A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Chaos of Stars is a great book for fantasy-loving moms and teen daughters to enjoy together. It depicts a difficult mother-daughter relationship on the mend and all the push-pull that happens when teens need freedom and space from parents but also need to know they are deeply cared for. Isis, the immortal Egyptian goddess, is the mom in question here, so expect to learn quite a bit about the gods of ancient Egypt. Her daughter, Isadora, moves to San Diego and meets new friends and a dreamy love interest. She also meets with some danger, suffering a concussion and a near snake bite. Language is mild ("piss," "screw it," "bastard," "freaking"), and the sexual content stays mostly in innuendo territory, though there's a kiss or two and the story of Egyptian god infidelity. Isadora discovers Coke in the states and drinks it constantly.
What's the story?
Isadora has about had it with her mom, Isis, Egyptian goddess of motherhood and fertility. Isis is pregnant again, and four years ahead of schedule -- Isadora is only 16, and Isis usually waits 20 years between children. After the baby announcement, Isadora's dad, Osiris, god of the underworld, simply points to Isadora and says, \"What about this one?\" Between that and her realization that her immortal parents don't seem to care enough to make her immortal too, Isadora begs to go to San Diego and live with her older, also mortal, brother, Sirus. She's thrilled about the sudden freedom until she finds out her mom signed her up for a job helping organize an ancient Egypt exhibit of pieces she just donated. Can she ever get away from her family? At least she has new friends: a sweet and dorky girl named Tyler, and Ry, a boy whose hypnotic eyes she could get lost in, but won't. Isadora decides there's no way her short mortal life can handle anything else that won't last forever.
Is it any good?
Actiony and adventure-filled this is not -- until the very end. When a fantasy tale throws ancient gods in the mix, readers expect the following: a dangerous quest, vengeful gods with impossible requests, teens with powers. OK, we've all been reading a lot from Rick Riordan. THE CHAOS OF STARS may be as witty or wittier than Percy Jackson, but the closest thing Isis' 16-year-old daughter, Isadora, has to powers is a knowledge of all languages and a keen eye for how to decorate any room in your home.
So no, it's not a "boy book." In fact, girls, grab a copy for mom and get ready for a low-key but meaningful discussion on mother-daughter relationships. Isadora starts the book desperate to be away from her mother and slowly works toward understanding her. Or, you could also just enjoy Chaos for the sweet romance. Ry's all kinds of dreamy -- those eyes -- and you'll be yelling at your book until stubborn Isadora admits she's fallen for him. While we're all wondering if she'll ever listen to reason, the sparring dialog between Isadora and Ry is big fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about families, mortal and immortal. Do you think bestowing some human-seeming foibles made these gods more accessible and easier to understand for the ancient Egyptians? What other religions had gods with negative qualities?
Moms and daughters: Talk about Isis and Isadora. Why does Isadora start out hating her mother? What makes Isadora understand her mother better? How is it reflected in her dreams?
What appeals to you about The Chaos of the Stars the most? The romance? The fantasy elements? The humor? Is it missing anything?
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