by Meg Cabot (Author)
Best described as chick-lit for teens, Meg Cabot’s latest offering follows its young heroine’s adventures in New York city. Jean, more commonly known as Jinx, has always believed that she was born unlucky. This is based on the fact of a storm-induced power outage at the moment of her birth, coupled with an innate clumsiness and general lack of grace. Preacher’s-daughter Jean is sent to stay with her Aunt’s family in New York because an ex-boyfriend has been stalking her, but nothing in her life so far has prepared her for the Big Apple experience, where she encounters sophisticated teens at her exclusive school, covens, sex and drugs, and a love interest in the form of boy-next-door Zack.
Many elements of plot and theme will be familiar to those au fait with Cabot’s books and with romantic fiction generally, but Cabot builds on generic conventions by adding a touch of magic. It’s fun and it’s frothy, and it comes down on the side of strong moral values without being too preachy. The close of the novel satisfies most expectations: Jinx overcomes obstacles, realises that she isn’t unlucky and becomes Zack’s girlfriend. The lack of depth within the book is disappointing as it could have been more satisfying had certain elements been developed further. It also seems odd that at the finale, Jinx gleefully performs a spell designed to encourage the burgeoning relationship between her ex-stalker and her cousin Torrance; considering fear of her stalker had caused her to leave her family, it seems out of character, incongruous. Nonetheless, Jinx is an entertaining and diverting read. Age: 12+