Parents' Guide to

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Compelling coming-of-ager blends sci-fi and folklore.

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Kids say (2 ):

This well-written novel takes on a lot of issues thoughtfully and gracefully, but there's a split down the middle that may make some readers feel like they're suddenly reading a whole different book. The first half reads like a lovely coming-of-ager, with Sia grieving her mother, falling in love, dealing with racism, trying to recover from a sexual assault, and more. These elements are all effectively and compellingly blended with memories of her mother and grandmother telling her stories that connect her to her past, and to the whole universe. About halfway through, it suddenly becomes a sci-fi action thriller with spacecraft, aliens, a huge conspiracy, the whole nine yards. It's an exciting, well-written, and fast-paced thriller, for sure. But instead of seeming like an unexpected twist, it feels more like it should've been its own, separate book.

There's one small part of the wrap-up that doesn't ring true, but otherwise Sia is a believable character teens will easily relate to as she tries to find her place in her world and in the universe. Mature sexual content and lots of strong languag and violence make it best for older teens and up.

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