Ian M This book is far from 'NC-17.' There is a bit of sex, sure, but a 14 year-old has known about such things in much greater detail for years now (sorry moms). Now, that aside, it is a dark novel, but one with enormous heart. It deals with the things a 14-year-old deals with-- peer pressure, friends, relationships, lust, bullies, the rising prevalence of drugs like Adderall, etc etc. If the kid is a bit sheltered, shelf the book. If not, then I don't think it will do any harm. It treats serious matters in a serious manner, including mental health-- something most people are afraid of addressing with teens. It's not revealing anything new to a teen, even a preteen really (maybe minus the Adderall), and it sorts through the complications and implications of every negative choice including the effects on friends and family. Know your kid before giving them this book, sure, but I think it is brutally honest about the issues he/she already faces, and that's something that kids need more often.
Lani Men say yes, women say no. For me the peodophiles (yes, plural) and the suicides (one successful, one not) make it inappropriate for under 16s. Men. Do they have brains?
Charles Batho Yes. Read it as a parent and then talk about it afterwards.There's nothing in this that a 14 year old won't have thought or wondered about.
Paul It would be perfect for a mature 14 year-old as it addresses many of the things that we worry about at that age. Having said that it does deal with sex, drugs, depression - the kind of things 14 year-olds worry about.
Laura I would say probably not. Though the protagonist is a 14-year old boy, there are also many adult themes and adult characters. It would be fine for someone in their late teens. I am in the middle of reading it and love it (I'm a 50-something middle school teacher).