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The Celebutantes: On the Avenue
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this novel centers around a murder -- and finding out who did it. Along the way, there's another murder and a face-off with a gun. Both murders are barely described. The triplet sisters who try to solve the crimes smoke cigars, wear designer clothes, and launch a designer fashion label. One sister makes out with a movie star she just met, and another has had a sexual relationship with the heir to a rival family.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Three New York socialite triplets -- the cleverly named Park, Lexington, and Madison Hamilton -- find themselves suspects when a fashion magazine editor with dirt on their family is killed. Together, they try to solve the murder, hoping to clear their names. They also try to find a mystical diamond connected to their family that was also stolen that night. Oh, and they launch a fashion label, too.
Is it any good?
There's plenty to keep readers going: three beautiful rich triplets, a movie star, a cute family rival, murders, the launch of the Hamilton sisters' fashion line, and a missing diamond. The gem in question is fabled to "forever protect and preserve the eminent expanse of Fifth -- from Central Park right down to Washington Square. Shoppers would always feel at home, and the world's greatest retailers would flourish and expand."
The author certainly had fun writing this book, and readers will have fun, too, if they are willing to overlook the formulaic writing (such as the scripted protagonists, who boil down to the good girl, the sensible one, and the wild child).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the continuing popularity of the girl clique series. Now there are series involving murder mysteries and even rich kid vampires -- what are the limits of the genre? How far can authors push it before readers lose interest? Also, what are some of the genre's trappings (think wealthy kids, designer clothes, bad behavior)? Why is this formula appealing?