A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Shadowlands is a serial-killer thriller that takes a sharp turn into the supernatural by the end of the novel. The violence quotient is not particularly high, and a handful of intense, bloody scenes prove less lethal than they initially appear, but there are some stabbings and gunfights. Chapters from the killer's point of view may disturb some particularly sensitive readers but should not be a problem for most. There's a small amount of swearing ("hell," "damn," "ass," "bitch"), a bit of flirtation and making out among the characters, and a few depictions of underage drinking.
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What's the story?
Rory Miller is targeted by a seemingly unstoppable serial killer who will go to any length to make her his latest victim. Unable to protect her at her home, the FBI sends Rory, along with her sister, Darcy, and their father, to a remote island where they will live under new identities. But once they reach Juniper Landing, Rory still feels as if the killer night be stalking her. Almost as unsettling is the behavior of the other teens on the island, who seem to share a secret that involves Rory and Darcy.
Is it any good?
SHADOWLANDS starts strongly, with a game of cat-and-mouse between Rory and her would-be killer. But once the action relocates to Juniper Landing, the passive-aggressive natives and Rory's traumatized-yet-still-somewhat-annoying father and sister derail much of the plot's suspense. There's a big reveal at the end of the novel that puts everything before it into a new perspective and sets the stage, presumably, for sequels. Some readers will be intrigued and excited for more. Others may feel cheated.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes stories about a serial killer popular. Is it the suspense? The creepy killer? The terrorized protagonist?
Mysteries and thrillers are often set in tourist/resort towns -- what makes them different from places where the population is more permanent? And what about those characteristics are good for stroytelling?
What might be like to leave behind your home, school, and friends to protect your family from someone who wants to harm them?
- Author: Kate Brian
- Genre: Mystery
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
- Publication date: January 8, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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