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Sunday, January 22, 2012

"The Jerk Magnet" by Melody Carlson

This book was a good and fast read, as Carlson's books tend to be. However, while there were some good lessons learned along the way, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. To back it up a bit, the book is about a shy wallflower who gets a makeover. Then, boys start paying attention to her--the wrong type of guys. Hence the title. There are parts in the book where the protagonist wears a bikini / other clothes that "show off her curves." At the end of the book--surprise, surprise--she states that she is happy how God made her. However, what little epiphanies there are are very subtle and short. Coloring and straightening hair, as well as wearing makeup are portrayed as fine things for girls to do. Also, there are scenes with church youth groups. I must say, Carlson did a fine job of showing girls that even "religious" guys can just be jerks, or "wolves in sheep's clothing" as Jesus would put it. Still, the connection to God is so minute and subtle. The protagonist commits her life to God with one of those little "come into my hear" prayers. No Scripture is quoted, and no in-depth spirituality is reached. The book doesn't even imply that the girl got a Bible to start reading. All in all, I'd say this book is a nice read, but I would be hesitant to go so far as calling it "Christian literature." The Christian veneer is there, but this is more of a beach read and not something girls want to read to identify truly with self-esteem issues or spirituality.

Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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