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

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 21 reviews

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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.


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.

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
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....
Adult Written byMelissa90210 February 24, 2010
Teen, 13 years old Written byStxrry December 10, 2020

Good, but for the "Mature"

Really good book! Lots of ups and downs. It has lots of drugs, smoking, and a bit of kissing- I liked it! Theres a really good rolemodel-Jean-who loves herself.... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old December 13, 2018

Good book

It's a really good story. I won't spoil it but I will warn you it was drugs,
violence, kissing, references to sex and really manipulative magic. But... Continue reading

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

  • Author: Meg Cabot
  • Genre: Coming of Age
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication date: July 31, 2007
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 12
  • Number of pages: 272
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and magic

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