A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book features both fantastical creature and murders, though violence is pretty limited. Kaylee has to deal with demons -- both real ones and symbolic ones (like accepting that her mother died so she can live). Also, it is a Harlequin, so expect some romance (although, making out is as far as the main characters go). Some characters drink, and an adult gives her daughter sleeping pills that aren't prescribed to her. In the end, though, the heroine is a strong character who fights for those she loves. Fantasy fans may even be inspired to research the myths this story is based around.
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What's the story?
It's a crazy four days for Kaylee. Pretty girls keep dropping dead around her for no apparent cause -- and she is able to predict their untimely deaths just before they happen. Luckily good lookin' Nash has an explanation about what's really happening and some ideas for how to stop it. He also has a voice that seems to calm her -- and some hot kisses to keep her distracted.
Is it any good?
Well, this is certainly not going to meet anyone's definition of a classic, but it is good fun. There are mythical creatures, a dark mystery, a romance, and even some humor along the way ("Minions!" Thinks Kaylee during her final face off with a grim reaper "She did not just call me a minion!"). Readers may be surprised that Kaylee can process so much in just four days -- from finding out she's not human to hooking up with her first boyfriend (not to mention discovering why all the pretty girls around her keep dropping dead for no reason). But those who love a fast-paced fantasy novel will keep up with this plot-heavy book -- the first in a series -- and eagerly await the next installment about the feisty heroine.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of the fantasy book series. This is just part one of the Soul Screamers series -- do you think you'll read the next one? What is so great about a series? Why do think they are so popular right now, especially those series that feature vampires, werewolves, and other mythical creatures?
On a related note, Kaylee has to accept the fact that she is not human. Families can discuss what kinds of creatures they'd like to be (or not) -- and why that idea of being something supernatural might be appealing to teens who are exploring -- and learning to accept -- their own identities.
Also, Harlequins have been around for a long time -- and teens have been reading them long before the HarlequinTeen imprint was launched. Why would a publisher decided to publish these just for teens? How are they different from their adult counterparts? Which do you prefer?
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