Parents' Guide to

Seven Deadlies: A Cautionary Tale

By Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violent satire sees rich high schoolers through their sins.

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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SEVEN DEADLIES is such a strange story it's hard to decide exactly how to take it. With her practical, straight braids and common-sense attitude, Perry makes for a likable misfit narrator, and it's easy to relate to her take on modern parenting and overindulged children ("We should have a parade for the word no, have an annual No Day....No could save humanity. No to war, no to poverty, no to video games").

But, as with a lot of novels told through installments, some of the short stories here work better than others. Readers will remember the boy in "Gluttony," who not only eats the family cat but also his own flesh. But "Envy" lacks any real energy -- a missed opportunity for a more original story, especially since, according to Perry's wise mother, Envy is "the most dangerous sin of all." Readers may be puzzled by the conclusion, a letter from Perry's mom that introduces a new spin on the stories, and they may feel that, rather than adding mystery, it undermines her daughter's hard-won realizations about sins and happiness.

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