Jean, aka Jinx, has been a "bad luck magnet" since the moment she was born, when a freak thunderstorm caused a hospital blackout. Now, due to a vaguely described incident involving a stalker, she has moved from Iowa to stay with her aunt's family in a ritzy New York City townhouse. Jean's regular bad luck gets worse thanks to Tory, the snotty cousin who is now her classmate at an exclusive private school. After Jean mysteriously prevents a cute neighbor from a terrible accident, Tory is convinced that Jean is a witch-just like herself, and as proof she dredges up a story their grandmother used to tell about magic in their bloodline. Jean refuses to join Tory's coven, saying, "I don't think messing around with magic is such a good thing, you know" (though she soon performs a binding spell to prevent her cousin from hurting the family's au pair). Tension between the girls rises, causing Tory to ominously declare, "I have a very special thank-you I've been saving up, just for Jinx." With its assurance of a satisfying outcome despite the odds, predictability is a virtue in a Cabot (Princess Diaries) novel, and readers will guess most plot points, including the truth behind the stalking story. Readers will enjoy the premise and the naiveté of the heroine, and they'll wonder, as Jean does, how much magic is actually at play. The final supernatural showdown proves that Cabot can do harrowing just as well as she does pop romance. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Jinxby Meg Cabot
It's not easy being Jinx.
Jean Honeychurch hates her boring name (not Jean Marie, or Jeanette, just . . . Jean). What's worse? Her all-too-appropriate nickname, Jinx. Misfortune seems to follow her everywhere she goes�even to New York City, where Jinx has moved to get away from the huge mess she caused in her small hometown. Her aunt and uncle welcome her to/p>… See more details below
It's not easy being Jinx.
Jean Honeychurch hates her boring name (not Jean Marie, or Jeanette, just . . . Jean). What's worse? Her all-too-appropriate nickname, Jinx. Misfortune seems to follow her everywhere she goes�even to New York City, where Jinx has moved to get away from the huge mess she caused in her small hometown. Her aunt and uncle welcome her to their Manhattan town house, but her beautiful cousin Tory isn't so thrilled. . . .
In fact, Tory is hiding a dangerous secret�one that could put them all in danger. Soon Jinx realizes it isn't just bad luck she's been running from . . . and that the curse she has lived under since the day she was born may be the only thing that can save her life.
Gr 6-9 -Jean Honeychurch hopes to leave her Iowa past-and her nickname, Jinx-behind when she moves to New York City to live with her aunt's family and finish her sophomore year in high school. But living in a Manhattan townhouse and attending a ritzy private school with her cousin Tory are not the Cinderella experiences she had anticipated. Glamorous Tory has been dabbling in witchcraft. Not the delightful stuff of Hogwarts, but the pentacle-and-coven variety that may unsettle conservative parents. The plot breezes along fairly predictably, with Tory's treachery, the cute boy next door, and a callous coterie. Although Jean's mother is a minister, the girl seems to have no spiritual or religious moorings when confronting evil. Amber Sealey's reading is competent with the ingénue voices, but Tory's character is read in one unrelenting smirk. The German au pair's accent is all over the map, and a character from Iowa has an inexplicable Southern accent. Meg Cabot fans may like this tale (HarperTeen, 2007), particularly if they fancy black magic, but others will be impatient with the cardboard characters and uninspired setting.-Julie Dahlhauser, Jackson Central-Merry High School, TNCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Meet the Author
Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to her adult contemporary fiction, she is the author of the bestselling young adult fiction series, The Princess Diaries. More than 25 million copies of her novels for children and adults have sold worldwide. Meg lives in Key West, Florida, with her husband.
- New York, New York
- Place of Birth:
- Bloomington, Indiana
- B.A. in fine arts, Indiana University, 1991
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Read an Excerpt
The thing is, my luck's always been rotten. Just look at my name: Jean. Not Jean Marie, or Jeanine, or Jeanette, or even Jeanne. Just Jean. Did you know in France, they name boys Jean? It's French for John.
And okay, I don't live in France. But still. I'm basically a girl named John. If I lived in France, anyway.
