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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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

Does first impression really last? Not always.

Looks can be highly deceiving, and some teens in this book learned it the hard way as seen through Chelsea's experiences when she transformed from an ugly duckling to a beautiful teenage girl.

Title: The Jerk Magnet (Life at Kingston High #1) by Melody Carlson
Pages: 217
Release Date: January 1st 2012
Published by: Revell
Source: Publisher
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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.

Chelsea is a character that was as dynamic as any teen could be. What's amazing is I find myself responding to Chelsea because I can relate to her. You can only take so much time blending with the rest of the crowd and being under the radar before you feel the need to break free and be noticed. But what she should have realized is this: You do not change for anyone, you change for yourself. Not because your stepmother thinks you need it, but because you really want to. I still feel weary about it, but if it helped Chelsea with her self-confidence and it became a way for her to bond with a new member of the family, then I guess it's a great experience for the both of them.

However, Chelsea's transformation comes with a price. The trouble and the hassle she gets by being 'noticed' is the biggest drawback of her transformation. However, I can't say that Chelsea didn't ask for it. In her quest to outgrow her "wallflower" attitude she has made rash decisions and actions that warranted those unwanted and inappropriate attentions from the jerks. Boys respond to something they see, or they thought they saw, and Chelsea might not have encouraged it, but re-inventing one's self can go a really long way, and it's not always in the right way.

The Jerk Magnet has some sweet moments that made me think of how much fun and lively teenage life is. Because being a teen comes the drama, the friendships you will form that will last a long time and a thing or two about love and relationships. Sometimes it doesn't hurt for us to reconnect with Him especially if we feel lost. Chelsea got to the point where she barely know who she was, stuck in between being a pretty girl and wanting to just be someone who looks nice and still be as geeky as she was before. The social experiment she made with Janelle can open the eyes of many with how most people treat everyone else based on what they see. It makes readers look past the physical appearance of someone and learn to take time to know the person, give them a chance to prove themselves beyond the clothes they wear, their perfume, the way they arrange their hair, or what shoes they're wearing.

Although I agree with Nicholas on being intimidated, because there's something about very pretty girls who scares some guys off, to me this reason seemed a little bit shallow. Nicholas' attitude is a perfect example of a person's sweeping generalization, as opposed to getting to know Chelsea better. Forming opinions when you do not know the person at all might be natural, but it was unfair to Chelsea. It makes me think that he would befriend girls who aren't as pretty out of pity, and stay away from those who looked good like there is something wrong with them. Nicholas still has a lot to learn to become a great guy.

The Jerk Magnet's appeal lies in the truths ingrained in Chelsea's situation. I would have acted the same way towards a pretty girl because I am intimidated. I would have been a snob. I would have casted her off as someone extremely flawed, called her names because that makes me feel better and a little less insecure. Melody Carlson wrote an honest story about how we see ourselves and how people react to it. Beauty might only be skin deep but we humans have always cared so much about appearances that it affects greatly how we interact with the people around us.

Melody Carlson wrote a novel that teens these days should read, especially those who pay so much attention to how they look than what they feel inside. It's got a nice blend of teenage angst and drama, and a little something about one's faith, which most teens these days tend to ignore.

Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Okay: Liked, but The Goddess demands more!

Book Cover:

1 comment:

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