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The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball Paperback – September 1, 2010
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
From School Library Journal
Gr 7-10–Logical and practical, high school sophomore Erin Channing is focused on keeping her spot atop the GPA list and earning a trip to Italy with her AP Art History teacher. However, she is worried that she won't be chosen because she has “the most boring, normal, regular life ever.” All that is irrevocably changed when the aunt she hasn't heard from in years dies suddenly, leaving the teen a pink crystal ball and a set of cryptic instructions. Erin figures the object is one last example of “Aunt Kooky's” infamous eccentricity, but even she can't deny that it is more than coincidence when the ball's predictions begin to come true. Events ebook out of control as, at the prodding of her best friends and despite her better judgment, she uses the crystal ball without fully understanding its powers. Green's novel has a touch of romance but is rooted in Erin's relationship with her best friends, Lindsay and Samantha. It has some similar elements to Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes (HarperCollins, 2005)–both feature teens set on a path of self-discovery due to the bequest of a recently deceased aunt. Though some of the supporting characters are underdeveloped, readers will respond to Erin's growth and understanding, and her decision to control her own destiny.–Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, ILα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
With its talk of mean girls, cyberbullying, and hot male bodies, Green’s first YA novel seems a far cry from other magic-gone-wrong books, such as those by Edward Eager, but it has its sunny side: the narrating protagonist is a great student who tries to do good—or at least no harm—with the wish-granting crystal ball she has been bequeathed. The story begins with Erin and her two best friends complaining about their imperfect lives, but they are soon interrupted by the news that Erin’s aunt has been killed by lightning. Unbeknownst to her parents, Erin is given her aunt’s crystal ball along with cryptic instructions. As Erin figures out how to use it, diverting complications ensue between the pals, the boys they like, and two unfriendly students. Green develops the relationships well and with lively dialogue. Aided by her cohorts, an appealing love interest, and the crystal ball, Erin learns how to think, as she keeps saying, outside of the box. At book’s end, Erin passes the magic to one of her best friends—our crystal ball says sequel. Grades 8-11. --Abby Nolan
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Erin Channing's life has always been boring and normal, which is making it that much harder to write an easy for why she should be picked out everyone to go on her school's AP Art History Trip to Italy. Though, everything changes when her favorite aunt dies living her a pink crystal ball with a cryptic set of directions left for Erin to decipher for herself. At first Erin doesn't think anything of the pink crystal ball since her aunt has always been a bit eccentric to say the least, but when her friends urge her to use it, she does and surprisingly enough, it works! So what is one girl to do when she suddenly has the ability to ask for anything? Will it help her or screw everything up? And what about her old friend Jesse- is there more to him then meets the eye? Well, it seems like Erin is soon to find out!
Erin is a girl much like most teen girls today. She makes mistakes but learns from them. She's a great friend and will be there in an instant if needed. She's funny, sweet, and honest. And as I'm sure you can image, I loved reading about her. Especially when the scenes also included her funny friends Lindsay and Samantha or the swoon-worthy Jesse, who while always seemed like to be a bit stereotypical, still managed to grab my heart by the end.
The plot of this was sweet and fast-paced, and while it never went really deep, it made for a great weekend read, because of it's enchanting plot lines dealing with the pink crystal ball to the mystery around Erin's aunt's death to Erin and Jesse's romance. Besides the fact that this book could be a pit predictable at times, I truly didn't dislike anything about it.
Risa's writing was also decent, and she never failed to make herself sound like a true teen through Erin's voice. It's a given to say, in my opinion, that she'll definitely be given a warm welcome into romance-y/fun teen-lit crowd.
In all, The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball is a sparkly and fun read about the mysteries and surprises that come with a pink crystal ball.
Overall: I was a little iffy going into this one, but it was actually a fun book. I enjoyed reading it and finished it in one setting. If your looking for something light that doesn't take too much thought, this is a book to pick up. Its more fun than anything.
Cover: Awesome cover, its what caught my attention. Of course the pink crystal ball just adds to it! The cover is really creative and pretty.
What I'd Give It: 4/5 Cupcakes
Taken from Princess Bookie
Erin's two best friends, Lindsay and Samantha, think the crystal ball might be the key to unlocking their secret wishes. Erin isn't convinced. She doesn't think outside the box - much.
Erin's also trying to convince her used-to-be friend that she's not boring. Against the odds, they're partners for an art project. Erin can't help remembering the one time they made out while playing "Seven Minutes in Heaven" two years ago. While Jesse's a little different, he's still a hottie. He doesn't seem to remember that night. He also doesn't seem to remember they used to be friends. Working on this project together might bring up old times and maybe something more. Could he be the key to her letting go, just a little?
Plus, she's trying to write an essay for a chance to win a trip to Italy. She has to write about her life experiences. Unfortunately, because she rarely strays from the box, she can't think of anything important to write about.
Her friends are still pushing her about the crystal ball, but Erin's trying to figure out the instructions. Lindsey and Samantha force her into asking it questions: Does the hottest boy in school think she's smexy? Will her English teacher say her paper was well-researched and insightful? As the questions get tougher, so do the outcomes. Is the ball wreaking havoc on her life?
I really enjoyed reading this book. I love how Erin usually lives inside the box, but must make her way out of her comfort zone courtesy of a pink crystal ball. She must take risks and enjoy the consequences. Erin deals with friendship drama, bullies, school work, and a potential boyfriend all while navigating through life.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Rummel