A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Mildly positive messaging on what defines sexuality and gender and how one should treat their friends.
Positive Role Models
The main characters do some stupid things in the process of learning more about themselves -- including drinking and trying to have sex with people to escape their problems -- but ultimately they show progress working through their problems. Teens can learn from their experiences.
Violence & Scariness
A mild fight between two guys and some threats of violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of sexual banter, sexual encounters, and one girl repeatedly talks about and tries to lose her virginity. Also talk of some pictures a couple took while having sex and a group of guys who trade girls after they've had sex with them, then rate them according to a chart.
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Usage of "s--t" and "damn" throughout the novel.
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Products & Purchases
Most name-brand use like Vivienne Westwood and Converse are used descriptively particularly when one of the characters is talking about her stylist/fashion designer training.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Several under-21 characters drink alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that like the first book in this series, Cycler, this novel deals with themes of sexuality, gender, and relationships. There are sexual situations with descriptions (including mentions of teens trading partners and rating them and a girl trying to lose her virginity), lots of teen drinking, some swearing ("s--t" and "damn"), and very mild violence by way of a fist fight.
Is It Any Good?
After the action-packed, brain-twisting first novel, Cycler fans may be disappointed in (RE)CYCLER. Author Lauren McLaughlin still incorporates a wicked, witty voice to the piece as seen through the eyes of both Jack and Jill, but some of the sheen has rubbed off of this one. The book mainly centers around Jill's dating issues and mundane existence. Jack is struggling to find a place in a world he only exists for four days a month, while trying to maintain his relationship with Ramie. There are some intriguing characters and events that do perk the novel up in places, but the majority of this book feels like it's just a segue to the next one in the series.
The ending is open with plenty of possibilities of the next book, however, many readers will likely wish McLaughlin had finished this one first. True fans will hang on in hopes of a third book while those new to the series might want to start with the first one -- or they'll be as gender-confused as Jack and Jill.
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.