Jinxed, Amy McCulloch


Sometimes you have to change your dreams, Lacey. No matter how hard you work, sometimes things won’t go your way

When Lacey finds out she hasn’t been accepted into Profectus – the elite academy for cutting edge tech – it seems her dreams are over. Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus.

* * * *
4 / 5

So I’m probably a bit (read: a lot) too old to be the target audience for a book like Jinxed, but dang it was a fun book to read whilst I was on the train for three hours. Because that’s how long it took me to start and finish Jinxed. A girl with big dreams, electronic companion pets, a school with a twist; Jinxed is a coming of age book with all the classic themes and some different ideas.

You must know that feeling, as an inventor. There’s the work you’re supposed to be doing, and then there’s that secret project that sets your heart on fire

Lacey Chu has one big dream for her life: to work at Monchu, a tech company that designs and develops companion robots. To do that, she’s got to get into a particular school. With admission comes a high grade pet – called a baku -, money, and unparalleled learning opportunities. When she fails to get in, Lacey’s life crashes down around her and not even her best friend can cheer her up. Lacey resigns herself to owning a beetle baku, but then she finds a crumpled shell of a highly advanced baku. With its restoration comes her admittance to Profectus.

At Profectus comes opportunities and dangers. Lucy’s new baku, Jinx, doesn’t seem to behave like he ought to, and it seems like there are secrets around every corner. Particularly about her father, a Monchu engineer who died when she was young.

The story was fun. No doubt about it. It’s a classic setting: a school for special kids with a play on the animal companion trope. The idea of bakus was fun and made me want one, and Lacey herself was relateable and kind hearted, even if she messed up now and again.

This is a great book for young adults with the right kinds of moral messages – about friendships and being true to yourself, etc. – and a couple of twists on classic tropes.

My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of Jinxed. 


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