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A Great and Terrible Beauty


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Yeah, a thumbs down from me. I have it and started prereading for dd but only made it 60-70 pages or so and thought it was inappropriate for teens. 2 lesbian characters, some sexual content, always sensual undertones, other adult themes and not done tastefully enough to make it tolerable to me. I didn't even get to the apparent molestation/rape content. I don't know how much of the story relies on these themes, but I quit reading and definitely wouldn't let my dd read it. It's another one of those books where the author had an interesting plot and ruined it in the details for me.

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I thought it was a terrible book.

 

I am not really prudish, I have read other books with such undertones or even more blantant but it seems gratuitious and I found it disconcerting. I thought it was a bit cliche and predictable.

 

I would let my dd read it if she was seventeen but I would be annoyed to find it in English class. Surely there are better books right?

Edited by Sis
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Well, yes, I think modern lit is important, too--but there just seems to be some sort of weird attraction on the part of the public schools to the outlandishly "out there" stuff.

Ds had to read a book in 8th grade that involved drunk driving, a suicide attempt, and other teenaged problems. He said to me, "I just want to read something that MATTERS." Obviously not all kids find those things attractive or want to read about them.

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It really seems to me that many schools are letting what sells (i.e. what the KIDS want to read) dictate their literature selections. It's a travesty. Let them read that stuff on their own time, but give them something redeeming for assigned reading! And that doesn't have to mean sanitized, either, because some of the best works deal with tough subjects. But like your ds said: something that matters!

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Oldest Dd read it when she was 14. She said meh. I'm pretty liberal with what I let them read, though and content like that doesn't bother me. We talk about all that stuff anyway. And, I'm into feminism, so we talk about historical rights of women, freedoms and such, too. I believe there are other books to the series, too? So though it's openended, they might have gone on with the whodunnit in later books.

Edited by justamouse
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She's 17?? I'd sign the persmission slip.

 

I'd be a bit irritated that it was an assigned book, though. It's total brain candy - nothing substantive. As far as "issues" go: the father is addicted to opiates; some lesbian-related issues that don't come to the forefront until the third book in the series (and honestly, seem like an after-thought by the author - sort of weird); and it's a very girl-powered themed book.

 

But, there aren't any uber graphic scenes that I remember - and if it were *my* 17 year old, I wouldn't think twice about "allowing" her to read it - but it's definitely not something I would assign, lol.

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