A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Could open up important discussions on important issues, such as cutting and cyberbulling.
After Tink dies, her spirit tells Merissa not to kill herself and helps Nadia make an important discovery ("Is this how life is? ... You don't just think about things and get anxious about them, you do something."). In both cases, Tink helps the girls grow up and face the problems in their lives.
Positive Role Models
Parents wouldn't want to their teens to emulate the protagonists' behavior here, which includes cutting, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, etc. But the girls mostly try to be good friends to each other, especially Merissa, who supports Nadia during some crucial moments.
Violence & Scariness
A teen cuts herself and looks at websites of other cutters. Three teens consider suicide, and one kills herself by overdosing. There's a discussion of the right way to slit wrists. A teen is slapped by her mother; another is slapped by her stepmother. Boys cyberbully girls, even sending a threatening, violent text to a girl who complains. A boy takes sexual advantage of a drunk girl. A man pushes a male teacher and accuses him of being a child molester.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A girl has a reputation for being a slut and mentions boys who demand oral sex in return for rides home. Her crush on a teacher -- and mentioning that he touched her hand during an emotional conference -- leads to the teacher being suspended. A husband has an affair, and another man marries progressively younger women.
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Some strong language, such as "bitch" and "c--k."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character kills herself by taking pills and drinking. Another teen can't remember what exactly happened with a boy after drinking at a party (where she might have been drugged). Adults drink wine. A depressed mother takes medication.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You deals with the aftermath of a teen who commits suicide by overdosing on pills and alcohol. Several other teen characters consider killing themselves, and there are graphic depictions of self-mutilation. One character is called a slut and bullied by boys both at school and online. Two teens are slapped by their parents. A boy takes sexual advantage of a drunk girl. There's some strong language, such as "bitch" and "c--k." But the protagonists -- including the spirit of a dead friend who helps the book's two main girls grow up and face the problems in their lives -- do support one another through difficult times.
Is It Any Good?
Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You is targeted at sophisticated readers, as it will take some effort to follow the nonlinear plotting. Readers will also have to accept Tink's presence as a spirit who looks after her former friends. Those willing to do the work will be rewarded with fully developed characters dealing with authentic and uncomfortable emotions, from Merissa's disgust at her mother's weakness when she's left by her husband to Nadia's reluctance to confront the boys who harass her.
Motivated parents who read along will find themselves educated about hot-button issues, such as cutting and cyberbulling, that could help them do some valuable check-ins with their teens.
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