McCulloch, Amy. Jinxed. Fiction. Sourcebooks, 01/2020. 336pp. $16.9.9 978-1-4926-8374-2. HIGH ADDITIONAL. GRADES 3-8.
Lacey Chu thought she had been rejected from Profectus, the tech-centric school of her dreams. Getting into Profectus is the only way to land a job with Moncha Corp, where Lacey could design bakus—robotic pets with the capabilities of smartphones. A chance encounter with a damaged cat baku named Jinx changes everything, landing her a spot at Profectus and a chance to compete in baku battles. But Jinx isn’t like the other bakus, and Lacey begins to think she might be in over her head. There are many other popular books that Jinxed resembles in terms of plot but, once it gets going, it forges a world and a story all its own. Modern references to K-dramas, bubble tea, and recent tech innovators make it easy to feel at home in this near-futuristic world. Monchaville is a corporate town in Canada with a diverse population: Lacey is Asian, her best friend Zora is described as dark-skinned, her crush, Tobias, is black, and her nemesis, Carter, is white. The ending makes it clear that there will be sequels, which sets this book up for popularity among young sci-fi lovers. Review based on an ARC.
Eny Calvert, Fremont Public Library