My review of The Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson


About the book:

When Chelsea Martin’s future stepmother helps her transform from gawky and geeky into the hottest girl at her new school, Chelsea is pretty sure it’s the best thing that ever happened to her. But her hot new look has a downside. She’s attracting lots of guys who all have one thing in common: they’re jerks. And stealing the attention of all the guys in school doesn’t endear her to the girls either.

Chelsea finally finds a true friend in Janelle Parker, and a non-jerk, Nicholas, catches her eye. Janelle keeps telling her to be herself, but Nicholas is the only guy around who doesn’t give her a second look. Can Chelsea and Janelle come up with a plan to get his attention? Or will Chelsea’s new image ruin everything?

Teen favorite and bestselling author Melody Carlson helps girls uncover the real source of beauty in this true-to-life story of young love, friendship, and being yourself.

My review:

I don’t know what it is about Melody Carlson’s YA books published by Revell that I love so much, but it probably has to do with the relevant, timely subject matter and how well she puts everything together in a story that anyone can relate to. If the rest of the series is half as enjoyable as this book was, then I’m reading them all. In fact, I read this story through in one sitting. I didn’t get out of the chair until I’d turned the last page. Not even to take a break. That’s a great book if I don’t want to put it down for any reason.

I loved the theme in this book about how people treat each other based on outward appearances and that all people, good-looking and unattractive alike, have feelings that shouldn’t be messed with based on preconceived notions people may have about them. I discovered when I was a teenager that acting like myself and having a brain didn’t attract boys. But ramp up the appearance a bit and play the ditsy blonde, and I couldn’t get them to leave me alone.

I’ve been at fault myself for judging people based on their outward appearance even as an adult. I assumed once back in the 1990s that our new pastor’s young wife (who was my age) had plenty of friends because she was pretty and nice, only to find out everyone else thought she had plenty of friends, too, and for the same reason. Come to find out she had NO friends. Everyone assumed wrong. We ended up becoming friends and bonded over the movie “Sense and Sensibility” with some other ladies at church who had also judged incorrectly and we finally got to know each other. I’m glad we did.

What I enjoyed most about this book was how it showed that beautiful people have emotional insecurities too. While everyone says they want to be that way, the truth is if guys only wanted to date you because you were beautiful, and no one wanted to commit to you because they felt you were too pretty, you’d see it’s a pretty lonely life. And no one likes to be surrounded by catty, competitive women, even as adults. So this book was a great reminder that even Christians fall into that trap, though I can honestly say that at my church I feel like we all blend very well and befriend each other with no biases, but I’m sure that’s not always the case.

Regardless, we need to get to know each other on the inside first, and let that be the measuring stick we use to determine whether or not we want to get to know someone better or not. The Jerk Magnet did a great job at presented all sides and reminding the reader not to be shallow and judgmental, but to love each other as Christ loved us. And most of all, to give each other a chance. We’re all flawed, but we’re all loved by the same God. Because this book spoke to my heart and I couldn’t stop reading it, it’s making my favorite fiction list for 2012. So far what I’ve been reading has been amazing for 2012. I’m sure it won’t stay that way forever, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

The Jerk Magnet was published by Revell and was released in January 2012.

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