Truth or Dare

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
Truth or Dare Book Poster Image
Popular, rich girls star in shallow, sexy series starter.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Reluctant readers may be able to make their way through this long book -- and ask for the next in the series. It could open up some thoughtful discussions about popularity or even how this book compares to similar titles like Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game.

Positive Messages

There's a lot of problematic behavior here, including bullying. But the three different protagonists learn to work together to stop someone who's trying to ruin their lives.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There aren't many characters who act as role models, though Sydney's hardworking nurse mom really tries to help her daughter during a difficult time. And some of the characters remember moments when their friends were really there for them.

Violence

Kidnapping, drugging, pyromania, downing, murder -- and dangerous pranks that leave two girls dead. But none of it is told in great detail, and while the violence is pervasive, it's never very visceral.

Sex

A few kissing scenes and some heavy flirtation between a girl and her new stepbrother (including an intimate back rub). A teen is secretly dating the father of another high school girl. Scantily clad teens, sexual dares, and mentions of a boob job.

Language

A few uses of words like "crap," "bitch," "a--hole" -- and a few "holy s--t"s thrown in.

Consumerism

A few ]mentions of brands/products like Botox, Southern Comfort, Neutrogena, and Steiff Bears.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters throw parties and drink until drunkenness. One protagonist takes prescription anxiety pills and ends up in the hospital after taking too many. A picture of two protagonists shows cocaine in the background.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Truth or Dare is about teen girls who are targeted for dangerous dares, which ultimately result in the death of two young women. Other characters are drugged, drowned, hospitalized, and more -- but while the violence is pervasive, it's never very visceral. There's some kissing and taboo flirtation between a girl and her new stepbrother. Characters also throw parties and drink until drunkenness. One protagonist takes prescription anxiety pills and ends up in the hospital after taking too many. In the end, this is mostly titillating fluff, though it could open up some thoughtful discussions about popularity or even how this book compares to similar titles like Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bygowan6482 August 13, 2018

Truth or Dare

Finally I found a boxxy software service that includes Movies, Series, documentaries and adult content under one roof!
Kid, 11 years old January 11, 2015

Secrets of the past

Do you like books with action and adventure, cliffhangers and more? If so you should read Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green Tenley Reed, Caitlin Thomas, and S... Continue reading

What's the story?

Set in a wealthy East Coast beach community, TRUTH OR DARE is a series starter starring three pretty teens: overachiever Caitlin; her best friend, Tenley, a popular mean girl who recently moved back to town; and poor, outcast Sydney. When Tenley starts a game of truth or dare at a party, she just wants to have some naughty fun -- but later, Caitlin, Tenley, and Sydney all start receiving cryptic dares. Some of these dares force the girls to betray one another to keep their own painful secrets hidden, and soon accusations are flying. Meanwhile, the Fall Festival is approaching, a weekend celebration during which -- over the years -- three other pretty, popular, rich girls have drowned in the ocean. Will one of the three protagonists be joining the Lost Girls club?

Is it any good?

This cinematic book races from a gripping first scene to a dramatic conclusion. And the unfolding plot reveals plenty of scandalous details: There's a kidnapping victim, a pyromaniac with anger issues, a possible romance between step-siblings, and plenty of other salacious material that will keep readers speed reading through to the end.

Of course, close readers won't be surprised by the rather overwrought conclusion, but the author certainly leaves enough room to explore more mysteries in the next installment. In the end, Truth or Dare isn't a book that will stick with readers in any deep way, but teens looking for some light reading to keep them entertained on vacation may want to throw this one in the beach bag.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about outsiders. There are several characters in this book who are suspicious mostly because they have a low social standing. Is it true that we often fear those who are different or plain weird? Is that fear justified?

  • How does this book compare to Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game? Are we meant to be envious of the pretty, popular prank-playing girls -- or read these books as cautionary tales?

  • Do you think this book will become a movie? How do you think studios decide which stories to turn into films? If this one makes the cut, who would you cast in the starring roles?

Book details

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