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 are some gruesome visions of ghosts who died violently, and a girl getting her period is a plot point.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When Chloe begins seeing gruesome ghosts and flips out in school, she is placed in a group home for disturbed teens. There she begins to realize that all of the kids in the home have supernatural abilities, and that sometimes they are taken away from the home and not seen again. As she begins to understand her new talent, she also discovers that the building itself has a dark past linked to those with supernatural abilities -- and that she may not be safe there.
Is it any good?
Author Kelley Armstrong takes her time to get this story moving. This is no slam-bang action-adventure, though it does get pretty exciting in the last quarter. Before that, the author gradually builds up Chloe's (and the readers) understanding of what is happening to her and around her, though the reader will get there long before Chloe does. By the end, though, Chloe and her friends have just barely begun on their journey to understand themselves and their world, which is quite different than what they have been brought up to believe. The cover picture, showing a hot girl in a low-cut dress holding a ruby pendant, may convince some boys that this book is not for them. That would be a shame -- with a touch of gruesome and edgy violence, and that last action-packed quarter of the book, along with ghosts, werewolves, and magic, boys will find just as much to like here as girls. Those who persevere through the rather slow start will find that this has more in common with Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment (if that were written well and had fewer plot holes) than it does with Gossip Girls: a group of kids with special powers trying to escape from scientists who want to experiment on them. A fun start to what should be an exciting new series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about mental illness and the supernatural. Is it possible that people we think are ill are actually in touch with things we can't see or hear?
If you had special abilities, would people think there was something wrong with you?
Does that happen to kids whose abilities aren't supernatural? Do you know kids who are treated as if there's something wrong with them just because they have an unusual talent? How do you treat them?