Jinx

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
Jinx Book Poster Image
Witchy fun for Cabot fans. OK but not magical.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 19 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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 & Representations

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

Violence

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.

Sex

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

Language

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

Consumerism

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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 make... Continue reading
Parent Written byCommonSenseParent November 30, 2010

Excellent read for 6th grade and up

Jinx by Meg Cabot is an excellent and well-written read for ages 11 and up. Kids will enjoy this fun tale set in New Your City, and the book is not iffy at all....
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), a... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byBookAddict October 29, 2009

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love fantasy and magic

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate