Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones (A Charmed Life #1)

A Charmed Life

'A Charmed Life' is a bindup of three books. Here is my review of the first:

Pages: 976
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Release Date: 01/05/2012

Received via Netgalley.

Bind up includes the three books:
'So Not Happening', 'I'm So Sure' and 'So Over My Head'

Bella Kirkwood had it all: A-list friends at her prestigious private school, Broadway in her backyard, and Daddy's MasterCard in her wallet. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model.

When Bella's mom falls in love with a man she met on the Internet--a factory worker with two bratty sons--Bella has to pack up and move in with her new family in Truman, Oklahoma. On a farm no less

Forced to trade her uber-trendy NYC lifestyle for down-home charm, Bella feels like a pair of Rock & Republic jeans in a sea of Wranglers.

At least some of the people in her new high school are pretty cool. Especially the hunky football player who invites her to lunch. And maybe even the annoying--but kinda hot--editor of the school newspaper.

But before long, Bella smells something rotten in the town of Truman, and it's not just the cow pasture. With her savvy reporter's instincts, she is determined to find the story behind all the secrets.
"How can a girl go on when her charmed life is gone and God appears to be giving her the total smackdown?"


When I turned on my Kindle, I was in the mood for a good contemporary novel and good is definitely what I got! The weather in Australia at the moment is quite cold and I haven't been getting into the fantasy genre as much as I would like to, because this weather has me craving fudge, hot chocolate, wooly socks and sarah addison allen. With my reading goal going the way it is I wasn't about to indulge in a reread, but I remembered 'A Charmed' Life' and thought "Bring it on!" I was very happy when I learned that 'A Charmed Life' was actually a bind up of three books; Triple the excitement I was expecting! This is my review of the first: 'So Not Happening'.

The Main character Bella is a bit of a spoiled brat. At times I could understand her attitude, her parents split up, her mum is getting remarried and she has to move away from shopping central, to a town where nearly everyone knows everyone and you've got to be careful where you step. There were times when I thought she was being unreasonable, though I did find those to be entertaining. There was a lot of humour inserted where Bella was concerned. It also, took me a little while to get over that name Bella, because it reminds me of a certain girl from Forks. Bella's personality did come through though, and I forgot all about the other Bella. "Ed - who?", "Twi - what?"...

This book is about a lot of things. What NewYork symbolizes to Bella is just one of them. Throughout 'So Not Happening' Bella is slowly learning why some environments can be quite toxic. It's not that the city itself is toxic, but it's the friends, the life and the sort of parental guidance she had there that made her the way she is. For Bella, learning this is a difficult step to improving her outlook on life.

There were also some very interesting uses of stereotypes in this novel. Through first person narating, the author lets Bella tell us about her thoughts on everyone else's appearances, cars and way of living. Because of her shallow upbringing and no sense of reality, Bella is quite a judgy person. At one point she assumes that all boys look for the same thing in a girl.

While some things were a little on the obvious side, there were definitely a few things I didn't see coming. There was enough surprise to keep me interested and enough predictability to make it cosy. There was actually a bit of mystery in the story-line which was fun. Reminded me of Nancy Drew movies I've seen.

One thing that I know may bother some people about this book, is that it's a typical "first book" in a series. While some things are resolved there are still a lot of things that aren't quite right yet. In this case it's not so bad...And, you gotta leave something for the next book, right? I still felt that Bella had a few things to learn and that there were some happy endings that didn't quite get there, but I suspect (I hope) will.

Overall, I think this book is worth 5/5 stars. It might not be the most academic read, but it was definitely entertaining! I can't wait to read the sequel (which I own) and find out if what I suspect is going to happen actually happens...

-In the bind up there are discussion questions after the first book. I'm assuming that there will be discussion questions after each one.

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1 comment:

Wall-to-wall books said...

Ohhh I read one by Jenny B Jones, it was cute! I will have to look for this one.