Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Jerk Magnet

The Jerk Magnet
Melody Carlson
January 2012/224 pages/$12.99

What if beauty is more than just skin deep?

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. Oh, and stealing the attention of all the guys in school doesn't exactly make her BFF material for the girls.

Finally a great guy catches her eye. But he's the only one around who doesn't give her a second glance. Can Chelsea come up with a plan to get his attention? Or will her new image ruin everything?

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, The Jerk Magnet, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books in 2010 and 2011. She and her husband live in central Oregon. For more information about Melody visit her website at www.melodycarlson.com.

Melody Carlson writes great books for teen girls and has her pulse on the hot issues that impact them. My thoughts on this book are mixed because my opinion swung all over the place as I read. The message Melody Carlson wants teens to take away from this book is an important one: don't judge by external appearance. The girl with the hottest looks is not necessarily a jerk and may in fact be a warm, committed Christ-follower. The "plain Jane" should not be dismissed as only being worthy of sisterly friendship and thereby essentially overlooked. The part of the book I struggled with is Chelsea's makeover itself. While I recognize that the story needed Chelsea to undergo the transformation for the experience, I wanted her to realize at the end that she was beautiful the way God made her, without the spray-on tan, hair coloring, and designer (albeit at a discount) clothing. I am not against make-up and looking our best. But I took issue with the extent of changes that Chelsea's future step-mom made, including her comments about Chelsea's mousy brown hair. As a mom who wants my girl to be content with how God created her (not to mention we can't afford routine mani/pedis, brow treatments, salon appointments, and make-up consultations!), that factor would keep me from passing this book along to her. I fear that the message of not judging by appearances might be overshadowed by the discontent felt by girls who long for their own fairy godmother to change them rather than helping them find the beauty hidden within.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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1 comment:

Amber S. said...

Your review is so thoughtful and helpful. :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts!