Once Dead, Twice Shy: Madison Avery, Book 1

Common Sense Media says

Supernatural story without too much violence.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence

Some fantasy violence, a car accident in which a girl is killed but comes back to life, reapers take the lives of humans, a water-skiing accident with injury.

Sex

Some mentions of kissing.

Language

"Bitch" and "ass" used.

Consumerism

A sneaker brand is mentioned.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is pretty mild for a young adult
novel -- a bit of moderate cursing, some mild fantasy violence, and a
car accident in which the main character is (sort of) killed. Some
parents who have firm religious ideas about the afterlife may find
this offensive.

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What's the story?

Madison was killed in a car wreck caused by an anti-free-will dark reaper who wanted to prevent something in her future. But
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before she died she grabbed his amulet, which allows her to continue as
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if she is living but draws the wrath of the reaper and his minions who
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want to complete her death and get back the amulet. Protected by a
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Guardian Angel and the light reaper, she struggles to survive and to
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learn to control the amulet. But there's more going on here than any
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of them realize, and Madison may have a role to play in the politics
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of the afterlife.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Author Kim Harrison has a talent for keeping the action flying
along without resorting to the kind of grim and gruesome violence
typical of teen urban fantasies. She does this with a light touch,
original ideas, a complex plot with an even more complex back story,
and nearly nonstop action and suspense. In between readers will find a
delightfully snarky Guardian Angel, a mix of high school and afterlife
politics, and some interesting ideas about the nature of
life, death, and reality.

This is another example of a book betrayed by its cover. The picture
shows a heavily made-up platinum blonde girl, with an ornate title on
a pink background. Take the paper cover off and you find a pink wing
embossed on the hardcover. It practically screams, "This book is just
for girls!" But the story itself would be enjoyable for anyone who
likes a light and exciting fantasy, with plenty of humor and action.
It's a shame that probably only half of its potential audience will
ever open it up to see what's inside.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the afterlife. Major

  • religions and many stories, including this one, present ideas about

  • the afterlife. What do you think of this one?

  • Is it anything like others you have heard or read about?

  • Is it anything like the way you think it will be? Is there any way to know?

  • The idea of hierarchies of higher and lower beings is not new -- why is that idea so common?

Book details

Author:Kim Harrison
Genre:Fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:May 26, 2009
Number of pages:240
Read aloud:12
Read alone:12

This review of Once Dead, Twice Shy: Madison Avery, Book 1 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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