Jinx is worried. She’s having the classic fourteen-year-old dilemma – what to wear on the first day of high school!? Nothing too young, nothing too old, nothing too studious. Hopefully her day will get better from here. This beginning sets the stage for the story of Jinx’s first couple months at high school. All her friends are there too and the novel quickly sets the stage for who they each are and what their past relationship is to Jinx. Those readers who remember the Sony Walkman fondly will remember L’il Jinx from the Archie comics. They were short tales between the main story. Now she’s all grown up with a story of her own. Even if you haven’t read the Li’l Jinx comics, the comic establishes all the characters right away so you immediately are immersed in their world.
Brash and opinionated, Jinx is never one to sit idly by when action could be taken. When there is no girl’s football team, Jinx tries out for the boys team. When she thinks her friend Greg likes her, she kisses him. But that’s not to say she is immune from hiding out at home when life becomes a little too overwhelming. Particularly when mean graffiti about Jinx appears in the boys room, and word gets back to her, she’s not above faking illness to get a day at home to mope on the couch. And who hasn’t done that (or at least tried)? My favorite scene is where the principal tries to take away her cell phone and she says it’s an emergency. He wants to know what kind of emergency, and she rants “The ‘I feel like a dork for kissing one of my best friends since kindergarten in the library just now and I really need to talk to my other best friend about it before I explode out of embarrassment’ kind of emergency!” And the principal just gets really embarrassed and lets her call.
The story is realistic with out being overwhelming. Jinx’s experiences are not at the highs and lows of adolescence but the story of the many kids in the middle. No one feels as popular as they want or as pretty as they want or as strong or as stylish or as competent. These are the kids you go to school with. The reader gets to follow along as Jinx navigates how relationships change and evolve under the stress of a new school and hormones. Jinx makes great faces and they are all illustrated superbly. Her very expressive character is captured very appealingly, which is part of the charm of this comic. Even the coloring of the pages is bright and upbeat, reflecting Jinx’s character and her everyday world.
Good for young teens looking forward to high school.
by J. Torres
Art by Rick Burchett, Terry Austin, Mark McNabb
Archie Books, 2012
Publisher Age Rating: 11 and up