cover image The Karma Club

The Karma Club

Jessica Brody, . . Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16.99 (258pp) ISBN 978-0-374-33979-1

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)