Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball

( 12 )

Overview

In a world where nothing is certain, a little magic couldn't hurt...right?

When Erin Channing's favorite aunt dies, Erin is bequeathed a pink crystal ball and a set of weird instructions. Granted, Aunt Kiki (aka Aunt Kooky) always lived "outside the box." But now Erin and her two best friends are convinced that the pink crystal ball holds the key to their future-or at least ...

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Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball

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Overview

In a world where nothing is certain, a little magic couldn't hurt...right?

When Erin Channing's favorite aunt dies, Erin is bequeathed a pink crystal ball and a set of weird instructions. Granted, Aunt Kiki (aka Aunt Kooky) always lived "outside the box." But now Erin and her two best friends are convinced that the pink crystal ball holds the key to their future-or at least the key to getting dates...

Consider Your Fate to Be Sealed . . .

  • Absolute knowledge is not unlimited; let the planets be your guide to the number.
  • There are sixteen ways to die, but four of them you will never see.
  • The future belongs to you alone. Other voices will be disappointed.
  • One rotation is as far as you can see. Only uncertainty lies beyond.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Top student Erin has her sights on one of the five slots for her AP art history class's summer trip to Italy. Her best friend, Lindsay, just wants Megan, the class bully, to leave her alone. Stylish, outgoing Samantha is fiercely loyal to both Erin and Lindsay. Their friendship takes a turn for the paranormal when Erin receives a pink crystal ball and a set of cryptic instructions after her aunt's death. Erin's questions to the ball about school and boys start to come true, but not quite in the ways she hoped. Too late, she figures out that the ball's magic is limited, but by then she's made a mess of school and her personal relationships... Academic success remains at the forefront of Erin's mind, but as the pink crystal ball works its magic, she grows as a student and a friend, becoming more self-reliant. Fun for budding occultists and romantics alike. (Paranormal chick lit. 12 & up) " - Kirkus

"The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball is one of those books that's a fun change from the current darker paranormal out there now.
" - Young Adults Books Central Blog

"Green's novel has a touch of romance but is rooted in Erin's relationship with her best friends, Lindsay and Samantha. It has some similar elements to Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes—both feature teens set on a path of self-discovery due to the bequest of a recently deceased aunt... Readers will respond to Erin's growth and understanding, and her decision to control her own destiny.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL

" - School Library Journal

"It's nice to have a book about fairly normal girls in a fairly normal situation. Erin is the smart one. Samantha is the sexy one, sexy enough to attract the attention of the lead singer of a band but still normal enough to have a crush on a boy who doesn't like her back. Lindsay is the "Nicest Girl Ever"... Just as Erin shouldn't equate "normal" with "boring," so, too, is her story not boring. Take the boy. At first Erin sees Jesse Cooper as a boy who is "going for a spiky punk rock thing that seems thirty years too late and might have been hot once but now is just... confusing." Erin falls for Jesse (and who wouldn't, he has the whole artsy guy in cool clothes thing going on) and also falls out of her preconceived notions about him and other people. Falling for a hot guy at a punk rock concert that involves crowd-surfing? Not boring at all. Her work at school involves art history which will lead some readers to wonder, wait, is that painting they are describing real? Where is the art museum closest to my house? And as for her friends' problems, nothing is ever simple when it comes to boys and bullies.
—Liz Burns, A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy (an SLJ blog)" - School Library Journal blog

"Uncertain romance, mean girls, and a nefarious computer geek beset Erin and her friends as the struggle to manage the power of the crystal ball... This book will be well received by readers looking for light romantic comedy, as well as a celebration of sisterhood. — Diane Colson, VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) " - VOYA

