Roxie has the best night of her life until the popular kids decide they want to celebrate her birthday in a way Roxie never expects––in her attic, with a gift that’s out of this world, and a pact to never tell a living soul what happens next.
Twelve-year-old Roxie wants to be like Adrianne, the popular girl who gets everything she wants––a flock to prowl around the mall with; invitations to parties; and for Hayden, the cutest guy in the eighth grade to, you know, notice her. When Roxie invites all the eighth grade peacocks (code word : popular kids) to her first ever thirteenth birthday party on Halloween, they all come and give her a gift that’s literally out of this world. Roxie astral projects to Planet Popular where she becomes seventeen instantly and gets everything she’s always wanted, but nothing is as it seems. Being a high school peacock is complicated and Roxie will risk everything to be who she thinks she wants to be. Oh yeah, there’s Prom, doppelgangers, a mysterious map, and lots of bad peacocks too.
Shadows will do anything to become human. You see their influence everyday. You say things you don’t mean or do things that aren’t like you. You look, different. Friends you’ve known forever suddenly never call.
As a freshman, Roxie just wants to fit in which is impossible because she barely runs into her friends at her huge high school. Adrianne’s disappearance and Hayden’s attention rock Roxie’s world. But nothing rocks it like the most gorgeous guy at school, Drew. And nothing is more important to Roxie than astral projecting back to Planet Popular to solve the mystery of the map. But that changes when Drew invites Roxie to Homecoming. Hayden warns her that something’s wrong. Why would a guy like Drew like Roxie anyway? Drew must want something. Hayden’s right. Drew is...different. Planet Popular was just the beginning. Part of a bigger world, the Shadow World. There’s a war brewing between the world of humans and the world of shadows. When the shadow invasion begins at Roxie’s high school, she’ll not only fight for her life but the lives of her family and friends, when she discovers she’s the Shadow Slayer, the one human who can save Earth from the shadow onslaught. But, Roxie can’t even kill a spider. Oh yeah, there’s an evil English teacher, an enchanted play, a sword of Sandonian steel, a homecoming of horrors, and seven magic words too.
These two books are fun and quick to read. Roxie is a typical preteen trying to figure out who she is - she's not quite a child anymore, but she doesn't feel all that grown up. She's constantly worried about her social status, as if every move she makes right now will determine the course of the rest of her life. Ahhh, to be in high school again... Nothing outside of it exists when you're a teenager, and this is something that Roxie struggles with.
In 13 on Halloween, Roxie feels so young. She compares every emotion and personality type to an animal, which feels like another language at first. She tries to convince herself not to care about her popularity, but deep down, all she wants is to be the center of attention. She's constantly at war with herself, not really knowing what she wants - to be independent and carefree or to be popular.
In Shadow Slayer, Roxie matures, and it's nice to see her grow and find more pieces of herself. She still struggles with her self-esteem and is always worrying about what others will see when they look at her. Everything and everyone around her is changing, and at times she feels completely alone. Her best friend has pretty much turned her back on her and dreams of Hayden go up in smoke. Perfect "tens" do exist - the proof lies in Drew, and Roxie even tries out for a play.
But Drew, the hottie who becomes Roxie's perfect-ten boyfriend, is a little too perfect. Could he really just want to be with Roxie or does he have other motives?
After her first few weeks of school, Roxie should have known she wouldn't get the "boring" year she had hoped for. She learns of her true identity, changing not only her Freshman year, but her life forever. The shadows are coming out to play, and it's her responsibility to keep humans safe.
She's got a lot on her plate for a fourteen-year-old. As if starting high school wasn't enough drama to deal with, now Roxie's got the fate of everyone around her in her hands.
At first, I couldn't take Roxie seriously, but she's one of those characters that grows on you. I had to put myself in her shoes and stretch myself back to when I was a freshman in high school and all the emotions that were going through me at the time. Roxie handles herself pretty well.
This is a great series for young adults. Clean, fun, and super action-packed.
Four out of five stars from this reader :)
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