The Jerk Magnet

Saturday, January 28, 2012
“Trust me, Dayton Moore is a total jerk.” She pointed to Chelsea and laughed. “But I don’t know why I’m surprised.”
Chelsea felt confused. “Why?”
“Because it’s pretty obvious that you, Chelsea Martin, are a jerk magnet.”

Book: The Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson, Revell Publishers, 2012
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 13-18
Subjects: Dating Relationships, Modesty, Friendship, Beauty, Popularity
Summary: She’s beautiful. The wicked stepmother wasn’t so wicked after all. She’s turned Chelsea into a beauty. And the guys in her new school are definitely aware of this beauty. First there’s the two guys in the hot tub hitting on her. Then there’s the guy at the pool who won’t take no for an answer – and makes a move for her right in front of her dad! Then there’s the pastor’s son as the youth group outing who flirts with her right in front of the girl he has a sort of relationship with – who also happens to be Chelsea’s new friend! Then there’s her friend’s neighbor who manages to be incredibly persistent. The worst though is when her own teacher starts flirting with her! Chelsea is sick and tired of being a jerk magnet. Not only are all the wrong guys trying to flirt with her just because she’s good looking, but the one guy she does like won’t give her the time of day for the same reason! Finally Chelsea and her friend come up with a scheme to prove that the outside appearance is not what matters. This scheme could make or break the chance to get the right guy once and for all.
Notes: This is a fascinating look at how people, primarily teenagers, respond to the outward appearance. Chelsea’s friend Janelle points out early on that Chelsea’s beauty makes the guys and girls alike believe that she is shallow. Chelsea and Janelle look quite different and get treated quite different even though they have many similar characteristics. When they change their appearances for a youth conference and pretend to be someone else – Janelle, someone beautiful, Chelsea, someone shy and plain, they get the exact responses they predicted. This story really challenges teens to look beyond the outward appearance. As with all of Melody Carlson’s books, it is written in a very realistic modern way that teens will easily relate to. As for spiritual content, about halfway through the book, Chelsea attends an event that causes her to accept Christ as her Savior and wonders throughout the rest of the book what the Christian thing to do is. There are multiple discussions about this between characters. There is a lot of discussion about the issue Chelsea and Janelle struggle with as well. They discuss how the Christian guys act like they fear the pretty girls as if they will lead them to break their commitments to God. The characters are a part of a youth group and attend multiple events with the youth group. There is not much mention of the Bible, but definitely prayer and moral issues.
Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 Samuel 16:7 – Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

 This book was given to me for free by Revell in exchange for my honest review.


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