VOYA - Diane Colson
Erin is certain that she must be the most boring fifteen-year-old on the planet. She has no family drama, she has the highest GPA in her class, and her boring, successful life is pretty much all she has to call a future. If Erin could get accepted to a program that takes students to Italy to study art, she would at least have something interesting for her college applications, she reasons. It hardly helps that her two best friends, gorgeous Samantha and longtime best bud Lindsay, seem to agree that she is overly normal. But changes come quickly and unexpectedly when Erin's Aunt "Kooky" suddenly dies, bequeathing a toy crystal ball to Erin. Although Erin is skeptical when Lindsay discovers that this might actually be the original Pink Crystal Ball, reputed to possess true magical powers, she decides to try a few wishes anyway. Suddenly Erin's life is definitely not boring. Uncertain romance, mean girls, and a nefarious computer geek beset Erin and her friends as they struggle to manage the power of the crystal ball. Comparisons to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Delacorte Books, 2001/VOYA October 2001) are inevitable, especially when the Pink Crystal Ball is passed to Samantha at the end of the book. But author Risa Green (Notes from the Underbelly (NAL Trade, 2005) is better with snappy dialogue than deep emotional insights, so this book will be well received by readers looking for light romantic comedy, as well as a celebration of sisterhood. The ultra-girlie cover should attract just the right teen readers. Reviewer: Diane Colson
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Logical and practical, high school sophomore Erin Channing is focused on keeping her spot atop the GPA list and earning a trip to Italy with her AP Art History teacher. However, she is worried that she won't be chosen because she has "the most boring, normal, regular life ever." All that is irrevocably changed when the aunt she hasn't heard from in years dies suddenly, leaving the teen a pink crystal ball and a set of cryptic instructions. Erin figures the object is one last example of "Aunt Kooky's" infamous eccentricity, but even she can't deny that it is more than coincidence when the ball's predictions begin to come true. Events ebook out of control as, at the prodding of her best friends and despite her better judgment, she uses the crystal ball without fully understanding its powers. Green's novel has a touch of romance but is rooted in Erin's relationship with her best friends, Lindsay and Samantha. It has some similar elements to Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes (HarperCollins, 2005)—both feature teens set on a path of self-discovery due to the bequest of a recently deceased aunt. Though some of the supporting characters are underdeveloped, readers will respond to Erin's growth and understanding, and her decision to control her own destiny.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Top student Erin has her sights on one of the five slots for her AP art history class's summer trip to Italy. Her best friend, Lindsay, just wants Megan, the class bully, to leave her alone. Stylish, outgoing Samantha is fiercely loyal to both Erin and Lindsay. Their friendship takes a turn for the paranormal when Erin receives a pink crystal ball and a set of cryptic instructions after her aunt's death. Erin's questions to the ball about school and boys start to come true, but not quite in the ways she hoped. Too late, she figures out that the ball's magic is limited, but by then she's made a mess of school and her personal relationships. Light humor and slapstick keep Erin's heartfelt grieving for her beloved aunt from pulling the rest of the story into the doldrums. Academic success remains at the forefront of Erin's mind, but as the pink crystal ball works its magic, she grows as a student and a friend, becoming more self-reliant. Fun for budding occultists and romantics alike. (Paranormal chick lit. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402241062
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Lexile: HL760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Risa Green grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia and has worked as a corporate finance attorney and, more recently, as a college counselor. She currently resides with her husband, their children, and their dog in Los Angeles. Her previous adult title, Notes From the Underbelly, was made into a TV series.

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Read an Excerpt

From Chapter One

Things About Me That Might, in Some Alternative Universe, Be Interesting Enough for the Committee of Tenth Grade Teachers to Pick Me for the AP Art History Trip to Italy

  • I have the highest GPA in the tenth grade.
  • I can recite the periodic table in alphabetical order to the tune of the disco classic "YMCA."
  • In fifth grade, I won a silver medal in the New York Times Crossword Puzzler contest, junior division. And I would have won the gold, if I had not been competing against a nine-year-old prodigy from Ohio who knew that a beast with twisted horns is called an eland.
  • When I was five, I had an extra row of bottom teeth. Like a shark.
  • I am so flat-chested that they do not make a bra in my size. Not even a training bra.
  • I play a mean game of rummikub.
  • According to family history, I am a distant relative of Susan B. Anthony, the first women's suffragist in the United States.
  • I am most likely the only person under the age of forty who has attended a Barry Manilow concert.
  • Did I mention that I have the highest GPA in the tenth grade? My God, am I boring...

- - -

I jump nearly a foot off of my bed, startled by a roar of thunder.

