What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, as the title suggests, there is a lot of swearing in this book, mainly the "f" word. There are also several violent car crashes, threats made against teens with and without weapons, drug use, drug dealing, and some teenage drinking. Teens make bad decisions throughout -- and while they go to extreme lengths to right the wrongs, some wrongs -- such as the death of a friend -- are too easily overlooked. Things work out for them all in the end, but it's more by dumb luck than through any real lessons learned. This is action-packed enough to perhaps appeal to reluctant teen readers -- and may lead to some good discussions about smart decision making.
What's the story?
Six teens spend one night running for their lives through the streets of New York. Told from each different perspectives (a jock, a brain, a scaredy cat, a drug dealer-genius, a practical girl, a country girl), the chain of sometimes comedic and often stupid events begins with three teens planning to get extra money to cover debts by selling drugs at a party. Basically, everything that could go wrong does, and the story becomes about the characters running from the law -- and the mob.
Is it any good?
Here's what's good about this book: the six perspectives definitely add interest, it's occasionally funny, and it's a quick read and may interest reluctant readers.
Here's what's bad about the novel: just about everything else. This is a classic wild, worst-case scenario all-in-one-night adventure that combines bad decisions and random acts of weirdness -- but it lacks character development, and the plot twists are rather ridiculous.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about decision making. How are bad decisions like lies? How often do you let 'the group" control the decision-making process? Have you ever gone against your better judgment out of fear or pressure from others? How do you counteract group think?
Talk about comic misadventures. Movies and books portraying wild nights are always popular. How are they true to life? How are they not? Do you think this "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" logic is just good fun? When isn't it?
The title will also be a sticking point for many parents. Is it just fun slang, way too crude (or even trying too hard to be cool)? Where do you draw the line?