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 some fantasy violence: Pixies drain blood from boys they kidnap from the woods. A werewolf and weretiger kill two teens. Zara pulls an arrow out of a werewolf shot in the woods, and later has her arm broken when she herself is kidnapped. Characters use some light swear words, and Zara and her new boyfriend share some steamy smooches. Zara doesn't always listen to the advice of those around her, but she does rather fearlessly fight to save those she loves.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
After her beloved step-father dies, Zara moves to her grandmother's in Maine only to discover that she is being chased by a blood-thirsty pixie king. Oh, and also her new boyfriend is a shapeshifter who turns into a wolf sometimes. But what does the pixie king want with her? And what will she do when she has more revelations about the magical natures of the friends and family she loves -- and makes a surprising discovery about herself?
Is it any good?
This book will certainly make you reexamine the stereotypes of cute little mischief-loving pixies. The ones in this book are creepy -- and out for blood. There is a lot of plot here, but readers will be enthralled enough with the mystery to stick with it (and forgive characters who never become completely alive).
Zara's sarcastic sense of humor -- even when she is angry or scared -- keeps this book from getting too intense. ("Oh, thanks. Pixie Lesson 112, right?" she says to the pixie king when he tries to explain about the glamour he's put over the hideout.). Add in some passionate kissing scenes between Zara and her werewolf boyfriend, and you've got a winning debut. Fantasy fans will quickly swallow up this book, and be eager to bite into the next installment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of vampires, werewolves, pixies, and more. Why do you think these characters are especially popular in young adult reads?
Many characters, like Zara, have to learn to accept the truth about
their own real nature. Do all teens -- even the non-vampire kind --
have to go through a self-acceptance exercise?
Zara isn't sure at first if Nick can be trusted -- or if he is actually a
Pixie. Can you think of other fantasy novels where the heroine has a
romantic interest in someone who may do her harm (like, um, Bella
in Twilight)? What do you think about this dynamic? What is appealing
about it to young female readers? Why might it be problematic?
Our editors recommend
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.