The Karma Clubby Jessica Brody
Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. You knowdo good things and you will be rewarded, do something bad and you'll get what's coming to you. But when Maddy's long-time boyfriend gets caught tongue-wrestling with Miss Perfect Body Heather Campbell, and they wind up the hot new couple at school, it seems like Karma is on a break. So
Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. You knowdo good things and you will be rewarded, do something bad and you'll get what's coming to you. But when Maddy's long-time boyfriend gets caught tongue-wrestling with Miss Perfect Body Heather Campbell, and they wind up the hot new couple at school, it seems like Karma is on a break. So Maddy and her friends decide to start the Karma Cluba secret, members-only organization for dealing with messes the universe is leaving behind. They're just doing what Karma should have done in the first place, right?
Equal parts fresh, funny, and engaging, The Karma Club is the story of one girl's attempt to speed Karma along only to discover that Karma plays by its own rules. Jessica Brody has created a witty, endearing heroine in Maddy Kasparkova--this is one YA debut you won't want to miss!
All the fun and intrigue of Gossip Girl, with the heart of a Sarah Dessen novel and the soul of the I Ching.
The thing is, you can't just order up some karma when another person does something wrong. You have to live your life well and just trust that the universe will reorder and reconcile other's misdeeds. When Madison tries to take karma into her own hands, the universe laughs softly and turns the tables on her, which leads to a series of unfortunate events in her life. Lesson learned in this fun summer read.
A very entertaining read filled with friendship, girls kicking butt, and taking a break from boys. I love books with girls taking charge - and this one fits the bill perfectly.
Written with wit and panache. Readers will have fun with this one, and it might make them think a little, too.
The Karma Club is exactly the book you'd want to read after getting dumped. With an effortless understanding of the teen landscape, Jessica Brody takes the classic tale of "what goes around, comes around" and crafts a fresh, funny, relatable story that proves it's never to late to admit your mistakes and set Karma back on its natural course.
“Equal parts fresh, funny, and engaging, The Karma Club is the story of one girl's attempt to speed Karma along only to discover that Karma plays by its own rules. Jessica Brody has created a witty, endearing heroine in Maddy Kasparkova--this is one YA debut you won't want to miss!” Alyson Noël, New York Times bestselling author of Evermore and Radiance
“This book takes the drive and social focus of Legally Blonde's Elle Woods and mashes it up with My Name is Earl's Karma. The Karma Club is a cute, hilarious and heart-warming look into the difference between Karma that looks like revenge and the Karma of pay it forward.” Justine magazine
“All the fun and intrigue of Gossip Girl, with the heart of a Sarah Dessen novel and the soul of the I Ching.” Gabrielle Zevin, author of Elsewhere and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
“Jessica Brody effortlessly (and humorously) weaves an age-old concept into an entertaining modern-day story.” bestselling author Deepak Chopra
“The thing is, you can't just order up some karma when another person does something wrong. You have to live your life well and just trust that the universe will reorder and reconcile other's misdeeds. When Madison tries to take karma into her own hands, the universe laughs softly and turns the tables on her, which leads to a series of unfortunate events in her life. Lesson learned in this fun summer read.” Kiwi magazine
“A very entertaining read filled with friendship, girls kicking butt, and taking a break from boys. I love books with girls taking charge--and this one fits the bill perfectly.” TeensReadToo.com, Five Star Review
“Written with wit and panache. Readers will have fun with this one, and it might make them think a little, too.” Booklist
“It's a well-paced comedy, with a nice balance of cinematic physical humor and genuine teen emotions.” Publishers Weekly
“The action-packed narrative builds an impressive amount of suspense for what is essentially a comic romance, and readers might learn a thing or two about Buddhist philosophy along the way.” Kirkus Reviews
“This fun, fast-paced read will bring a smile to the face of anyone who has dealt with high school's ups and downs, and will make them think before they meddle with fortune.” School Library Journal
“The Karma Club is exactly the book you'd want to read after getting dumped. With an effortless understanding of the teen landscape, Jessica Brody takes the classic tale of "what goes around, comes around" and crafts a fresh, funny, relatable story that proves it's never to late to admit your mistakes and set Karma back on its natural course.” Rosalind Wiseman, New York Times bestselling author of Queen Bees & Wannabees
Read an Excerpt
The Karma Club
By Jessica Brody
Farrar, Straus and GirouxCopyright © 2010 Jessica Brody
All rights reserved.
