cover image So Not Happening

So Not Happening

Jenny B. Jones, . . Thomas Nelson, $12.99 (328pp) ISBN 978-1-59554-5411

This first installment of the Charmed Life series introduces high school socialite, Bella Kirkwood. A New Yorker, she begrudgingly lands in the Midwest after her mother “got traded in for a newer model” and remarries a man who earns his living manufacturing feminine products in rural Oklahoma. Used to high society parties and shopping sprees, Bella feels like “a fish out of water... a Jimmy Choo in a sea of Payless BOGOs” in her new home, living in a house where “1970 came for a visit, threw up, and never left.” Still, her days are anything but dull. Once she joins the school newspaper and gets wind of a story involving a football scandal, she puts herself in danger trying to scoop her condescending (but cute) editor. The blend of comedy, adventure and mystery isn't always smooth (a scene in which Bella cracks jokes while being held at gunpoint is hard to swallow), but Bella's witty narration provides some laugh-aloud moments. Ages 12–up. (May)