Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Cursed Existence of Jessalyn Bell by Katie Johnson

3 Star

Ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go right? 

Well, every day is like that for Jessalyn Bell. Falling victim to a streak of extremely bad luck, Jessalyn can rarely go a day without encountering a disastrous occurrence. Her parents’ divorce, her inability to meet quota at her sales job, and the incident in which she’s mistakenly arrested are just the beginning. There’s also the fact that every single date with her boyfriend Kyle goes wrong. 

Unpleasant surprises wait around every corner, but through her various misadventures Jessalyn comes to realize that every cloud has a silver lining, that friendships can develop in the most unlikely places, and that love and romance are every bit as spontaneous and unpredictable as a bout of bad luck.

Sabrina-Kate - 3 Star

The Cursed Existence of Jessalyn Bell was a light and easy read so it was enjoyable in that sense but I really always felt like something was missing. The character definitely has a bad case of karma happening or at least the worst luck and the situations were often somewhat humorous.

The character seems like a somewhat lost young adult who is trying to find her way in the world. Fair enough. But maybe because I am past that phase of my life, or at least I like to think so, I found it hard to identify with all of the problems or situations she found herself in. And I have had my own bouts of bad luck and soul-searching yet something just felt a bit off.

I think that one of my issues with this novel was that the dialogue often seemed forced to me or at least somewhat unnatural. I suppose that perhaps some people interact that way yet I find it difficult to believe as it seemed too staged, too fake.

Each situation or occurrence also seemed to be wrapped up somewhat tidily and then the story moved on to the next thing without there seeming to be many connecting dots.  I don't think that anyone's life is necessarily that compartmentalized.

The ending of The Cursed Existence of Jessalyn Bell also felt rushed, like the story was just being brought to a conclusion because it had gone on long enough, at least in the author's perspective. But the real indication to me that I couldn't rate this story more was that when I went to write this review, the story didn't immediately come to mind. I actually had to re-read a bit to start bringing it back. And for me, that isn't a good sign.

Thank you to Katie Johnson for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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