Book Review: "Magna" by Nicole O'Dell

Molly Jacobs isn’t sure what she should do: Should she follow through with stealing some clothes for her friends from Magna—the trendy girls’ clothing store where she works? Or should she do what she knows is right, even if it means losing her newfound popularity?

Remember how I had a bit of trouble with the previous two books in this series? Not that I thought that there was anything really wrong with the books, it was just that I thought the stories targeted a younger audience that what I felt they were intended for Well this book totally erased any of those thoughts. The ages of the characters in this book were 15 and I really felt that they acted like 15 years olds. Pretty much everything in this book was rather realistic and it made me feel like a teen all over again.

I adored all the scenes that took place while Molly worked at Magna. There's lots of clothes talk and it's actually clothes that girls really do wear these days. One worry about Tween and YA fiction is that authors tend not to do their research involving teen culture and can be severely out of touch when trying to relate with what teens like. Not so in this book as O'Dell really makes Molly and her friends trendy without conforming to labels. Plus they aren't prudes either, which is the other mistake I see Christian teen fiction make sometimes. The girls are fashionable and Molly especially knows what she is doing and enjoys it. I really liked seeing how she was able to prove to her boss that she could work her job well.

As with the other books in the series, the hook to this book is that you get to choose which ending you think Molly is going to end up with. Even the choice that Molly has to make (and the reader as well) is quite relevant. I was actually thinking it was going to be a different scenario but was pleasantly surprised that it didn't head into cliched territory. I read both scenarios and was pleased with how each ended. Except for a little bit of preachy talk, I felt both endings were realistic and did not necessarily have to have a happy ending. Overall, I felt this book to be a lot of fun to read and it's definitely my favorite of the series. If you have a young teen girl in your life who enjoys shopping, I think she'll enjoy this book.

Magna by Nicole O'Dell is published by Barbour (2010)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. I just finished this one, and I agree! Nicole is definitely on target with the age on this one, and it felt very realistic. I'm impressed with how this series is developing!


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