A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Offers an opportunity to discuss Celtic folklore.
Families stick together in times of trouble. It's possible to withstand the temptations of alcohol and magic.
Positive Role Models
Brave, loyal, and compassionate, Lou is willing to enter the Goblin Market to save her family. Each of the Wicket women put their lives on the line for the others.
There's mention of various skin tones and diverse sexual orientations, including main character Lou, who identifies as asexual. Virtually all of the characters are of British heritage. The York witches treated differently from refugees of other nationalities.
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Violence & Scariness
No Good for Maidens features many violent and scary scenes. Graphic descriptions of severed limbs and chewed-on torsos. Not for the faint of heart.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
May and Eitra are extremely attracted to each other, They kiss passionately but keep their clothes on.
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Most of the infrequent swearing is limited to "damn" and "hell," but "f--k" is used a dozen times after plans go awry and scenes get particularly intense.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Many forbidden, intoxicating fruits are eaten in the Goblin Market. Some overindulgent drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tori Bovalino's Not Good for Maidens is a modern-day fantasy of witches and magic set in the Goblin Market of York, England. There's some passionate kissing, overindulgent drinking, and infrequent swearing ("hell," "damn," and "f--k" in particularly intense scenes). There's bloody, graphic violence and the threat thereof throughout the novel, including scenes filled with descriptions of severed and chewed-on human body parts. But this fantasy is also surprisingly romantic, with diverse sexual orientations, including main character Lou, who identifies as asexual.
Is It Any Good?
Goblins don't appear often in modern horror, but this intense fantasy uses their full potential. Author Tori Bovalino weaves a gritty tale of subterranean terror based on Celtic folklore. Each of the female characters is multidimensional, each captured by the magic of the Goblin Market. There are plenty of creepy bits of business as humans fall prey to the goblins, but horror fans will enjoy the intricate, surprisingly romantic narrative. Bovalino shows the dangers of winning your heart's desire and proves herself to be a young fantasy writer to follow.
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.
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