Saturday, February 4, 2012

Book Review: The Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson (Life At Kingston High #1)

The Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson
Publisher: Revell
Publish Date: January 1, 2012
Paperback, 217 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Christian
 ISBN: 978-0800719623
Life at Kingston High #1

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
My Review:
It's no secret I'm a Melody Carlson fan no matter what genre or age-group she is writing is for.  The Jerk Magnet is another feather in her cap.  The Life at Kingston High starts off great wtih The Jerk Magnet which features Chelsea in the so-called ugly-duckling role until her future step-mother steps in with some wisdom and some fashion help and what seemed like a horrible dream when her Dad announced the engagement is suddenly a wonderful blessing.  And Chelsea is in even more luck in that she is moving across the country so no one knew her in her previous life, so she can try out her new looks and new confidence on new people.

I loved this.  While seeming to focus on outer beauty it had a much deeper lesson to it.  It has a great lessons through the whole book and things I think that girls in their tween and teen years can easily relate with.  Not only are there great lessons, but there is a great storyline that will keep you turning pages as well.  I read the book in one sitting.  I will confess to needing a break, and this was the perfect book for closing the door to the world for a little bit and escaping to San Jose and Kingston High. 

As for the characters, I found them varied and interesting.  I loved Chelsea, she's naive, but likeable. She's the pretty girl but she never lets it go to her head and she doesn't play games with guys heads.  I liked Janelle too.  She was honest and open and intriguing.  I also found the girl relationships to be very true of high school girls.  Ms. Carlson has that spot on as usual.  The boys were also different types of typical high school boys but they aren't too cliched.  I liked them and how they played off of the different girls.

I look forward to future books in this series.  This one had a great lesson and tied up nicely.  I have no idea where the series will go but I will surely be reading the future installments.  I think this will make another great series for teens and tweens (and older girls too!)

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

Parental guidance: Being a Christian book, it obviously is clean, but be forewarned that there are references to sex in generic ways (as in boys pushing too far, not actual sex), so if you have a tween that you don't want reading that kind of thing, then just know it's there.  Honestly though, most already know something about sex and Ms. Carlson presents a nice wait message in the book (and it's not all through the book, it's just in a few parts).  I think the whole thing is very well done and if I had a tween daughter I wouldn't hesitate to let her read this book. 

About the Book:
When Chelsea Martin's future stepmother helps her transform from gawky and geeky into the hottest girl at her new school, Chelsea is pretty sure it's the best thing that ever happened to her. But her hot new look has a downside. She's attracting lots of guys who all have one thing in common: they're jerks. And stealing the attention of all the guys in school doesn't endear her to the girls either. 

Chelsea finally finds a true friend in Janelle Parker, and a non-jerk, Nicholas, catches her eye. Janelle keeps telling her to be herself, but Nicholas is the only guy around who doesn't give her a second look. Can Chelsea and Janelle come up with a plan to get his attention? Or will Chelsea's new image ruin everything? 

Teen favorite and bestselling author Melody Carlson helps girls uncover the real source of beauty in this true-to-life story of young love, friendship, and being yourself.

About the Author (from 
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.


FTC Information: I received this book from Revell Books for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.


LoriStrongin said...

Not an original plot, but it is refreshing to see a stepmother painted in a positive light for once. I might wait a bit to hear more about this one before picking it up though, since again, I've recently read four books with this exact same plotline and am getting a bit tapped out on this trope.


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