Peanut is forever asking me if she can read one of my books. And unfortunately my answer is usually no. Because for the most part I read Romance novels and they're inappropriate for Peanut-age girls.
However, not too long ago I picked up this teen-read by author Jenna Black. Jenna writes an adult series that I enjoy reading so I picked it up figuring I would enjoy the writing and pass it on to Peanut.
But that's not going to happen this time. Though this book is sold in the Teen section and the main characters are all teenagers I feel this book is inappropriate for my 10 year old Peanut. I think it's inappropriate for my 16 year old niece too, but please allow me to give you the reasons behind my decision.
16 year old Dana Hathaway has had it with her alcoholic mother so she decides to run away to Avalon, the only city in the world that exists in both the human and the Fae world, where the father she has never met lives. Once there everything goes wrong. She doesn't know who she can trust and someone wants to kill her.
Sounds interesting, huh? Well it was. The book is very interesting, even to this mom who generally avoids teen books.
Violence: On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the max, I would give this book a 2 in the violence area. There is a scene where the teenagers all produce either knives or guns to fight off the bad guys. And Dana is attacked by a water witch. It's probably better than watching the news when it comes to the violent content.
Alcohol and Drugs: Dana's mother is an alcoholic. Once in Avalon, Dana's new friends take her to an underground keg party where she is offered a beer. At another time one of her friends fixes a hot posset (milk, oatmeal, honey, nutmeg and whiskey) and Dana decides she likes it. Did I mention that she's 16 and alcoholism runs in her family? When Dana finally meets her dad he gives her champagne. One reference is made to drugs when a boy kisses Dana and she almost forgets herself. She accuses him of using a "roofie spell".
Language: is probably PG-13, sh*t, b*stard, crazy-*ss, *sshole, whore, wanker, hell
Sex: This is the part that will keep Peanut from reading the book. I get that the teen pregnancy rate is at an all time high but life imitates art and if art is constantly throwing sex at our teens and telling them its no big deal then our teens will think sex is no big deal. Several references to sex are made like "getting lucky" or "horny". A wagon is used as a get away car because "The wagon...[is] much more comfortable than the backseat of a car." Dana's friend stops Dana from going to brother's apartment alone and brother isn't overly happy about it. Her friend also tells her that her brother has charmed other, more experienced girls out of their knickers. The kisses are often described in detail with moaning
Positive Elements: Dana does find away to forgive her friends for their betrayal.
For me, I'm looking forward to reading the next book, Shadowspell that comes out Jan 4, 2011. For my daughter, I might let her read it. When she's 18.