Monday, March 19, 2012
Melody Carlson's The Jerk Magnet ~ Reviewed
THE JERK MAGNET
By Melody Carlson
Published by Revell (Jan 1, 2012)
Paperback: 218 pages
Book Blurb: 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.
I love Melody Carlson’s writing no matter who her audience is, in this case it’s for the youth. Chelsea Martin has just found out her dad has a girlfriend and it’s serious. Surprise to her.
Chelsea was still dealing with her mother being dead, ok, it had been 5 years but she wasn't ready to move on to having a step-mother. Chelsea doesn’t have much time to process the news before her dad hits her with another boom, they are moving. She’s loosing her dad and the only home she’s ever known in the same year.
Chelsea meets Kate, her dad’s girlfriend and sees how well put together she is, she’s nice too. Kate offers to help Chelsea with her clothes, hair and make-up. Her Dad's new bride to be has some bonding time with Chelsea as they talk about beauty. It reminded me of when Julie Andrews talked to Mia about how she dressed, wore her hair and have good table manners. They were grooming her to be the princess and she had to have a certain look in the Princess Diaries movies.
Kate says back, “I think the exterior is hurting the interior – I see you becoming as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside. Just think of it, you’ll be going to a new school this fall, and who knows how great your last two years of high school might be.”
Before they start Chelsea says, “I don’t see the point in all this you can dress me differently but I’m still the same on the inside!”
Kate then talks to Chelsea about her interior dialogue, “You need to change your interior dialogue Chelsea.” What you think about yourself shows on the outside.
Chelsea resisted in her head the things Kate had told her to think, “I am an attractive, intelligent girl. I have a lot to offer other people. People want to get to know me.”
But when Kate gets Chelsea all dolled up to perfection - male heads turn and she gets attention she never had before. Is this what she wants? All this attention may not be a good thing.
Had Kate gone too far with Chelsea’s new look? She thinks so when a friend says to her, “Look at yourself. Just like Dalton said, you look like a hot babe, and to a jerk like him, a hot babe is like dangling raw meat in front of a hungry bear. Or in other words, a jerk magnet.” (The guy will say and do anything to be with you – not in a good way)
Chelsea was baffled. Her friend went on, “In the same way you attract guys who are jerks, you repel the guys who aren’t- at lease the ones who are trying not to be jerks,”
Chelsea and Janelle try an experiment at the youth group retreat and get surprising results. Chelsea then starts to think about whom she is dressed up to be and who she really is and/or wants to be. Great stuff!
I enjoy Melody Carlson books. I was so thankful for the review copy of such a fun and honest book about the pressures girls have in high school. That's what my daughter and I loved most about the Diary of a Teenage Girl series by Melody, we could read them separately and talk about the content. We can talk about the book and characters and not have to bring up specifics about our lives. Melody's books open up a dialogue between your daughter and yourself that is safe.
She also puts things in the book you're glad your child heard from someone else because maybe, just maybe they might listen to it. In the teen years it's hard to listen to your parents when you are trying to figure out this whole big world and where you fit in.
I liked how the author dealt with the subject of beauty. Chelsea was hot and the guys were all over her but is that what she really wanted to be known for? Is this the attention she wanted to be known for her body and looks alone? There are so many feelings and situations to deal with in High School, I like the way Melody shows how Chelsea navigates through her transition from one school to another.
I enjoyed this book very much. I highly recommend it for any age group, but especially the middle schooler/early high school age. It's a keeper!!
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network