What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Season of the Witch is a psychological thriller that, like Gossip Girl, portrays life on the Upper East Side of New York as an empire of private school teens, casual sex, drinking, and drugs, self-harm, and eating disorders. Throw in some serious bullying and witchcraft, and there are dire consequences. Suicide attempts are depicted, and some people die. There's lots of swearing (including "s--t," "a--hole," and "f--k" and its variations). Teen sex is used as power or to exact revenge.
What's the story?
Toni and her friends attend DeKalb Community School in New York City, a school started by professors at DeKalb University \"so that they'd have a cheap private school to send their kids to.\" Summer's over, and as school begins Toni knows she's in trouble. Alcohol was consumed; mistakes were made. She admits that she doesn't like to \"remember some of the things I did.\" Mean-girl Chloe, however, is poised to attack Toni for hooking up with her ex, Oliver. She threatens to make Toni's life a living hell. Toni's best friend Ella can't do anything to protect her, but Ella's strange cousin Cassandra can. Toni discovers that Cassandra practices witchcraft, and the two of them cast hexes and spells on the bullying girls. The spells seem to be powerful, and revenge feels sweet, until terrible things start to happen.
Is it any good?
SEASON OF THE WITCH is a smart, well-written page-turner featuring kids living a sophisticated city life. The city-savvy kids in this book have been exposed to their parents' affairs and to all manner of sex, drugs, and violence, and they suffer under their parents' very high expectations. Like Gossip Girl, this world is exciting, edgy, and seductive to teens. However, the consequences of their edgy behavior are extreme, and some people die.
Mariah Fredericks writes with a very strong voice, which suits the female characters who struggle to find the identity that brings them power. The main character, Toni, understands that although the princess in the fairy tale merely waits for the prince to save her, the witch takes control and sometimes wins. References to the mythological Cassandra and the ancient goddess Hecate are not lost on the educated reader, so the soap opera quality of the theme has some academic cred. But for teens who love Gossip Girl and Twilight, this book will scratch a certain witchy itch.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about female roles and stereotypes. How much does a reputation matter? What happens when your reputation is soiled or ruined? What can you do?
Toni feels that she can't tell her parents or teachers about being bullied. Who can you talk to when you need more help than your friends can provide?
What are your views about teen sex? Is it OK in a committed relationship? Is it something you want to wait for? Can you talk with your parents about it?
|Topics:||Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, High school, Misfits and underdogs|
|Publisher:||Schwartz & Wade|
|Publication date:||October 8, 2013|
|Number of pages:||256|
|Publisher's recommended age(s):||14 - 17|
|Available on:||Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, Nook|