THE HUNKY DOUGH BOY
My phone seems to be ringing louder than usual today. And there's a certain urgency in its tone that makes this incoming call somehow sound more important than most.
I stare at it for a moment and then quickly decide to ignore the call. I'm in the middle of studying for a very important European history test and I really don't want to be bothered.
The phone rings again.
I don't need to look at the caller ID to know that it's Angie who's being so freaking persistent. My friends all have their own ring tones. Angie's happens to be a very popular hip-hop song that she insists she started liking way before everyone else did. Personally, I think she just doesn't want to admit that she's in any way "mainstream." It would damage that subtle counterculture reputation she's spent so long perfecting.
Either way, I think this particular song lost its appeal after about twelve rings. And given the fact that Angie calls me at least sixteen times a day, I am now officially sick of it.
I ignore Angie's call again and continue reading about the storming of the Bastille. Whatever is so important can at least wait until King Louis XVI gets his head chopped off.
The phone rings a third time.
Finally, I groan and pick it up. "What?"
Normally, Angie would berate me for my unfriendly greeting, but this afternoon, apparently, she has bigger things to worry about than my tone. "Maddy, get down to Miller's now."
"I can't. I'm studying for my history test," I say, slightly annoyed.
"Drop everything and get your butt down here," she practically growls into the phone. "I promise, it's more exciting than the French Revolution."
"Yeah, like that's hard," I reply sarcastically.
"Just come." And with that she hangs up the phone.
Angie has been my best friend since the sixth grade. She probably knows me better than anyone else in my life. For instance, she knows that, right now, I'll sulk around my room for the next few minutes debating about whether or not I really want to give in to her demands. Then I'll eventually close my textbook with a scowl, slip on my shoes, and drive the twelve blocks to Miller's Drug Store, where she works quarter-time as a cashier. I say quarter-time instead of part-time, because although it is a part-time job, she spends only half of the time working and the other half reading magazines from the rack next to the register.
I pull into the store parking lot exactly nine minutes later, and I know she'll be patting herself on the back when I walk through the door, incredibly proud of her ability to clock my decision-making process down to the minute.
I trudge into the empty store and approach the register, where she's flipping through the new February issue of Contempo Girl, our mutually favorite magazine. Although we have completely different reasons for liking it. I enjoy reading the sections about the new fashion trends, latest celebrity gossip, and relationship advice, while Angie, as far as I can tell, just likes reading it so she can have a replenishing supply of people and products to criticize.
"What's so important you couldn't just tell me on the phone?"
Angie looks up and, without even so much as a hello, shoves the magazine into my hands. I manage to catch it just before it falls to the floor.
"Turn to page thirty-five."
I shift my weight onto one foot and, with a frustrated sigh, open the now crumpled magazine. As I flick brusquely through the pages, I say, "You know, this history test tomorrow is my only chance to bring my B up to an A and I don't really appreciate the fact that you dragged me down here just to gripe about whatever —" I stop suddenly with a gasp when I see the page in front of me.
Angie watches me with a satisfied I-told-you-so grin on her face.
"Oh my God!" I exclaim as I stare down at the page in disbelief. "They published it?"
She nods excitedly. "Yes!"
"They actually published it?" I still can't seem to wrap my head around what I'm seeing in front of me.
"I told you it was more exciting than the French Revolution."
I fold over the front half of the magazine and bring it closer to my face so I can study the paragraph-long block of text that takes up approximately one fifth of the page. Above it is the name MASON BROOKS printed in large, bold letters, and right next to that is a picture of my boyfriend. Yes, my boyfriend, in Contempo Girl magazine for all to see!
