Friday, February 8, 2008

Jinx (*giggles* 'pinch poke!')

You know those ridiculous handshakes you made up as a kid? The ones to get rid of jinxes and curses and such? You remember playing Jinx? And 'pinch poke, you owe me a coke'? This was all a joke. No one in this world needs those luck games. Or, at least, not as much as Jean Honeychurch.

She's lived her life with nothing but bad luck. It started on the day she was born. Not minutes of being in this world, something bad happened to Jean.* As her mother was giving birth (or right after, I'm not positive on the timing) the power went out in the hospital. A storm cell had passed over and caused a blackout so huge that people had to be airlifted from the hospital to the next county to be treated. If that wasn't bad enough, it resulted in one of the worst nicknames ever. One that she hates even more than her normal, boring name. Jinx.

Through her life, everyone in her family has come to know her as Jinx. Nothing else. Growing up a preacher's daughter, in a house-hold of 7, in Hancock, Iowa, Jean never has the best of luck. She breaks everything she comes into contact with.**

Her bad luck gets so extreme she has to move to New York City to live with her Aunt and Uncle--and her three cousins. One of which, Tory*** has changed an awful lot since the last time she saw her... five years ago. She enters into a new school, and, typical of her luck, things go wrong. All but one thing, that is: Her new friendship with the cute, adorable neighbor, Zach (who enjoys seals).

(At the risk of sounding cheesy) Through all this, Jinx learns to accept her bad luck and live with a secret she's been hiding. The secret that is the reason she left Iowa in the first place. And it comes back after her anyway...(ooh, being all cryptic and evil. Mwahahahaha!)

As is typical of Meg Cabot books (or at least from the extent of my knowledge) this story is written very well. Meg Cabot's ability to relate to teens (or teen girls, that is) still amazes me. The one thing I must criticize, however, is the lack of intelligence the main character always seems to hold. The whole way through the book, I just wanted to reach in and rip Jinx's hair out.

The plot starts out a bit sketchy (mimicking that of other Cabot books I've read) but quickly develops into a page-turning, can't-put-it-down novel. I found myself, more than once, verbalizing my opinion out loud. I became part of the story. I had to keep reading. The characters drew me in and held me. They are dynamic and entertaining, but sometimes quite predictable. You just can't help falling in love with them, though. They are your friends, family, neighbors. Just on a whole new level you never thought they could be on. They are realistically, unbelievably...wonderful.

But, this book may not be everyone's cup of tea...

Who am I kidding? How can you not love this book?

As I've said before, a good cover is usually (and here I emphasize the word 'usually') a sign of a good book. And I, for one, love the cover. It's beautiful and etherial. It fits the writing and plot of Jinx very well.

And that's why I give this book 4 perfectly hot, deliciously sweet Cups of Coffee--with just the right amount of that foamy milk.****


*Not Jean Marie, or Jeanine, or Jeanette, or even Jeanne. Just Jean.
**As her cousin Teddy so blatantly points out
***Or as she prefers, Torrance (*dramatic sigh*)
****Hey, not everybody likes the foamy milk...


MJFan said...

I cannot believe you are copying Maureen Johnson's style of using asteriks to explain things/make a joke at the end of the entry. It's disgusting.

Heather♥ said...

I'm not copying MJ!

I'm kind of copying someone, but it isn't MJ. It's the evil cousins. I didn't want to interupt the flow of the review with tons of parenthesis, so I used the astericks! I started that before I read her blogs anyway. Actually, I just started reading them, like, a week and a half ago, maybe not even that long.

It's kind of offending that you would say that!

Caroline said...

Hello, mjfan. I feel it is necessary to explain something- I, too, am an MJ fan. I think she is an incredible writer, a comic genuis, and completely made of awesome. See my review of one of HER books to see how entirely amazing I find her. Maureen Johnson has done many wonderful things with her writing- but, sadly, I feel I must inform you that she did not invent the asterisk.
Heather(who, btw, doesn't even regularily READ Mj's blog. I do, but I didn't use the wretched asterisks)- used a couple of asterisks the way they were designed to be used, to adress small points or additional bits of information that were not included in the piece of writing itself. I'm sure Maureen isn't the only one who has ever used that to be funny. I've SEEN others use that to be funny.
Chill, please. We love and respect MJ, and are not trying to be in any way 'disgusting'.


mjfan said...

Haha, you think I don't know MJ didn't event the use of asteriks? DUH!

You guys post your link in her comments section then seemingly copy her style.

It looks bad. Maybe you guys didn't mean to, but I sort of doubt it.

mjfan said...

I meant invent, not event, obviously.

emilea said...

i don't know who you are, but LEAVE IT ALONE. i like it. steal from the best. it's a writer thing, okay? every story has already been written. just about everything has already been written, so technically everybody is stealing from somebody. so just...back off.

i don't even know who you are. so if it's a friend, then i'm sorry. but still. you guys know how i roll. especially with strangers (*laugh* like heather once was : - ) )

i love meg cabot, but you are right. most of her plot is formula. but it's good nonetheless.