Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Bad luck seems to have followed Jean "Jinx" Honeychurch around her entire life, starting from the day she was born, when lightning struck the hospital and caused a massive power failure. The book opens as Jinx arrives in New York City. It isn't clear at first why she has left her family to come to the big city, but it seems that something bad happened there, and Jinx needs to get away for a while and make a fresh start. She's very much looking forward to spending time with her cousins, particularly Tory, whom she hasn't seen in a few years, but remembers having tons of fun playing with her the last time her New York relatives visited Jinx's rural town.
Jinx is shocked when she sees how much Tory has changed. She's vampy, super skinny, nasty, and into drinking and drugs. She's spiteful and sneaky, and is not at all happy to have Jinx there, particularly when her handsome neighbor, the boy she's lived next door and has been crushing on for years, seems inordinately interested in Jinx. When witchcraft enters into the mix, things take a decided turn for the worst.
Meg Cabot's Mediator books are one of my favorite YA series, so when I saw this audiobook offered for download in my library's digital collection, I snapped it up. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. I never really connected with Jean, who is sweet but so, so gullible - to the point that her gullibility seemed more a convenience for the sake of the plot than a real, believable personality trait. The characters were fairly stereotypical, and Tory's parents were way too conveniently oblivious - even after the point when they believe their daughter has made a suicide attempt. I also had issues with the book being written in the first person, but Jinx purposefully omits things to suit the needs of the story line. It made me feel manipulated (although by the time the big reveal comes, I'd pretty much figured out what was going on). Of course, this is a book by Meg Cabot, which means that the writing is tight, the pacing is good, and the dialog works well. It was just not my favorite. I am looking forward to continuing with the Mediator series, though - there's a heroine after my own heart!
Jinx by Meg Cabot; narrated by Amber Sealey (Listening Library, 2007)
Also reviewed at:
Book Dweeb: "It’s a quick read with relatable characters and just a touch of the witchy stuff. Readers who don’t dig chick lit, however, will find the story filled with too many cliches for comfort."
Em's Bookshelf: "Cabot keeps up the suspense until the very end. The ending, by the way, is kinda spooky so I recommend reading it on a dark and stormy night."
Me, My Book and the Couch: "Jean, the protagonist, came across as boring and naive. I often found myself wanting to shake her and say 'Can't you see what's going on here?'"