I submitted his picture to the magazine's monthly "Meet My Boyfriend" competition. But that was like six months ago. And after three months of running to the store the minute the latest issue was released to see if they had chosen my submission, I pretty much gave up on the whole thing.
You see, each month they pick only five guys to feature. Mason is our senior class president, just recently scored a 2350 on his SATs, is one of the best players on our varsity soccer team, and he already has an early acceptance letter to Amherst College for next year. Plus, I think he's hot. Like really hot. I know I'm biased and everything, but he's got these incredible green eyes and long dark lashes. His skin is olive colored, and the hair on his head is dark and thick, really good for running your fingers through.
Anyway, I know the fact that he's hot and an amazing soccer player and manages to juggle being class president is really impressive. I mean, personally I'm impressed by him every day. But I never thought in a million years that Contempo Girl would actually pick him. Well, maybe I've had a few fleeting fantasies about it. Something along the lines of Mason's picture gets selected, everyone at the school sees it, I experience one of those insta-popularities that only happens in cheesy teen movies and maybe even score a nomination for prom queen. My clothes magically become more trendy (either because I suddenly know how to pick out trendy clothes or because everyone simply idolizes anything I wear and so it doesn't even matter), and just like that, Mason and I become the most popular couple at Colonial High.
However, this is far more exciting than anything I ever imagined. Not to mention totally surreal.
"Read it aloud," Angie insists. "It's a really good article."
I grasp the magazine tightly and begin reading from the page. "Mason Brooks, senior at Colonial High School in Pine Valley, CA, has been hopelessly devoted to his girlfriend, Madison Kasparkova, since sophomore year." I stop reading and look up at Angie with a dopey smile on my face. "That's me!"
"I know." She rolls her eyes. "Keep reading."
I drop my head back down and pick up where I left off. "In a graduating class of just over four hundred students, they didn't meet until both of them decided to take jobs working as counselors at a local summer camp. They have been together ever since. 'He's so sweet to me,' says Madison, age seventeen. 'He always knows when I'm in a bad mood or not having a good day and shows up at my door with my favorite candy: Chewy Runts. They're really hard to find sometimes. They don't sell them everywhere. But somehow he always manages to find them. Like he has a Chewy Runts Locating Device hidden in his closet or something.'"
I look up again. "Yeah, I wrote that! I really did!" I beam.
"I know," Angie replies again. "You only made me read the letter like fifty times before you sent it."
"It's funny, right? Do you think it's funny?" I ask, suddenly paranoid about everyone in the world reading these lines and thinking I'm totally lame for saying "Chewy Runts Locating Device."
"Yes," Angie grudgingly reassures me. "It's funny. It was funny when you wrote it. It's still funny now."
Somewhat satisfied, I turn back to the magazine. "When Mason Brooks isn't spending time with his smitten, sweet-toothed girlfriend, he fulfills his duties as senior class president and a part-time chef at a local pizzeria. But don't get too floured by this hunky dough boy, ladies. Mason and Madison have already made plans to attend the same college after graduation. It sounds like this perfect pairing was made to last."
I stand in complete astonishment as I try to grasp everything that has happened in the last five minutes. My boyfriend, Mason Brooks, featured in Contempo Girl magazine! They even called him a "hunky dough boy." Well, yeah, it's a bit cheesy, but so what? This is huge! Every girl in the country is going to see this. Every girl in the country is going to be pining after my boyfriend.
Suddenly, I hear a high-pitched, overly excited shriek coming from the direction of the drugstore's front entrance and I realize that I wasn't the only person Angie called with the news.
"Where is it? Let me see it. How does he look? Oh my God, this is so exciting!"
Angie and I turn to see our other best friend, Jade, running into the store, completely red faced, her shoulder-length, sandy blond hair flipping wildly behind her. She scurries over to the register and tries to grab the magazine from my tightly grasping fingers. "Lemme see!" she squeals.
