A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The book encourages further reading of Gothic literature.
Young people should be free to explore gender and sexuality.
Positive Role Models
Adelle and Connie are good friends -- loyal, sensitive, compassionate. They rescue themselves and look after others.
Main characters read as White. Some racial diversity among supporting cast.
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Violence & Scariness
Battles against slimy monsters, with little actual bloodshed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One character discovers she's attracted to girls and experiences her first kiss. Another flirts with a boy but has little time for romance.
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Sparse use of "hell" and "damn."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Book of Living Secrets is a historical horror novel by Madeleine Roux, set mostly in Boston of the 1800s. Modern-day teens Adelle and Connie are so obsessed with the Gothic romance Moira that they find a way to enter the pages of the book. Violence includes battles against slimy monsters, with little bloodshed. One character discovers she's attracted to girls and experiences her first kiss. Another flirts with a boy. There's sparse use of "hell" and "damn."
Is It Any Good?
Readers often dream of being carried off into their favorite settings, and this clever and eerie horror story explores the dangers of literary obsession. Author Madeleine Roux creates a solid horror tale that emphasizes the power of friendship. The young women find little that is as expected on their journey, providing surprising twists for the reader's enjoyment and keeping the level of suspense high. Creepy fun with a literary twist.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate