A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there isn't much to worry about in this book, except for one upsetting scene in which a child drowns in a bathtub. The protagonists also stop a teen from jumping off a balcony and have a final showdown with an evil fairy that involves fire and blood. Also, two fairies -- who are brother and sister -- are in love. On the plus side, the protagonists are good friends to one another, despite their differences.
What's the story?
After four friends put on temporary tattoos they buy at a mall, they start receiving special powers: narrator Bailey can start fires, for example, while her friend Annabelle can read minds.
\ \ Slowly, they start to realize that they were given their powers for a reason: To stop an evil fairy who is killing innocent people -- and threatens to kill their friends at a school dance.
Is it any good?
This fantasy features four fun female protagonists who are not only there for each other, but are able to work together to save the world. There are some great moments, most of which come from fashion-obsessed Delia, who delivers some feisty lines, such as: "Wait a second ... Are you telling me that this whole apocalypse-y 'our lives, your fight, both worlds' thing started because of some kind of twisted fairy love triangle?"
But readers might have a hard time believing in the premise (they got their powers from temporary tattoos), and the four characters are the typical mix (there's the brain, the feisty one, etc). The fantasy elements are complicated, and readers may lose interest before they figure out all the pieces. Fans of the fantasy genre might find enough here to like, but there are many better choices to help you develop interest in the genre.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of science fiction and fantasy novels. What is it that allows us to get so wrapped up in these stories, even though we usually know they're going to end with a final face-off? Do you prefer fantasy stories that involve mystical creatures, or ones focused more on science and life in the future? If you were going to create a fantasy, what would it entail?