Reviews for Karma Club
Booklist Reviews 2010 April #1
High-schooler Madison is pretty happy. She's got two good friends, Angie and Jade, and a supercool boyfriend, Mason. But when Mason dumps her for A-lister Heather, Madison's world is turned upside down. So she decides to turn it right side up. After going to a retreat where she learns about karma, Madison figures out ways to put it into effect, not only for herself but for Jade and Angie, who have also had unhappy boyfriend experiences that need to be put to rights. There's nothing unexpected here, except maybe the lengths that Madison et al. go to to make sure that the fickle finger of fate points directly at those who deserve it. Nor will readers be terribly surprised when karma turns to bite the girls in the butt. The inevitability doesn't mean this isn't written with wit and panache. Readers will have fun with this one, and it might make them think a little, too. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
After Madison catches her boyfriend locking lips with another girl, she and her best friends form the Karma Club, "whose sole purpose is to clean up the messes that the universe has been leaving behind." The trio targets their victims' "valued possessions," like college acceptances and reputations. It's hard to ignore that the girls' tactics are life destroying, but it's nonetheless an entertaining story. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2010 April #2
Debut novelist Brody has created a bright, funny protagonist who is immensely likable. When she is dumped by her boyfriend Mason in a brutally humiliating way, Maddy Kasparkova and her loyal sidekicks, Jade and Angie, decide to swear off romance and take payback into their own hands rather than wait for karma to catch up with their enemies. Armed with a surplus of snappy dialogue and schadenfreude, the Karma Club stages elaborate schemes to get even with Mason and the other boys who have broken their hearts. But their ingenious success in the vengeance game only brings Maddy and her friends more trouble, and when they find themselves backed into a difficult corner, it is Maddy's secret new Prince Charming who engineers their rescue. Readers will root for Maddy even as her thirst for revenge leads her into ever more cringe-inducing scenarios. The action-packed narrative builds an impressive amount of suspense for what is essentially a comic romance, and readers might learn a thing or two about Buddhist philosophy along the way. (Fiction. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 April #1
Adult novelist Brody's first book for teens revolves around the principle of "what goes around comes around." When 17-year-old Madison Kasparkova's supposedly devoted all-American boyfriend, Mason, suddenly dumps her for the popular, porcelain-skinned Heather, the humiliated Maddy decides that while karmic balance is all well and good, it could use a helping hand ("Personally, I'm tired of waiting for the universe to get off its butt and start fixing stuff"). She and her best friends, Angie and Jade, form the secret Karma Club, "to clean up the messes that the universe has been leaving behind," swearing off boys and giving those who have wronged them a dose of what they dished out. Their pranks range from the humorous Operation Butter Face (replacing Heather's medicated acne cream with Crisco) to the serious (turning Mason in for cheating on his SATs). A rosy ending that verges on corny awaits Maddy, but not before she learns the real meaning of karma--that good deeds are rewarded. It's a well-paced comedy, with a nice balance of cinematic physical humor and genuine teen emotions. Ages 12-up. (May) [Page 63]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2010 June
Gr 8 Up--Madison Kasparkova's world is destroyed when her seemingly perfect boyfriend cheats on her. After her mom takes her on a New Age retreat that gets the teen thinking about karma, she decides not to wait for the universe to set things right and enlists her friends' help in seeking revenge on those who've ever hurt them. They create a Karma Club and go about evening the score with their enemies, such as replacing a mean girl's acne medication with a Crisco mixture. Through their club, the girls learn how small choices can have dire or delightful consequences--for them as well as for others. Brody explores the lengths teenage girls will go to in order to restore balance in their chaos-filled lives. This fun, fast-paced read will bring a smile to the face of anyone who has dealt with high school's ups and downs, and will make them think before they meddle with fortune.--Katie Hageman, Gar-Field High School, Woodbridge, VA [Page 96]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2010 June
Seniors Maddy, Angie, and Jade take time out from waiting for college acceptance letters to form the Karma Club, but their interpretation of Karma is "what goes around comes around," and they plan to send plenty toward the boys who betrayed them. Believing revenge is the best way to get even or achieve balance, they break laws, frame one of their ex-boyfriends for shoplifting, spread lies through the Internet about another boy's preference for older women, and expose another's crime of paying someone $5,000 to retake the SAT for him. Soon the consequences of the girls' actions come back to them, and Maddie realizes that Karma works alone. The best thing she can do is give life her best Though the characters are seniors, their behaviors are younger--but that makes this a good read for middle school girls. And it is definitely a girl's book as boys, except for one toward the end, are only shown in negative ways. The book reads well, is humorous, and teaches important lessons--most learned the hard way. On the last page, Maddie writes an article about her Karma Club, which has gone public in doing good deeds, including the creation of a web site, www.thekarmaclub.org. The web site not only promotes the book but also gives "everyday tips for a better world." Jessica Brody may have started a movement, a positive one. ? CJ BottCadnum, Michael. Flash. Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan, 2010. 240p. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-374-39911-5. 3Q 3P J SOn a fateful day in Albany, California, teenage brothers Milton and Bruce Borchard rob a bank; Nina's brother, Carraway, returns from a military hospital after being wounded in Iraq; and Terrence, Nina's boyfriend, is a witness as the Borchards dig a hole on their property. By evening, all five young people are involved in a life-and-death situation in which Nina and Terrence are in danger of being shot by an angry, out-of-control Bruce. Carraway, meanwhile, is recovering the bank money on the Borchard property under the raised bat of Louella Borchard, who wishes to protect her sons. Cadnum presents a dysfunctional family in which a mother and her sons seem to have lost all sense of right and wrong so that even murder does not seem a serious undertaking. Emphasis is placed on the love/hate relationship between Milton and his younger brother. In a melodramatic scene, Milton tries to prevent Bruce from committing the murder they have both planned by shooting him in the leg, and then entertains the idea of killing him. Cadnum touches on the effects of war on young men through his portrayal of Carraway and his former friend Sergeant Palmer. Palmer wishes to place blame for his murder of detainees in Iraq on Carraway but attempts suicide when Carraway won't cover for him. The confused (and confusing) moral conduct of the Borchards and Palmer is offset by the courage of Nina and the principled thinking of Terrence, with whom the novel ends very abruptly.--Hillary Crew. 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2010 Voya Reviews.