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Cabot offers a tale from the dark side

By Arlia Delphonse, Xpress Correspondent
Published September 10, 2007


It's hard to believe that Meg Cabot, the author of the light and frothy Princess Diaries series, is capable of writing such a dark tale like one of her latest novels, Jinx.

Jean "Jinx" Honeychurch has had nothing but bad luck all 16 years of her life. On the night she was born, there was a terrible storm and the power went out in the hospital. Now, because she is being stalked by a senior boy from her school in Hancock, Iowa, her parents decide to send her to New York to live with her cousin Tory and her family.

Jinx arrives to find that her cousin, who demands to be called Torrance now, is a gothic, depressed 16-year-old. Torrance is convinced that she is the one and only witch in their generation of the family. According to the cousin's grandmother, their great-great-great-and-so-on-and-so-on grandmother was a witch named Branwen who was burned at the stake. The story says that her great-great-yadda-yadda-minus-one-great-grandchild's oldest daughter will be the next witch in the family line.

Torrance and her friends are all either buying or dealing drugs in her backyard gazebo when Jinx arrives, except for a student named Zach Rosen, whom Jinx immediately falls head-over-heels in love with.

It turns out that Torrance likes Zach, too. She puts a love spell on him and puts spells on other people, like Jinx, to get Zach to like her back.

This book was a little too mushy and romantic for me, but also very shadowy and a little sinister. It's supposed to be for kids ages 12 and older in grades 7 and up, but there is some profanity and drug references that parents might not want their kids to read. And, as I said before, it's a bit heavy on the romance.

I would probably like this book better if there was not as much evil, fewer cat fights and less romance.

Now if you're a little older, like love stories and witchcraft, this book is just right for you. But if you're not really into those things, then you might want to borrow this one from the library.

Arlia Delphonse, 12, is in eighth grade at Tarpon Springs Middle School.

[Last modified September 7, 2007, 16:43:34]

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