Image of Jinxed
Release Date: 
August 9, 2019
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Reviewed by: 

“Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys fictional technology, smart characters, and pages that practically turn themselves.”

“Some people ask for bikes or gift cards or books for their birthday. I asked for a soldering iron.”

Lacey Chu lives in a world where small robotic “pets” have taken the place of phones. No longer are people constantly looking down at their cells, because they have an “animal” who helps them in all the same ways—plus, it has a personality. For those who live on a limited income, their level one “baku” might be a butterfly or a beetle. For those living in a wealthier state, they might have a dog, a cat, or even something more exotic, like an eagle.

Lacey’s dream is to get accepted into the elite school where smart and talented students are trained to create, maintain, and produce the bakus for Moncha, the parent company. It’s all she’s ever wanted.

“No matter what, I want to work for the company—I’ll sweep Moncha floors if I have to, a practical dung beetle baku at my side. But if I truly let myself dream . . . I know what I want to do with the rest of my life. It’s not only about working for Moncha. I want to be Monica Chan. I want to be a companioneer, one of the people working on the bakus. I want to design new animals, innovate for existing ones, and implement even more amazing features. Every day would be a challenge.”

But her dreams seem to be shattered when she receives a rejection letter from the Moncha school. Depressed, she resigns herself to public school, and a level one baku. But when she and her best friend Zora are walking home through the park, Lacey ends up running from some bullies and falling down a ravine. It is there she finds the damaged carcass of a cat baku. A baku that—whether she realizes it or not—is going to change her life. Lacey is about to find herself in a new school, a new world, and with a whole new set of problems. Will she be able to pursue her dream, or are things going to fall apart completely?

Jinxed is imaginative and fun from page one, with it’s not-quite-dystopian feel and a world that seems just out of reach of today. Lacey is smart and courageous, and her relationships with her friends—and enemies—is realistic and heartfelt. The bakus are unique, and once Jinx enters the picture, all bets are off! Anything could happen.

Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys fictional technology, smart characters, and pages that practically turn themselves.