Title: The Jerk Magnet
Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Release Date: January 1, 2012
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?
I haven’t read a lot of Christian YA books in a while, and I’m really glad that my cousin introduced me to this author. It was cute, short, and shared several pointed messages that teens, especially but not limited to girls, deal with constantly. I liked how it didn’t just focus on faith, but on the constant confusion of learning how to be an adult and deal with everything life hands out to you. It was mostly realistic, at least in the fact that people do think these things, if not in the way the thoughts were conveyed. But that was refreshing; she had to convey the message somehow, and I think that she was very successful.
The plotline was interesting for sure. The plan that Janelle and Chelsea come up with at the end was hilarious, and very revealing of both human nature and individual character, in the book and in real life. I truly appreciated the honesty of Carlson’s writing and the imperfection of the characters.
I would definitely recommend this book, even if you are not a Christian. It is a quick, accurate view into the depths of the teenage world of bullying, insecurity, and uncertain futures. I cannot wait to read more of Melody Carlson’s books – very soon!