Review: THE KARMA CLUB by Jessica Brody

Author: Jessica Brody
Release Date: Out Now (Apr. 27, 2010)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan
Received: Library copy


Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. Do good things and you'll be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what you deserve.

But when Maddy’s boyfriend cheats on her, nothing bad comes his way. That’s why Maddy starts the Karma Club, to clean up the messes that the universe has left behind. Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe.

It turns out Karma often has plans of its own.

Jessica Brody is one of my new favorite contemporary YA authors. Her novels are adorable…and the ones coming out in the future sound amazing. I already have a whole list of her books marked as TBR on GoodReads! This summer, I really enjoyed reading MY LIFE UNDECIDED and moved right on to her debut YA novel, THE KARMA CLUB. While I didn’t like it quite as much as MY LIFE UNDECIDED, it was still really cute. Brody has a way of making readers genuinely care about her characters.

The novel revolves around Madison Kasparkova, a teenager who wants nothing more than to be popular. Maddy submits her boyfriend’s picture and bio to a popular teen magazine, and when he’s chosen as the featured boyfriend, she’s ecstatic. Finally, people will notice her! Only…the most popular girl at school notices her boyfriend, who promptly dumps Maddy despite everything. Maddy’s devastated, of course. Why is it fair that he gets to be happy when she did so much for him? Everyone always says that what goes around comes around, but how long does she have to wait for Karma to rear its head? Maddy decides to take matters into her own hand. She forms The Karma Club with her best friends (who have also been wronged by guys in the past). The club seeks to right the wrongs that have been done to them in a kind of “pay it forward” fashion. They also seek to swear off boys in a fashion that reminded me of last year’s THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB by Elizabeth Eulberg (review here). Whenever a plan’s successful, the girls go out and buy a charm for their special charm bracelets. But what about the fact that Maddy is falling for someone new? Will she be ostracized by her friends? And is playing with fate the right thing to do? What happens when it turns around and wants retribution?

This book was so much fun. At first, I didn’t overly love Maddy or the way she dealt with various situations, but over time, I grew to love her. I really like the way Brody wove characters together and set up a scene that brings everything to a climax in the perfect way. The romance was light and sweet, and the friendship was solid. At times, I felt the girls went to extreme ends to complete their methods of revenge, but it felt like…Like, “Hey, this is a book for all you girls who have ever been dumped for no good reason. Don’t you want to smash your ex’s face in or slash his tires or just shove a pie in his face? Something, ANYTHING to humiliate or aggravate him? Well, here’s your chance to live vicariously!” This is a dream world where revenge CAN come true and the girlfriend CAN get back at the ex dumb enough to let her go. So extreme, yes, but also therapeutic!


While this isn’t my favorite cover in the world, it pulls directly from the novel. The notebook the model is holding is supposed to the notebook where the girls write down everything they do in The Karma Club. Which, if you think about it, isn’t the smartest idea. Why would you write stuff like that down? Aren’t your charm bracelets enough? So the notebook is integral to the story!
I do like the fact that the notebook’s cover is a fun shade of red, which add a pop of color to the cover. The title reminds me a bit of a sea resort, though I like the way it’s in the yin yang. It also reminds me a bit of a bracelet charm! I also like the way the author’s name is the same color as the logo for the club.

(And this trailer is pretty awesome. It’s what first made me want to read this!!)


  1. This book sounds a little too fluffy for my taste, but I might still check it out. cool post.

  2. @Emma: It's definitely a light read. But sometimes, those are just what your brain wants!

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