I pass the magazine to Jade and watch intently as her face lights up like a Christmas tree and her eyes skim the article.
Her head pops up. "They quoted you!"
My beaming grin never falters. "I know."
"That's so cool," she muses as she continues reading. I watch her face for further reaction, and then finally she cracks up laughing. "'Chewy Runts Locating Device.' That's hilarious."
"You think?" I ask again.
Jade nods with decisiveness. "Definitely funny."
Angie shakes her head at us and turns to help a customer who has just appeared at the register. Jade and I instinctively step a few feet away to spare the stranger the agony of listening to our intrusively loud, girlie shrieks.
"But Mason doesn't work at the pizza place anymore," Jade points out.
I simply shrug. "He did when I sent in his picture. But I doubt it matters."
In fact, Mason quit his job at Brooklyn Pizza after only six months of working there. And honestly, I'm not really sure why he needed the extra money to begin with — his parents basically pay for everything he wants anyway.
Jade finishes the article, then looks at me in amazement. "Wow."
I take the magazine back from her and hold it tightly in my grasp, as if dropping it would cause the whole thing to shatter into a million pieces and I might actually wake up from this crazy dream.
Angie finishes helping the older lady with her purchase of two-in-one shampoo and conditioner and a bag of cotton balls and steps out from behind the counter to join us.
Jade affectionately puts an arm around my shoulder. "This is big." She sums up my feelings in three little words.
I gaze absently straight ahead. "I don't even know what to do with myself."
Angie laughs and shakes her head. "Well, Maddy," she says in a serious tone. "The first thing you're gonna do is buy that magazine because, honestly, you've already crumpled it all up with your sweaty fingers and it's completely unsellable now. Then you're going to go home and study for your European history test because, believe it or not, Mrs. Spitz is not going to take this" — she taps her finger against the magazine — "as an acceptable excuse for not knowing about Marie Antoinette and Louis the Thirty-second."
"Sixteenth," I correct her.
"Whatever. They're all ugly with big noses. Louis le Grande Schnoz is more like it."
I giggle. Angie's one of those people that can always be counted on to stay calm and rational during any time of crisis or extreme excitement. If she had been on the Titanic when it started to sink, she definitely would not have been one of those women screaming and running around like headless chickens. She would have been one of the people organizing everyone else and telling them to shut up and get on the flipping lifeboat because screaming is clearly not going to get you anywhere ... except the bottom of the ocean.
I reach into the pocket of my jeans and produce a few dollar bills, which I hand over to Angie. She walks back to the register, rings up the slightly mangled magazine, and holds out my change. "Thanks for shopping at Miller's," she says brightly and with only a hint of sarcasm.
I say goodbye to both my friends, mumbling something about my test, and then drive back to my house in somewhat of a daze. I immediately make a plan to go back to the drugstore tomorrow to buy at least twenty copies of the magazine. Or however many my diminished bank account will allow. Because this is definitely the kind of thing you'd want to be able to show your grandchildren when you — Crap! I have to call Mason. He doesn't even know that his face is plastered in magazines across the country, dressed in his sauce-stained Brooklyn Pizza apron with a smudge of flour on his left cheek. I chose that specific picture, as opposed to the generic shirtless picture that I'm sure every girl chooses, because I thought it made him look humble and down-to-earth and really captured his whole Mason essence.
I'm totally anxious to get home and whip out my cell phone. My dad has lectured me way too many times about the law in California that prohibits anyone from using a cell phone while driving, unless it's with a headset. But if you're under eighteen, you can't even do that. And not wanting to risk losing my cell phone or my driving privileges, I always wait — rather impatiently, I might add — until I get to my destination before making or taking any calls. This can get really annoying with Angie's habit of calling repeatedly until I pick up.
I press the first speed-dial button and wait for Mason to answer. It goes straight to voice mail. Oh, right. I forgot he's still at soccer practice.
