Title: The Karma Club
Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Pub. Date: 4.27.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Karma, Revenge, Love, Friendship, Lies
Description (from GoodReads):
Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. It’s that mysterious, powerful force that brings harmony to the universe. You know—do good things and you will be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what’s coming to you. A sort of cosmic balancing act.
But when Mason Brooks, Maddy’s boyfriend of two years, gets caught tongue-wrestling with Miss Perfect Body Heather Campbell, and absolutely nothing happens to either of them—except that they wind up the hot new couple of Colonial High School, it seems like Karma has officially left Maddy in the lurch. That’s why Maddy and her best friends, Angie and Jade, decide to start the Karma Club—a secret, members-only organization whose sole purpose is to clean up the messes that the universe has been leaving behind. Whether they’re modifying Heather Campbell’s acne cream as part of “Operation Butterface,” or righting a few wrongs when it comes to Angie and Jade’s own slimy exes, they know they’re just doing what Karma should have done in the first place. They’re taking care of one another.
Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe. Because it turns out, when you mess with Karma, Karma messes back. Now Maddy must find a way to balance her life for good, even as everything around her seems to be toppling to the ground.
Jessica Brody's THE KARMA CLUB is a great novel with an even greater message.
Maddy Kasparkova is an extremely relateable heroine, though I did find her a tad overwhelming at the beginning of the novel. She is completely consumed with being popular, which was definitely not me in high school. After Maddy realizes that being popular isn't all it's cracked up to be, she grew on me. I'm not sure it's a good thing, but I definitely identified with her revenge schemes. I think everyone has those times when they're fed up with how the chips fall and how terribly unfair things can be. Like Maddy, I sometimes feel like I should somehow even the score. I've learned that, while it may feel good in the moment, it doesn't feel so great later, a lesson Maddy quickly learns as well.
I'll admit to finding the Karma Club's revenge schemes hilarious. "Operation Butterface?" Classic. But it wasn't just the adventures and sticky situations the girls find themselves in that I found amusing, the dialogue and Maddy's inner monologue kept a smile on my face as well.
At the start of the novel, I wasn't sure that Maddy would have a romantic interest. In a fit of girl power she swears of boys and I felt confident that she'd keep that promise. I was suprised, but happy, when I discovered that was not the case... Actually, Maddy's unexpected relationship bore a happy resemblance to my favorite One Tree Hill (CW) romance.
It's rare that I can pinpoint my favorite part of a novel, especially in a fun novel like THE KARMA CLUB, but there was a part, near the end, that sticks out to me. After Maddy realizes that she has completely misunderstood karma, and scored herself some bad mojo in the process, she still admits that there is a part of her that enjoys all the drama and stunts The Karma Club orchestrated. I loved how honest that was. And it sticks with me because you can know something is wrong and still get some satisfaction from it. I find that people, myself included, often have a hard time admitting that. I thought it was important that Maddy came to that realization.
THE KARMA CLUB relays some important messages under the guise of a fun, lighthearted read. I highly recommend!