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The Charmed Life: So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones

So Not Happening (The Charmed Life)This can’t be happening. Bella Kirkwood cannot believe she has to trade her A-list friends, her famous daddy’s credit card, and every other perk of NYC for Oklahoma of all places, just because her mother got dumped and apparently fell in love with a factory worker she met on the internet. So it’s goodbye to everything trendy chic and hello to two alternatively dorky and bratty brothers. Difficulty adjusting would be putting Bella’s frame of mind lightly. It doesn’t help that all the students at her new school think she’s a nasty snob, especially Luke Sullivan, the annoying editor of the school newspaper Bella has to work under now that she’s the newest member of the staff. Despite feeling hurt that she’s been forsaken by the cultured world, Bella knows she can’t wallow in her misery, especially when she catches wind of something fishy going on. There’s something not quite right in Bella’s new home, and you can bet Bella will be there to expose the truth.

I wasn’t too sure about this book when I first started reading it. Big city girl forced into rural setting has been done many times before with not quite spectacular results, and I didn’t know how that combination with some kind of investigative journalism and religious beliefs would work out. Addressing the last topic first, I usually stay away from most religious fiction as a rule because I find it becomes overbearing. Jones nearly gets there several times in So Not Happening, but as a whole, it isn’t too bad, even if I found it strange protagonist Bella, a self proclaimed Christian, was so into shopping and material things. The urban to rural transition isn’t crafted particularly well or originally either; Bella exhibits many of the same characteristics as other girls in the same position in other stories, and her frequent complaining earned more of my annoyance than sympathy, even if she was quite clever at times. Where Jones’ writing really shone was in the mystery angle of the novel. The mystery succeeded in being intriguing, surprising, and just a bit dangerous, and it fit well into the story. Mostly for Bella’s budding reporter instincts, I enjoyed this interesting novel.

So Not Happening may be enjoyed by fans of the It’s All About Us series by Shelley Adina, The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman, and Pure by Terra Elan McVoy. I look forward to the sequel to this funny book in I’m So Sure.

Rating: 4.0

Review copy from Amazon Vine

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