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“Sometimes you're crazy enough about someone to protect them even from yourself.”
Dragon Diaries #2
by Deborah Cooke
It’s tough enough being the only girl dragon shifter, but when Zoe is forbidden to tell her best friend, Meagan, about her powers, Zoe realizes that living in two worlds is complicated. When Meagan begins to question Zoe’s friendship, tensions heat up.
When Zoe’s father grounds her, her mother leaves her father, and Meagan makes a new friend, Zoe doesn’t think things can get worse. Then she discovers that the Mages have laid a trap to destroy the shape shifters. Zoe must find a way to help her friend Meagan as well as save the dragon shifters without revealing any dragon secrets.
Winging It begins building suspense from the first page and will keep the reader interested until the last battle. Teens can relate to Zoe because she is smart, strong, and truly cares for others. Like any other teen, Zoe isn’t always sure of herself, but she always strives to do what is right, even if that means keeping secrets from her parents and her best friend Meagan.
The second book of The Dragon Diaries brings in interesting new characters—Derek, a shape shifting wolf, Jessica, a shape shifting jaguar, as well as Sigmund, Zoe’s dead brother. Sigmund brings a bit of humor to the story because even though he’s dead, he likes to tease Zoe as well as help her. Zoe spends more time in the supernatural world in Winging It, however, the setting is clearly fantasy and does not resemble real life in any way. The only down side of the book is the frequent and colorful profanity.
- Zoe has a crush on a twenty year old man. Her father tells her, “You are thinking of love and romance. Jared is thinking of now, he is thinking of sex, and he almost certainly does not have your welfare at the forefront of his thoughts.”
- One of the characters said that a boy, “seems to think that love, romance, and sex are the same thing.”
- Jared kisses Zoe. “That barest touch filled me with yearning and made me shiver. My heart was thundering, doing that crazy thing of matching its beat to his. Our noses were almost touching, his hands framing my face and I didn’t want to step away from him. Ever.”
- One of the character’s said that he’s dating a girl, but, “It’s no big deal.” His friend thinks they are dating for the sex.
- One of the characters kisses her boyfriend “with enthusiasm.”
- At the end of the book Zoe kisses a boy. “It was sweet and lingering, and an entirely different kind of kiss than I’d had with Jared. Our lips clung a bit and I bumped his nose with mine when I stepped back.”
- Meagan is attacked in the school bathroom. Suzanne punches her and breaks her glasses. Zoe turns into a dragon and the girls flee.
- Kohana and Zoe shape shift and fight. When Kohana throws a thunder bold at Jared, Zoe stops it by throwing herself in its path.
- At a party, the Mages attack Zoe and her friends with a spell. Zoe slams two Mages’ heads together and knocks them out. One of the shapeshifters, Jessica, is trapped. “I could see Jessica’s limp form on the floor, her shadow in tatters and her body motionless, the golden swirl of spell light illuminant.”
- The Mages trap Zoe and her friends in a drainage pipe and use a spell to try to drown the group.
- There is a fight between Kohana and Zoe’s friends. Derek is hit by a lightning bolt. Zoe rips out some of Kohana’s feathers because, “there was power in the feathers.” The fighting ends when Kohana and Zoe transport to the dream world.
- The Mages plan to sacrifice someone during a ceremony. The fight scene that follows goes on for several pages. During the fight, the ghosts of all Wyverns past appear and Zoe sees where the past Wyverns made a mistake which caused the current situation. During the fight, Kohana “tackled the woman and she screamed as she fell. I saw that he had ripped out her eyes with his claws, then left her writhing in anguish and bleeding in the snow.” The fight ends when Zoe goes into the Mage’s memories and uses her dragon fire to destroy them.
Drugs and Alcohol
- After the dragon broke up a fight in the school bathroom, some of the kids are debating if Suzanne was “smoking something.” They also refer to a “toke.”
- Zoe and her friends go to a party where there is alcohol, “pot, incense, and cigarettes.”
- Profanity is used frequently throughout the book. The profanity includes: bullshit, damn, ass, crap, holy frick, hell, fuck, piss, bitch, shit, and holy shit.
- When Zoe upsets her friend, she thinks, “Meagan is not a bitch—that I made her sound that way said more about me than her.”
- Later in another fight with her father, Zoe yells, “You should give us the chance to not fuck up our lives by trying to make your stories come true.”
- Zoe calls the girl who attacked Meagan an “uber-bitch.”
- When Suzanne’s boyfriend breaks up with her, she said, “Trevor just dumped me for that slut.”
- The Mages want to eliminate all shape shifters in order to gain the others’ power. Mages can also gain power by consuming other people’s spells. “Mages recruit humans with an innate musical ability. This power—called spellsinging—allows those gifted humans to enchant other humans with their music or their songs.”
- One of the characters can read minds as well as cast spells.
- The dragon shapeshifters can beguile others. “Beguiling is kind of like hypnosis and it’s a dragon trick . . . We conjure flames in our eyes; the humans look closer; we make suggestions.”
- Zoe’s father uses dragonsmoke as a protective barrier. “Humans can cross easily, but a dragon can cross the dragonsmoke of another with only explicit permission.” Zoe’s father uses it to ground Zoe and makes sure she doesn’t leave the house.
- In her dream, Zoe sees the Wyrd sisters who give her clues on how to defeat the Mages.
- Meagan mentions her mom’s visionary sessions, and later in the book her mother said she will do a visioning for Zoe’s mother.
- Kohana, another shapeshifter, can appear in Zoe’s dreams.
- One of the Wyrd sisters tosses Zoe into the land of the dead, where Zoe meets her dead brother. Later in the story, he appears in the real word. When he appears, Zoe is the only one who can see him.
- One of the characters uses tarot cards to help Zoe.
- Zoe jumps into her mother’s memories and, “poked around, stirring a few things that seemed evocative of when she’d met my dad, and then I hoped for the best. And got the heck out of there before I learned too much.”
- One of the Wyrd sisters blows kisses to a statue and it comes to life.
- Zoe’s dead brother appears and helps her find clues to defeat the Mages.
- One of the characters has been reincarnated; however, she does not remember anything from her past life.