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Witchy fun for Cabot fans. OK but not magical.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

Teens will find this a fun if not necessarily deep read. Could be a good way for parents to begin a conversation with their daughters about "mean girl" behavior.

Positive messages

A good underlying message about being yourself.

Positive role models

Jinx may be a "bad luck magnet" but she has a strong moral center and keeps trying to do what's right.


An intense scene toward the end has Jean tied up by her cousin; Torrance wants to cut her and drink her blood. Torrance also is taken to the hospital in what looks like a suicide attempt.


Some smooches between Jean and Zach. The au pair sleeps in the same bedroom as her boyfriend.


Some words like "bitch" or "freakin'."


Mentions include Betsey Johnson, Gucci, Ferragamos, and Laguna Beach.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Tory and her friends drink and take drugs; Tory takes Ritalin and Valium.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book is about a nice girl who is a witch -- and a mean girl who thinks she is one. Jinx may be a "bad luck magnet" but she has a strong moral center and
keeps trying to do what's right, and her story imparts a good
underlying message about being yourself. There is an apparent suicide attempt, an attempted bloodletting, and a stalking (thanks to a love spell gone bad). Jean and her boyfriend share kisses that she feels "all the way to my toes." Also, Tory drinks and takes Ritalin and Valium and the au pair shares a bed with her boyfriend.

What's the story?

When Jean -- nicknamed Jinx because she's a bit of a bad-luck magnet -- moves from Iowa to her aunt's house in New York City (all readers initially know is that she was being "stalked" back home), she immediately gets off on the wrong foot with her beautiful -- but mean -- cousin Torrance. The tension only escalates when Torrance confronts Jean, saying that she knows they are both the witches foretold by family legend -- and that they should use their powers to "rule the school." When Jean denies her powers, Torrance unleashes a series of cruel punishments meant to torment and humiliate her cousin (think headless rat in the locker). Jean needs to decide if she should use the magic she promised not to in order to fight back.

Is it any good?


JINX is filled with familiar but fun elements. There aren't a lot of surprises -- readers will recognize stock characters and will expect the ultimate conclusion in which Jean must learn to accept her true self. The only eye-opener is how creepy and violent the girls' final confrontation is. But the set-up is enticing enough and in the end, there is enough drama here -- some of it magical and some merely mean-spirited -- to make this book satisfying if not spellbinding.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this book compares to other Meg Cabot books. Why does her writing resonate well with tweens and teens?

  • Talk about the girl friendships here. How does Torrance's "coven" resemble a typical mean girl clique? 

Book details

Author:Meg Cabot
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:July 31, 2007
Number of pages:272
Publisher's recommended age(s):12

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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

good book for fantasy/teen romance fans

Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors, and I enjoyed this book. It is not as good as some of her other books (ie: Princess Diaries, 1-800-WHERE-R-U series), and the ending was pretty typical. But, the desriptions were vivid and the way magic was used was interesting. It wasn't really inappropriate and I would say that this book was a fun a read but the main character did not have as much depth as I would have liked to see.
Teen, 15 years old Written byBookAddict October 29, 2009
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Adult Written byswimgirl2405 June 22, 2009

5 stars

Meg Cabot has done it again. This is another amazing novel. The beginning starts out slow, but don't give up on this book. Once you hit the end it all makes sense. You'll love the ending. I was so anxious to turn the pages. It's a sweet romance/mystery/sci-fi novel. All teen readers (12 and up) will adore this. Trust me,I'm a bookworm - ha. Parents should not worry about this book. There is one kissing scene, and a mild murder attempt. But in that area, it is not different from most mystery novels. To sum it all up, just read it!


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