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 mystery involves some violence and edgy material, but nothing that should shock teen readers. There are a couple of examples of inappropriate/abusive relationships, but the relationships are not glorified. The fallout from the relationships changes the main characters for the better. There is some violence culminating in attempted murder and suicide, but it is not written graphically.
What's the story?
After breaking off an affair with her college professor, Mimi Shapiro flees to her father's cabin in rural Canada. Upon arrival, she is surprised to find Jay Page, a budding musician, living in the cabin. Jay is just as surprised as she is -- and suspects Mimi was behind a couple of odd happenings at the cabin: a snake skin left on Jay's pillow, a dead bluebird on his table. Soon the pair figure out that they are half-siblings, children of Marc Soto, a famous artist -- and Jay and Mimi eventually are introduced to yet another half-brother, the alienated loner Cramer Lee. Cramer has always known that the popular and talented Jay was his brother, and has followed and watched him with creepy admiration for most of his life, including his time spent at their father's cabin. When Cramer becomes smitten with Mimi -- and the mysterious stalker steps up his game -- Jay and Mimi join together to solve the mystery of The Uninvited.
Is it any good?
This book is a goosebump-inducing page turner. The mystery of the seemingly menacing events that take place at the cabin will keep readers interested, as will the emotional dynamics of the relationship between Mimi, Jay, and Cramer, as well as between Cramer and his emotionally fragile mother. Readers will appreciate Mimi's ability to finds
strength and wisdom that she didn't know she had -- and be pleased when the half-siblings accept each other and become a team. There is some violence -- one character is shot and another commits suicide -- but it is mostly the suspense of what might happen that will grip teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the edgy material here. Nothing is very graphic, but this book does feature an inappropriate relationship, a parent who fathers children with various women, and an attempted murder and suicide. Is reading about violence and other gritty stuff the same as seeing it in movies or on television shows?
What is appealing about a mystery? How does this one compare to others that you've read? Did you find that the author was following a formula -- or were there surprises along the way?
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