I recommend this book for: high school
Jean is cursed with the nickname of Jinx, and that's not all - bad things happen no matter where she goes. As the novel opens, she is on her way to New York City to move in with her rich aunt and uncle's family to escape a stalker at home in Iowa. She's been enrolled in a snotty public school with her cousin Tory, and not only does she not fit in - she attracts Tory's hatred and a cute neighbor's admiration almost as soon as she arrives. Oh, and did I mention that Jinx and Tory had a great great grandmother who was burned as a witch and foretold that someone in their generation would inherit her powers?
This was - dare I say it? - my first Meg Cabot novel. Premise? Awesome. Execution? I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be. I enjoyed the storyline, but I really could have done without Jinx constantly hinting at what was so horrible that happened in Iowa without giving any new information. The other thing that really annoyed me was how often she repeated to herself that she and Zach were just friends - both themes were explicitly stated too many times, I felt like I was being hit in the head with them. Overall, the story was pretty enjoyable, but I don't know that I'm feeling too inspired to read more Cabot just yet.
Points for parents: The setting of this book is a posh private school for spoiled rich kids who do drugs and sneak off to the boiler room during free period for extra human anatomy lessons . . . but it's not explicit, and the characters who do these things are the ones who are recognizably evil - Jinx and Zach are pretty much squeaky clean.
But it got much nicer reviews . . .