Lindsay and Samantha, my two best friends, are lying on the floor, flipping through last week's issue of Teen People. But either a) they both have been cleverly hiding from me the fact that they are completely deaf, or b) they are simply too engrossed in the trials and tribulations of young Hollywood to have noticed that the sky almost just completely broke in half.

Finally, after another heavy rumble, Lindsay drops the magazine and rolls over onto her back.

"I'm so tired of this rain," she complains to no one in particular. "I don't understand how I'm ever supposed to get my driver's license if it keeps pouring like this. My dad won't let me practice if it's even overcast outside, let alone if an eighth ocean is falling from the sky. I mean, enough already. It's been almost a week."

Samantha grabs the magazine off the floor where Lindsay left it, and brings it close to her face to get a better look. I have no idea why she obsesses over these magazines the way she does. Samantha is effortlessly attractive and by far the best-dressed girl in the whole school, probably even the whole county.

She has perfect, wavy dark blonde hair, a tall slender body that most people would have to work out four hours a day and only eat wheatgrass to attain, and her mother's entire designer wardrobe at her disposal. (Did I mention that her mother used to be a model? Did I also mention that Samantha totally inherited her legs?) Plus, she's got an innate sense of style that most celebrities have to hire Rachel Zoe to achieve. I mean, have you ever seen anyone wear Commes des Garçons with Converse? (Actually, have you ever seen anyone wear Commes des Garçons? So. Weird.) But seriously, she could easily be in one of those magazines. Of course, if you ask her, she'll say, "I hate the way I look." She isn't fishing for compliments either. It's still something I've never figured out about her.

"God, what is up with those lashes?" she asks aloud. "This model looks like she has spiders crawling out of her eyes." Samantha puts the magazine back down on the carpet and turns to look at Lindsay. "FYI, it's all our parents' fault. If they hadn't spent the '80s running around with aerosol hairsprays and insecticides and Styrofoam cups, we wouldn't have any of this extreme weather today."

"My dad probably did it on purpose," Lindsay remarks. "I'll bet you he only used products with CFCs in them, in the hope that one day his actions would prevent his future daughter from ever getting behind the wheel of a car."

"Mmm-hmmm," I say, half ignoring them-because Lindsay always complains about not having her driver's license and Samantha always blames her parents for every­thing-but also because I am too busy staring at the fluo­rescent yellow flyer that Mr. Wallace gave to everyone in my AP Art History class today. At the top, it implores us to Pay Attention! And besides, there's no point in telling either of them that chlorofluorocarbons were banned from aerosol sprays in 1978, or that Styrofoam has nothing to do with extreme weather patterns. They wouldn't listen anyway.

Suddenly, a flapping mass of paper hits me in the face. I look up from the handout that I've tacked to the bulletin board next to my bed.

"Ow," I say, rubbing my forehead and laughing in spite of myself. "Why'd you throw that magazine at me? And don't blame one of your celebrity crushes."

Samantha arches her eyebrow. "You've been completely ignoring us since we got here, and I, for one, am starting to take it personally. What's going on in that genius-girl head of yours?"

With a sigh, I pull the tack out of the handout and hold it up for them to see. I do my best to appear nonchalant. "It's a contest. Mr. Wallace announced it today in AP Art History. The district was given a grant to send five kids to Italy for two weeks this summer, so that they can study great works of art. And the district pays for everything. Plane tickets, hotels, food, even admittance to the museums." The inside of my stomach dances around just thinking about it.

"Let me see," Lindsay demands. She gets up from the floor and flops down next to me on my bed, taking the flyer. I peer over her shoulder, rereading it for the millionth time today as she reads it aloud to Samantha.

Pay Attention! An Unforgettable Summer Experience!

Five lucky students will be chosen to travel to Italy with Mr. Wallace, where they will study works by the great Italian masters in Rome, Venice, and Florence.

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Be a student in AP Art History, with a grade of at least an A-.
  • Write an essay explaining why you should be chosen to go on this trip.
  • Applicants will be judged on their essays, as well as on their personalities, outside interests, and strength of character, as determined by a Committee of Tenth Grade Teachers.
  • Applications are due to Mr. Wallace by 5:00 p.m., next Thursday!
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    review taken from One Book At A Time

    I was happy to discover this book wasn't as shallow as I initially feared. 3 teenagers and the power to make even their silliest dream come true can make for a pretty frivolous story. But, they learn the hard way that things aren't always what they seem, and some things are better left that way they are.

