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Jinx High: A Diana Tregarde Investigation by Mercedes Lackey
Review by Carolyn Frank
Tor Books Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0765313197
Date: 31 October, 2006 List Price $12.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Jinx High is really Jenks High School, just across the Arkansas River from Tulsa, Oklahoma. But in this young adult fantasy, the prom queen, Fay Harper, has a lot more on her plate than playing queen bee.

Gorgeous, blond, and very popular, Fay can't wait to be an adult and outside of the restrictions our society places on those under 21 years of age. Meanwhile she's got several male classmates dancing attendance, with her carefully pulling all of their strings. She also has a few perceived female rivals for these males, and what they don't know about Fay can hurt them bad.

A few months ago, Fay wrapped Deke Kestrel into her net, and he's not sure quite what's happened to him. Not a jock, not a total brain, he's stunned but thrilled with her interest in him. But a new girl has come to town in the middle of the semester and now Deke is intrigued by Monica.

This is a world of wealthy folk, almost every kid with a license drives a flashy car, the kids have easy access to all kinds of drugs, and nearly every family lives in a mansion or a gated community. So with the basics taken for granted, other elements take on a greater aspect.

And one of the other elements is psychic power. Fay knows all about it; Deke is clueless as to his own potential, Monica is just beginning to acknowledge hers. Deke's father certainly knows more than he is saying about his own powers, but Deke is not really interested in that topic – he's mostly got sex on the brain.

In the midst of all of this heavy breathing and hot sex, an old friend of Deke's father, the romance writer and practicing witch, Diana Tregarde, comes to town. Nominally invited by Deke's honors English teacher to teach a short unit in practical fiction writing but actually invited by Deke's dad who believes something rotten is about to happen, Diana first has to figure out what is going on, then who is responsible, and finally how to stop it.

For any reader who has ever enjoyed Diana Tregarde's adventures, this book will rank up with the best of them. For folks who have not met her, this book serves as a fine introduction to her world – and as an accurate introduction to the business world of romance fiction writing. Her advice to budding writers is articulate and to the point, and due to the way the topic is introduced into the story line, apt to be believed.

The high school students and even the few adults in the story are credible people, and this tale never has a dull moment. So hop into your imaginary sports car and take off towards this high school where life is moving, romance is rife and psychic powers are erupting.

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