The Well's End
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Well's End is a teen suspense drama about a mysterious virus breakout at a Colorado boarding school. It includes frequent violence and mentions of blood but little descriptive detail; characters are often shot at and are otherwise in peril. Recurring strong language includes "f--k" and "s--t." The college-dorm lifestyle of largely unsupervised high-school kids away at boarding school includes heavy drinking and smoking at parties; protagonist Mia mentions she's heard her roommate having sex many times. Otherwise, the sexual content is mostly kissing, which happens often but isn't described in detail.
What's the story?
THE WELL'S END tells the story of 16-year-old Mia, one of the few "townies" living at an exclusive Colorado boarding school, who's famous for a reason she'd rather forget: When she was little, she fell into a well and was stuck for several days, making national headlines. Now a mysterious virus is breaking out at her school, and it looks like her father may be involved somehow. When one of her friends starts showing symptoms, their only hope of surviving is to elude the armed guards keeping the school under quarantine and find her father, who, they hope, has a cure. But what they actually find is the beginning of an even greater mystery that will test their bonds of friendship and loyalty.
Is it any good?
First-time author Seth Fishman's fast-paced drama makes for fun, if light, reading. Kids will easily relate to believably flawed heroine Mia, who overcomes her fears and stays loyal to her friends. The action and tension build nicely and keep the pages turning. In Mia, Fishman creates a realistic female voice to carry the suspenseful story.
The plot and characters are well developed but not deep, and the unsatisfying conclusion reads more like the setup for a series. Don't look for a lot of literary merit here, but it's a solid choice for an older teen looking for a guilty pleasure.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why stories about viral outbreaks are so popular. Why are we so fascinated by them?
If you found something that could cure every illness, like the miraculous water in the story, how would you handle the discovery? Would you tell the world?
Have you had to try to conquer a fear, like Mia? Were you able to overcome it? How, or why not?