    I actually really liked Erin. She seems the most level headed of her friends, but gives into the pressure (which I almost would have be more disappointed if she hadn't). She's dealing with the death of aunt who walked out of her life for unknown reasons. A mother who is dealing with her sister's death the only way she knows how. Plus, that mysterious pink crystal ball that she doesn't believe can do what her friends think it can (at first). It's fun watching what the ball can do and how it can twist around what Erin asks for. Erin learns what she thinks should happen isn't always how it plays out. I also liked how she was able to learn about her aunt and help her mom deal with her death.

    I think the book touches on many different issues in a teens world without making any of them the sole subject of the book. It deals with death, peer pressure, family issues, appearances, bullying, and first loves. I thought it was all very well done.

    The books has the potential to turn into a series. I'm hoping the next owner of the ball learns some lessons just as Erin did.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    incredible!!!

    I LOVE this book!! i finished it in a day. a MUST read! :)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2011

    A must-read for girls of all ages

    Wow this takes you to almost another planet where an almost magic sort of 8 ball rules you life

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2011

    Kritters Ramblings

    A cute read worth grabbing off the bookshelf. A girl is given "power" through a crystal ball where she can help change her future, thanks to her aunt who has recently passed away. I fell in love with his YA book from start to finish.

    An easy read with a main character and sub characters that grab your attention from the first page. I was drawn to these three girls and loved their differences, but knew their friendship was genuine even with their different family backgrounds. I loved the ups and downs of the plot that seemed realistic, yet with a twist of magic the story kept evolving.

    The play on "Mean Girls" was a great addition to the plot. The dueling girl groups with funny nicknames were hilarious and the voodoo dolls and trickery between them was just fun to read.

    A great light girlie read that was perfect for a day by the pool.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2010

    Cute Read

    High school is all about making choices, hopefully the right ones, too. But what if you had a way to get around making those choices and just make things happen? What would your life look like then? That is exactly what Erin Channing is trying to find out. Armed with nothing more than her two best friends and a pink plastic crystal ball, they embark on a journey that is both mystical, amusing, and emotionally liberating.

    Erin is your average high school kid with an above average intelligence. She tends towards the rational and logical in most things, although sometimes she does allow herself to get caught up in the whirlwind that is her two best friends. Considering the fact that she's in the middle of high school and in the midst of more drama than any one tenth grader needs, she is relatively level-headed and a great kid. I love the fact that she steps outside her comfort zone, no matter how freaked out it makes her, and takes a chance to gain the affection of a boy who was once her best friend and now, possibly more. And while she does make mistakes, they're always because she had someone else's best interests at heart. Erin is definitely the kind of kid I'd want to be friends with.

    The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball is a wonderfully written story of love, friendship, and wishes that really do come true. Written in a style that makes me think of chick lit for teens, Ms. Green is a master at the art of making you laugh out loud. She knows just how to weave a sense of mystery into an otherwise regular story, adding just a bit of something exciting to keep you reading and wanting more. A sure fire hit with any teen girl or any mom who once was a teen and is now raising one of her own.

    Originally posted at: Aurora Reviews

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Quick, Light Read

    This is an enjoyable, light YA read. It mixes a little bit of reality with a lot of teen drama. It actually reminded me a little of Ann Brashares' Traveling Pants series, slightly more straightforward with none of the twists or complexity.

    Though there were no surprises, I was still compelled to keep reading; thinking I'd just put it down and come back to it, I found myself picking it back up. Erin is endearing in her rigidity towards rules and life in general and I found myself cheering for her as she learns life doesn't always stay inside the box. Although I found her friends interesting, I would have loved to get to know them a little better. (However, I think Risa Green is reserving that for future books as this is set up nicely for sequels.) Erin also learns the importance of a little magic, but that nothing is more important than free will and the choices you make. And that sometimes, what you believe is more important than what is.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 14, 2010

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    Posted November 27, 2011

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    Posted January 6, 2011

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