Parents' Guide to

The Four Dorothys

By Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

First book of teen series is just OK; some dark moments.

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Kids say (3 ):

This is pretty tame fare in comparison to the author's controversial novel about oral sex, Rainbow Party. Readers may like some of the clever details here: For Bryan's private school's production of Wizard of Oz, four students are cast in the lead role (that makes the rich parents happy); another scene has Bryan and his best friend Sam going to an outrageously large stuffed-animal emporium to pick out Totos for the show. But the pranks being pulled on the Dorothys seem dark in contrast to all the light, funny touches. Is the author trying for the dark comedy of the movie Heathers? This shift in tone makes it hard for readers to know how they should be feeling.

The book is pretty meandering, and the payoff isn't big enough. It's not really a mystery who is behind the crimes -- and readers may be disappointed that nothing really happens to the mean rich girl at the end -- at least, nothing hugely publicly humiliating. They also may be surprised that Bryan discusses his sexuality a bit but remains closeted. But perhaps that will be further developed in the next installment of the series. Yawn.

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