Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (May 12, 2009)
Source: My personal book
Summary from inside flap of book:
The only thing Jean Honeychurch hates more than her boring name (not Jean Marie, or Jeanette, just… jean) is her all-too-appropriate nickname, Jinx. Misfortune seems to follow her everywhere she goes—which is why she’s thrilled to be moving in with her aunt and uncle in New York City. Maybe when she’s halfway across the country, Jinx can finally outrun her bad luck. Or at least escape the havoc she’s caused back in her small hometown.
But trouble has definitely followed Jinx to New York. And it’s causing big problems for her cousin Tory, who is not happy to have the family black sheep around. Beautiful, glamorous Tory is hiding a dangerous secret—one that she’s sure Jinx is going to reveal.
Jinx is beginning to realize it isn’t just bad luck she’s been running from. It’s something far more sinister… and the curse Jinx has lived under since the day she was born might just be the only thing that can save her life.
I hate to admit it, but this is the first Meg Cabot book that I have read. I own many of her books, but I have never read them. I enjoyed Jinx. It’s not overly complicated or highly original, but I still liked it. The inside flap makes you think there will be something devious and “sinister” hidden in the plot, but really it’s nothing more than a jaded, spoiled, rich teenage girl pretending to play “witch-believe” with several equally snotty friends. The only thing sinister would be the personality of Tory, Jinx’s NY cousin. Talk about a character! If I had met this girl in high school, I could only imagine how awful my memories would be. Wow.
Tory is by far the best description of a woman scorned I have read in YA fiction—witch craft aside, of course. On a human level, Tory is despicable. Back stabbing, deceitful, envious. The whole nine yards. She is pure evil in the disguise of outward beauty. Her friends were equally disgusting, although they weren’t mentioned much in the book. I got the impression they were meant to be more like groupies than supporting characters. For all of the negative vibes you got from Tory, Jinx gives you the exact opposite. She is the image of mid-west innocence; after all she is a preacher’s daughter. The quaintness of her character, combined with her gorgeous natural curly red hair make her an easy target for Tory’s wrath. Plus, it doesn’t help that Tory’s secret love is head-over-heels for Jinx. The characters were decent. You certainly felt sorry for Jinx during all of her mishaps, and you couldn’t help but dislike Tory. Unfortunately, that’s where the charm ends.
The plot is pretty predictable. It’s a classic case, really: Pretty girl doesn’t realize she’s pretty. Pretty girl falls into the trap of equally pretty girl with disgusting personality. Pretty girl unknowingly wins heart of handsome boy. Love triangle ensues. Mean girl gets what she deserves while pretty girl realizes she has self worth and falls for handsome boy. The end. Yep, that’s pretty much it. Granted there were a few twists along the way, but nothing overly exciting. I did like that Zach (said handsome boy) seemed like a complete charmer. He had some personality traits that made him very likable. There were a few scenes in the book that had potential to be suspenseful, but it seemed like the majority of the story only skimmed the surface and never fully dove into a deeper plot. For a younger reader I’m sure it would be satisfying, but I like a little more depth in my reading material. Of course, I probably shouldn’t have expected anything more than what I got considering I bought this book for my classroom library.
Overall, it was a fun, quick read. I enjoyed it. I’m sure if I was a middle school girl I would be enthralled with this novel. I would probably even imagine Zach Efron’s face for Zach in the book… if I were a middle school girl. But, alas, I’m not. (I really couldn’t imagine anyone that I felt would fit the characters when reading the book.) I gave the book 3 stars because it was decent. There were some funny parts that made me chuckle, and the descriptions were well written. My visualization abilities were working in overdrive throughout most of the book. However, it wasn’t exactly “mature” content like the jacket flap implied.