This is the kind of luck I have. The kind of luck I've had since before Mom even filled out my birth certificate.
So it wasn't any big surprise to me when the cab driver didn't help me with my suitcase. I'd already had to endure arriving at the airport to find no one there to greet me, and then got no answer to my many phone calls, asking where my aunt and uncle were. Did they not want me after all? Had they changed their minds? Had they heard about my bad luck—all the way from Iowa—and decided they didn't want any of it to rub off on them?
But even if that were true—and as I'd told myself a million times since arriving at baggage claim, where they were supposed to have met me, and seeing no one but skycaps and limo drivers with little signs with everyone's names on them but mine—there was nothing I could do about it. I certainly couldn't go home. It was New York City—and Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Ted's house—or bust.
So when the cab driver, instead of getting out and helping me with my bags, just pushed a little button so that the trunk popped open a few inches, it wasn't the worst thing that had ever happened to me. It wasn't even the worst thing that had happened to me that day.
I pulled out my bags, each ofwhich had to weigh fifty thousand pounds, at least—except my violin case, of course—and then closed the trunk again, all while standing in the middle of East Sixty-ninth Street, with a line of cars behind me, honking impatiently because they couldn't pass, due to the fact that there was a Stanley Steemer van double-parked across the street from my aunt and uncle's building.
Why me? Really. I'd like to know.
The cab pulled away so fast, I practically had to leap between two parked cars to keep from getting run over. The honking stopped as the line of cars that had been waiting behind the cab started moving again, their drivers all throwing me dirty looks as they went by.
It was all the dirty looks that did it—made me realize I was really in New York City. At last.
And yeah, I'd seen the skyline from the cab as it crossed the Triboro Bridge... the island of Manhattan, in all its gritty glory, with the Empire State Building sticking up from the middle of it like a big glittery middle finger.
But the dirty looks were what really cinched it. No one back in Hancock would ever have been that mean to someone who was clearly from out of town.
Not that all that many people visit Hancock. But whatever.
Then there was the street I was standing on. It was one of those streets that look exactly like the ones they always show on TV when they're trying to let you know something is set in New York. Like on Law and Order. You know, the narrow three- or four-story brownstones with the brightly painted front doors and the stone stoops....
According to my mom, most brownstones in New York City were originally single-family homes when they were built way back in the 1800s. But now they've been divided up into apartments, so that there's one—or sometimes even two or more families—per floor.
Not Mom's sister Evelyn's brownstone, though. Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Ted Gardiner own all four floors of their brownstone. That's practically one floor per person, since Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Ted only have three kids, my cousins Tory, Teddy, and Alice.
Back home, we just have two floors, but there are seven people living on them. And only one bathroom. Not that I'm complaining. Still, ever since my sister Courtney discovered blow-outs, it's been pretty grim at home.
But as tall as my aunt and uncle's house was, it was really narrow—just three windows across. Still, it was a very pretty townhouse, painted gray, with lighter gray trim. The door was a bright, cheerful yellow. There were yellow flower boxes along the base of each window, flower boxes from which bright red—and obviously newly planted, since it was only the middle of April, and not quite warm enough for them—geraniums spilled.
It was nice to know that, even in a sophisticated city like New York, people still realized how homey and welcoming a box of geraniums could be. The sight of those geraniums cheered me up a little.
Like maybe Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Ted just forgot I was arriving today, and hadn't deliberately failed to meet me at the airport because they'd changed their minds about letting me come to stay.
Like everything was going to be all right, after all.
Yeah. With my luck, probably not.
I started up the steps to the front door of 326 East Sixty-ninth Street, then realized I couldn't make it with both bags and my violin. Leaving one bag on the sidewalk, I dragged the other up the steps with me, my violin tucked under one arm. I deposited the first suitcase and my violin case at the top of the steps, then hurried back down for the second suitcase, which I'd left on the sidewalk.
Only I guess I took the steps a little too fast, since I nearly tripped and fell flat on my face on the sidewalk. I managed to catch myself at the last moment by grabbing some of the wrought-iron fencing the Gardiners had put up...Jinx (PLM). Copyright © by Meg Cabot. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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