A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that if they let their teen read Twilight, they will probably also be fine with this series about angels. Wings replace fangs but the intensity of romance that doesn't get much beyond kissing is the same. The main character, Luce, puts her life and others at risk, thinking her angel boyfriend is just being overprotective. Arrows are the weapons of choice, but only harm other angels.
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What's the story?
After surviving a big angel/demon battle at the end of Fallen, Luce's angel true love Daniel (in this life and many past lives) decides to whisk her across the country to a posh private school on the Northern California coast. Here part-angels hide out in a "gifted" program and get ready for a big Heaven-Hell war in the possible future. While Daniel is off doing important fallen angel things, Luce, who's kind of a celebrity with the celestial crowd, makes new friends, and gets into the kind of trouble Daniel and her teachers warned her about: leaving campus brings her closer to other celestial beings who want to harm her. And then there are the shadows or glimpses of her past life she can summon at will and start to control, but at what cost?
Is it any good?
This book is romance purgatory -- stuck and seemingly going nowhere. Oh sure, Lauren Kate had a good thing going in the first book -- that is, if you liked Twilight at all and wished the vampires really had wings instead. The true-love romance had plenty of intensity, the reform-school setting was good fun, and the fantasy elements were vague but going somewhere ... or so you'd think. Daniel and Luce do a lot of bickering over whether or not Daniel is too controlling -- um, he's trying to save your life and if he says it's not safe to leave campus maybe you should listen. Luce's glimpses at past lives start to get interesting, but reveal next to nothing to keep the plot moving. Danger comes and is gone just as fast, Daniel swoops in for a kiss; gone again -- there's little to hold the book together. Only at the very end does TORMENT take a turn that seems to really go somewhere. Too bad it took that long.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about popular romances like this one or Twilight. What's the draw of super-powered/super-natural boyfriends with wings or fangs?
This is the second installment in a series that began with Fallen. What is fun about reading a series? Why do you think publishers are interested in printing them for teen readers?