I am tempted to drive over to the soccer field and wait for him to finish practice so I can show him the article, but I know that my history book is waiting for me upstairs, and I cannot fail this test tomorrow. I need to keep my GPA up if I am ever going to be accepted to Amherst with Mason.
So I drag myself into the house, up the stairs, and into my bedroom. As I settle back into more reading about the French's love of the guillotine and the forming of the National Assembly, my phone rings again. This time it's Jade, and I answer it using the justification that the French Revolution happened like hundreds of years ago and all this stuff is happening right now. And isn't everyone always telling us to live in the now?
"Omigod," she says breathlessly as soon as I answer. "I just realized what this whole magazine article thing means."
"It means we'll finally be able to get into the Loft." She pronounces the word Loft in a loud whisper, as if it's the location of a top secret CIA drop point where confidential information is going to be exchanged at 0900 hours.
"You think? All because of this?" I ask, feeling skeptical.
"Of course!" Jade yells in my ear. "Hello? Mason is going to be like the most popular guy in school after this. And since you're his girlfriend and we're your friends, we'll totally get in."
The infamous "Loft" that Jade is referring to is actually a condo in downtown San Francisco that Spencer Cooper's parents own but rarely use because they're constantly traveling to much more glamorous places around the world. Apparently our little town just northeast of San Fran isn't exciting enough for them to stay put for longer than two weeks at a time. This means that Spencer is often left alone with his brand-new BMW, a credit card with no limit, and most important, the keys to the Loft. Spencer Cooper is infamous for two things: being the richest kid in school and also being the most stuck-up. I've never actually had a conversation with him (and honestly, I'm not sure if I'd ever want to), but from what I've heard, he's totally one of those guys who thinks he's better than everyone else because his parents have money. In seventh grade, it was rumored he paid his English teacher fifteen thousand dollars to change his grade from a C to a B. Honestly, I think that's just bad business sense. If you're going to pay someone that much money to change your grade, at least make it an A.
Anyway, Spencer began hosting parties at the Loft at the beginning of last year, and it quickly became the place to be and be seen for Colonial High. Everyone who's anyone is at the Loft parties. People like Heather Campbell, the most popular girl at our high school; her best friend, Jenna LeRoux, who also happens to be Spencer's current girlfriend; and anyone that Heather and Jenna deem worthy to hang out with them.
Up until now, my friends and I have never gone. We've only heard about how fabulous it is. Because it's not the kind of party you can just show up to. There's a list somewhere that indicates who is allowed in. Everyone else is turned away at the door. Unfortunately, we have yet to make it on that list.
Excerpted from The Karma Club by Jessica Brody. Copyright © 2010 Jessica Brody. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started "self-publishing" her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples and electrical tape.
Brody graduated from Smith College in 2001 with a double major in Economics and French and a minor in Japanese. She went to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development, and then, in 2005, she quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.
Brody is the author of the young adult novel My Life Undecided and two novels for adults--The Fidelity Files and Love Under Cover. Jessica's books are published in over ten foreign countries including the U.K., France, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Brazil, China, Portugal, and Taiwan. She now works full time as a writer and producer, and currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Colorado.
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Madison has the perfect boyfriend. She even sent in his photo to an uber-popular magazine for best boyfriend. Once they publish his photo, she hopes they will rise in popularity. She couldn't be happier gaining entrance to the exclusive parties at the Loft, until she finds her boyfriend making out with Queen Bee Heather Campbell. She rushes out of the party and waits for him to call and apologize. The phone call never comes. Instead, Madison must face the new "It" couple on Monday. She spends the week wallowing, until her mother forces her on a field trip - where she has a brilliant idea. Boys break hearts and nothing ever happens as a consequence, so Madison and her two BFFs start up a Karma Club to take back what matters most to the boys who broke their hearts. Will messing with Karma come back to bite them in the butt? A very entertaining read filled with friendship, girls kicking butt, and taking a break from boys. I love books with girls taking charge - and this one fits the bill perfectly.
