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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

So Not Happening by Jenny B Jones

So Not Happening is your usual prissy-rich-girl-gets-a-reality-check story. In order to make it different than all the other books like that, hints of mystery and suspense are thrown in.

Bella Kirkwood lived her charmed life happy as could be in New York. She possesses everything she could want: fab friends, couture clothes, her dad's unlimited credit card. But when her mom decides to remarry a man who is a total stranger, Bella's perfect world is flipped upside down. She's forced to move to Truman, Oklahoma, and live on her new stepdad's farm with his 2 sons.

At first things are terrible. Not having her friends at her side and a credit card in her pocket prove to be a challenge, especially when everyone at her new school turns against her. Just as she's starting to adjust, she suspects that something suspicious is going on with the Truman football team. Being on the staff of the high school newspaper, Bella decides to investigate further, despite her really obnoxious (and attractive) editor's wishes. Soon she finds herself wrapped up in a mystery that will lead her to discovering where she truly belongs.

This wasn't a bad read. Many attempts were made in the story to be funny, and a number of them made me laugh. The book is narrated by Bella, your usual priss. In the beginning she is of course annoying, all she ever does is complain, but grows more tolerable throughout the story. I eventually grew to like her snarky commentary. My other favorite character was her intense editor Luke, who is annoying, but you can't help but want him and the love-hate relationship he and Bella have.

The book is full of clich├ęs, Bella steps in cow dung as soon as she arrives on the farm for example. The first half of the book is basically Bella sulking while noticing that things aren't quite right with the football team. I enjoyed the second half more because things really took off and got fast-paced. The climax was something I honestly hadn't foreseen, though once it happened I was easily able to predict what happened next. In the end, Bella relies on God to help her through, something you don't usually see in books like these.

There are apparently 2 sequels, and I wouldn't mind reading those. I like Jenny B Jones' mystery-meets-riches-to-rags stories.

THE BOTTOM LINE: An acceptable way to spend reading time. Though predictable, So Not Happening has mystery, humor, and underlying Christian themes that improve the story heavily.
3/5 stars

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