All Chelsea really wanted to do was keep a low profile and get to the end of the sh=chool year. Now she has to adjust to the idea that she'll soon have a stepmother.
That was definitely something she wasn't happy about, but Kate, her father's intended, decided to do a makeover on Chelsea. That is the thing that managed to win over Chelsea's acceptance of her. After all, Chelsea was now a hot number.
She had guys swarming after her like bees to honey. Sounds good, but every one of them turned out to be jerks. The one who wasn't a jerk wouldn't even give her the time of day.
Chelsea did make a girl friend whom she helped with a makeover. But things weren't all coming up roses. It took a surpries at a weekend camp to really turn things around.
Geek to hot stuff and back to geek. Chelsea just wants something in between.
Thank you, Melody Carlson. You always give us a good story.
"The Jerk Magnet" is a young adult Christian general fiction novel. Chelsea was complex and Janelle was engaging, but we only got to know a few characters very well. To me, it seemed like the story moved too fast to really make the desired impact.
Perhaps because the story was so short, the focus was almost solely on how boys (and girls) were reacting to Chelsea's appearance. The story didn't really talk about the other struggles of going to a new school or deal with the changes that having a step-mother would bring. So instead of being a story where a girl going through a lot of changes happens to attract jerks and decides that the new way she dresses and acts has something to do with it, it seemed like a story designed to teach girls that dressing and acting in a certain way will attract the wrong sort of guys. The story was still fun, though, and I liked how Chelsea became comfortable with who she was by the end.
There wasn't much of a Christian element beyond the prerequisite "comes to Christ" scene (which we're told about more than are shown) and the lesson at camp that God cares more about the inside of a person than their appearances, so Christians should care more about that, too. There was no sex and no bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this book to Christian teens since it does explore (in a fun way) an issue they struggle with and it was an enjoyable story.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
I don't know what it is about Melody Carlson's YA books published by Revell that I love so much, but it probably has to do with the relevant, timely subject matter and how well she puts everything together in a story that anyone can relate to. If the rest of the series is half as enjoyable as this book was, then I'm reading them all. In fact, I read this story through in one sitting. I didn't bet out of the chair until I'd turned the last page. Not even to take a break. That's a great book if I don't want to put it down for any reason.
I loved the theme in this book about how people treat each other based on outward appearances and that all people, good-looking and unattractive alike, have feelings that shouldn't be messed with based on preconceived notions people may have about them. I discovered when I was a teenager that acting like myself and having a brain didn't attract boys. But ramp up the appearance a bit and play the ditsy blonde, and I couldn't get them to leave me alone.
I've been at fault myself for judging people based on their outward appearance even as an adult. I assumed once back in the 1990s that our new pastor's young wife (who was my age) had plenty of friends because she was pretty and nice, only to find out everyone else thought she had plenty of friends, too, and for the same reason. Come to find out she had NO friends. Everyone assumed wrong. We ended up becoming friends and bonded over the movie "Sense and Sensibility" with some other ladies at church who had also judged incorrectly and we got to know each other. I'm glad we did.
What I enjoyed most about this book was how it showed that beautiful people have emotional insecurities too. While everyone says they want to be that way, the truth is if guys only wanted to date you because you were beautiful, and no one wanted to commit to you because they felt you were too pretty, you'd see it's a pretty lonely life. And no one likes to be surrounded by catty, competitive women, even as adults. So this book was a great reminder that even Christians fall into that trap, though I can honestly say that at my church I feel like we all blend very well and befriend each other with no biases, I'm sure that's not always the case.
Regardless, we need to get to know each other on the inside first, and let that be the measuring stick we use to determine whether or not we want to get to know someone better or not. The Jerk Magnet did a great job at presented all sides and reminding the reader not to be shallow and judgmental, but to love each other as Christ loved us. And most of all, to give each other a chance. We're all flawed, but we're all loved by the same God.