A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Fans of this book may want to go on to read other fantasies and mysteries. See our recommended book lists for some ideas.
Good versus evil themes. Cassel demonstrates the importance of standing up for what you believe in -- and teaches that we are not always victims of our environments. Some people are able to break the chains and flourish -- like he does.
Positive Role Models
Cassel is a kindhearted and thoughtful teen. Although it's difficult for him to make the right decisions, (with his family encouraging him to make poor ones) he always does the commendable thing. Cassel has many opportunities to act selfishly upon situations that he would better from, but he refuses to take advantage of others even if it means he could come out on top.
Violence & Scariness
Cassel's mother hits him across the face. A riot takes place between political parties, and the police use unnecessary brutality against the workers. There are also references made to past murders.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Cassel's mother dresses skimpily and wears heavy makeup, using her sex appeal to attract men. Lila has sex with a boy just to make Cassel jealous. Later, in a descriptive scene Cassel and Lila almost go all the way. Clothes are taken off, and there is passionate kissing and touching.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Cassel's abusive mother calls him a "moron" and a "stupid idiot."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
This book is filled with brand names: Gucci, Mercedes Benz, Dolce & Gabbana, and Armani are thrown around as high-profile people advertise their wealth. Cassel has zero tolerance for the teens at his school who try so hard to keep up appearances, especially when he knows that none of it really matters in the larger scope of life.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens get drunk to forget about their problems. Teen characters smoke cigarettes, and there are a few scenes where people are doing cocaine.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this installment is more mature than the first book. Cassel's mother is psychologically unstable and projects her own self-loathing onto her son with emotional and physical abuse. Also, Lila has sex with a boy to make Cassel jealous and, later in a descriptive scene, Cassel and Lila almost go all the way. Clothes are taken off and there is passionate kissing and touching. Teens drink heavily to deal with the pain they are suffering from, and there are references to cocaine. But the protagonist is a good role model who refuses to bend to his bad upbringing: Cassel has many opportunities to act selfishly, but he refuses to take advantage of others and always does the commendable thing.
Is It Any Good?
This book is more mature than White Cat, the first of its series, but it's more fun, too. Black's teen characters evolve into charming and independent free spirits here, from loner Cassel who struggles to do the right thing to hipster Lila, who is confident and comfortable in her own skin. Readers can't help but become enthralled with the characters' witty banter, which is both playful and boisterous. These well-developed characters add to the fun of this magical mystery installment. Readers will have plenty to sort out with the teen protagonist, including who he should trust with his life -- and his heart.
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.