Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Karma Club by Jessica Brody - Book Review #38

Sunday, June 20, 2010
The Karma Club
by Jessica Brody

"Personally, I’m tired of waiting for the universe to get off its butt and start fixing stuff. I don’t want to wait around for Mason to get what’s coming to him. Or Heather Campbell, for that matter . . . I want to be there to see it happen."

Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. It’s that mysterious, powerful force that brings harmony to the universe. You know—do good things and you will be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what’s coming to you. A sort of cosmic balancing act.

But when Mason Brooks, Maddy’s boyfriend of two years, gets caught tongue-wrestling with Miss Perfect Body Heather Campbell, and absolutely nothing happens to either of them—except that they wind up the hot new couple of Colonial High School, it seems like Karma has officially left Maddy in the lurch. That’s why Maddy and her best friends, Angie and Jade, decide to start the Karma Club—a secret, members-only organization whose sole purpose is to clean up the messes that the universe has been leaving behind. Whether they’re modifying Heather Campbell’s acne cream as part of “Operation Butterface,” or righting a few wrongs when it comes to Angie and Jade’s own slimy exes, they know they’re just doing what Karma should have done in the first place. They’re taking care of one another.

Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe. Because it turns out, when you mess with Karma, Karma messes back. Now Maddy must find a way to balance her life for good, even as everything around her seems to be toppling to the ground.

The Karma Club is a sweet, good and charming mood booster. This is a book you want to read if you were dumped. This is a book you want to read if your life is going the opposite direction, you want it to go. This is a book you want to read if just in a bad mood. And finally – this is a book you want to read!

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say I’m head over hills in love with this book. However, I have to acknowledge that Jessica Brody created a solid and very enjoyable novel. From the first pages, I was pleased with Jessica Brody’s writing style. It was clean, well edited, but also imaginative and rich. In particular, I liked her chapter titles. To begin with, I love book that have titled chapters and not just “Chapter 1.” Unfortunately is doesn’t happen too often nowadays. However, not only Jessica Brody titled her chapters, she also managed to do that in a creative manner that on one hand doesn’t spill out what’s going to happen, but on the other hand does make perfect sense and can be clearly explained after the chapter is read.

The other thing that I really liked about The Karma Club were references Jessica Brody made to the pop culture and popular movies, such as Graduate, Pretty Woman and Back to the Future, to name a few. Those references were totally in place, in my opinion, and didn’t take over the scene, but only enrich it with deeper meaning.

It was a pleasant surprise to me that The Karma Club is a standalone novel and not a part of the series. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of the series, it is just lately it seems like almost every new book that is written in YA genre is a first installment of the god-knows how log series.

Unfortunately, I cannot call this book perfect. But hey, what is actually out there that is perfect – everything has its own flaws. The Karma Club has some shaky plot points.


For instance in the scene where Angie and Jade is getting in the Heather Campbell’s house to replace her face cream, Angie is asking to use a bathroom, to open a window for Maddy to get in. Why can Angie herself replace her cream? Why they need to get though all this troubles to get Maddy into the house? Another issue is a result of a poor research. Maddy’s last name is Kasparkova and she is telling us that she get this last name from her great-great-…-grandfather who emigrated from Russia in 1912. Kasparkova is a Russian last name, however, Russian last name have a different endings for males and females. For instance, Kasparkova is a female version and Kasparkov would be a male version. So if she inherited it from her great-great-…-grandfather through her father, their last names should have been Kasparkov so is hers. I just doubt that her parents gave her a female version of the last name, since they are a too far away from their Russian descendants.

End of spoilers!!!

Another thing that I consider a flaw of the novel – some hints on the plot developments were too obvious, at least for me. For some reason I could see them as good as if they would be in bold red flashing letters. However, it just might be my own problem and I was just too attentive to details.

Despite all the flaws, that I was able to dig out, I truly did enjoy the book and I would recommend it primary to the YA readers, but also to adults who is interested in the light, cheerful and just purely good novels.


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