Nancy
Nancy asked:

is it appriopriate for an 8th grade...an avid reader

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Clara No, I'd say not. There's too much mature content--sex and drugs, but also very complex emotional issues that I think an 8th grader isn't likely to understand. Though high school students might read this, it's really a book for adults, not children.
MaggieMoo Moo No, a book this tiresome might discourage even an avid 8th grader from enjoying reading.
Catherine I read this book when it came out as a kid about to enter ninth grade. It was the perfect book for me at the time. The emotional complexity was exactly what I was craving at the time as a reader, after devouring a large number of YA novels that had stopped being cathartic for me. I'd say that an avid reader could definitely handle it, and that the idea that the book has too much 'mature content' shouldn't be much of a factor because young people are much smarter than adults give them credit for and are good at choosing to read the kinds of things that they are comfortable with. Also, the internet exists, and the 24-hours news cycle exists, so it's not like they're not going to be exposed to 'mature content' elsewhere
Jeff Snavely I would let an avid reader choose their own content. There's nothing particularly adult about this book. The writing isn't complex. The sex isn't explicit.

It reads like a YA book - unfortunately.
Lizabeth No. Unless you want them to think/believe/have portrayed sex, drugs and alcohol casually as what "everybody" does . I'm getting tired of these teen-angst cliche books where teens act out or can't control their emotions. MANY of the teens that I know don't act this way.
Robin I'd recommend the Bartimaeus books by Peter Stroud. Similar feeling, but made for a YA audience.
Dick Nielson drugs, drinking, depression, more drinking, self loathing, even more drinking, sexual situations.
So no.
Carolyn go for it! books should not be banned from anyone.
Blind_guardian Probably not, this seems more oriented towards high school and college readers.
Mary There is nothing taught or gained from this book for any level of readers.
George I'd say it's appropriate for an 8th-grader on two conditions. The kid needs to be hitting puberty, so that while sex may still be a mystery it's not utterly irrelevant to him or her. And an adult must have also read the book recently and require discussion of it.

It will also help if both parties have read and enjoyed all of _The Chronicles of Narnia_.

The meaningless sex and drugs (esp. alcohol and including nicotine) are portrayed exactly the way they need to be in order to make the moral/ethical/esthetic point of that route being futile and destructive, of self and others. And the meaningful sex--the coupling that is at least partly love-inspired--is equally amenable to moral and religious discussion, so long as you don't require characters to share your religious axioms.

Nor do I believe the emotional issues are really complex. Or if they are, they're made clear enough even for me to understand them, who have more than once had to give up on comprehending the emotional tangles of fictional characters.

Of course if you don't *want* to talk honestly about sex, emotions, and drugs with your 8th-grader ...
Charlie Young Not really some of it is quite adult and emotionally complex in a way an 8th grader may not comprehend correctly
Jennifer Definitely not. This is not your typical good vs. evil fantasy book. It is dark, in the sense of psychologically dark. The characters are depressed. There is lots of drugs and drinking. The sex tends towards the typical college party: get drunk, sleep around, cheat on your significant other... I would say the topics are too mature even for high school. I would recommend this book for college and up.
Deb If an avid reader....probably has experienced much of the mature content presented here. If the series has more action and less angst, sex and drugs as it continues (got boring after awhile), I know I'd enjoy it more. And maybe this 8th grader would also.
Charles It's not really content-appropriate for anyone.
Alexander Smith No. I wouldn't want my teenagers to read this book.
Audrey Definitely not. No matter how avid a reader they may be, the sex, drugs, drinking, mental illness, and other mature material in this book are inappropriate for a child or young adult.
Melissa To much sex, drinking, and drugs... I wouldn't recommend it to an 8th grader.... Try Harry Potter, or Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians.
Karen Absolutely not! Besides the obvious (drinking, drugs, depression) there is a 3 way sex episode (2 guys/1 girl), etc.! It's not that the book just touches on these things; the depression, drinking, etc. goes on to the extent its almost all the book is about! I got depressed reading it! Wouldn't want my college age son to waste his time on this.
Bec Lloyd In terms of emotional maturity and required reading level, yes.
In terms of content, probably not but you know your kid.
In terms of should any kid have such awful writing inflicted on them at a vulnerable age, with the risk they might think it's the standard to aspire to?
Definitely not.
Banananana It depends. If the 8th grader is okay is mature, sure.
Nina it in fact is I'd say so.The story is told so simple but not so shore about the sexual stuff, it really depends to what are your county's age limits.
Jessica It honestly depends on the 8th grader - some will find it a bit tedious, while others will enjoy it immensely. Speaking from personal experience, I probably would've enjoyed it for the simple fact that by the time I graduated 8th grade I had already read the Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Madeleine L'Engle's time quartet - thanks to a very generous Aunt who'd buy me box sets of books for Christmas.
Mario This book is more for high school and college students... I wouldn't recommend it for an 8th grader
Chae Ford Yeah it's fine. There is graphic language and sex involved in the story but a 13/14/15 year old should be able to handle that, see past it and look at the actual plot...ironically they might learn how not to behave as adults lol.
Hafza i read it and I in 9th grade.
M Scott I think I would... depends on the reader... nothing in this book seems likely to shock an 8th grader. I have read others say that there's smoking and drinking... and there are, and they show that self-harm is painful and solves nothing. That's a good message for a 13 year old. And there is sex and it's confusing, and sometimes stupidly people hurt each other through infidelity; again, good message. Yeah... why not?
Ash It depends. While there is some sex and stuff (not explicit at all, but certainly there) I'm sure it's not that off from what you have already seen in even young adult books. Actually a pretty good book, and I think you would like it. But if you don't like it now, try it again when you're older. Read the book at a younger age than 8th grade, still liked it
Joyce That's a definite no. Sorry.
Sebastien Probably not. Give it a few more years, the book gets kind of dark at some points, and a lot of it is geared towards more of an adult audience.
Yilaine Preferably a mature 8th grader, or slightly older (mid to late teens).
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by Lev Grossman (Goodreads Author)
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