the cafeteria before their issues pop up and need to be dealt with, like pill and drug abuse and depression. The zombie apocalypse almost gets lost in the shuffle. Paring down the often too-cutesy dialogue ("awesome-sauce" comes up often) would lend more gravitas to what should be big revelations about parallel worlds and family ties. This mother-daughter writing team may just be having too much fun with characters they've missed writing about, but at the expense of taut and exciting storytelling. And with zombies in the mix, how hard can it really be?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the zombie vampires in Loved. Were their feeding frenzies jarring or were they over-the-top enough to make you think of the silliness of old horror films? When does it cross the line one way or the other?

  • What does Aphrodite learn about herself? How did her addiction alter her personality?

  • Will you read Book 2 in this series? Why or why not?

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For kids who love vampires and romantic fantasy

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