I thought this was a very good book!!! It is very realistic and i read it all in 3 hours. I would suggest to read it!!! But i am telling you it is a little on the " adult" side and if you are under the age of 12 you should not read this book. But all in all it is a very great book
I love this book! I really enoyed reading it, and i couldnt put it down. I finished it in a day! It was really addicting and every page had some kind of excitement. The karma club was a really great book and i would totally suggest it to my friends and family. It might gave been a little mature for my age, but i still loved the story line and the characters. I highly suggest this book!!!!!!!
MYSECOND FAV BOOK EVA .. i think i cant choose .... Anyways! this book is really good and has turns and twist and omfg moments and omg! its to hard to explain its awesomeness ...............I dare you to read this book then say i dont like it cuz i bet you wont be able to i know couldnt id probally shoot myslef before saying that ignore the haters on this review because this book deserves a google rating
i love love loved this book its my fav book in the whole world cuz this book 2 me wasnt like any other book that u c in a everday school library this book has a good lesson 2 it and i couldnt put the book down at all i read it like everyday 2 hours each maybe more this book never bores u and i mean never there is always something new coming i read this in class and i got rlly excited about a part i practiclly jumped out of my seat i couldnt ask for a better book and those ppl who said 1 star dont listen 2 them they must be crazy its a must read just read it
ok this book is reall really good its my fav book and ive read lots and lots of books i think jessica brody should make more books like this but no one will ever be able to beat this one i screamed i cried i laughed with the main character of course instead of throwing up in a alley i would probally beat the guy up A MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am 13 and LOVE this book! It may be some what inapropiate for my age range, but it waas great. A pretty quick read- I couldnt put it down. It was funny, and I felt as if I was right along the characters witnessing every detailed scene!!
For a while, I got off my game and put off reading. Then i found this book. I read this within one day, on Christmas. So I obviously had family stuff but I loved this book so much that I fit in a enough time time finish it. I would recomend this to anyone who's looking for a comical, romantic and addicting book :)
Madison Kasparkova, has a textbook-perfect boyfriend, Mason, and two wonderful best friends, Angie and Jade, but what Maddy really wants out of life is hardcore popularity. To that end, she sends her boyfriend's photo and mini-bio to a teen magazine so that he'll be featured and everyone will envy her when they read the article about him, thus catapulting her to new social heights. Her plan backfires, because after the article runs, Mason dumps her for the queen bee of their high school. Maddy decides that because he hurt her, she needs to pay him back in kind. Angie and Jade are more than willing to help her form a Karma Club to avenge herself on Mason, because it means that they'll get to dole out some tail-kicking karma to their own awful ex-boyfriends. I don't really like the premise. The girls complain about how horrible it is that bad people don't get paid back for their bad deeds, but what they really mean is that anyone who has been mean to the three of them shouldn't go unpunished. When forming the club, Maddy stipulates, "No one can know that we are in any way responsible for what is about to happen. Everything has to be completely and utterly anonymous. Untraceable. Otherwise, it wouldn't be Karma. It would just be three bitter girls trying to get back at a bunch of their ex-boyfriends and the girl who stole one of them, which isn't the point at all" (pg 69). It sounds to me like it's exactly the point, otherwise the girls wouldn't be trying to forcibly induce karmic balance for only the people who've personally wounded them. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if Maddy and her friends had been more honest about their motivations--I could really get into a book called the Bitter Revenge Club. Maddy's not an awful person, but I couldn't connect to her because it seemed that pre-breakup, all she wanted was popularity, and post-breakup all she wanted was for Mason to be miserable. She's a second-semester senior, and her goals make her feel like a much younger teen. The character I liked best was Spencer, the most popular boy in school, who takes an interest in Maddy and turns out to be less shallow than he originally appears. Of course, by the end the girls all learn a big lesson about the dangers of seeking revenge, so that's an upside. The Karma Club isn't a bad book at all--it just didn't work for me.