Harmony Book Reviews

Karma for Beginners by Jessica Blank

Posted on: October 4, 2009

Karma for Beginners

Title: Karma for Beginners

Author: Jessica Blank

Rating: 8.5/10

Summary: Fourteen-year-old Tessa has never had a normal life. Her mother, a frustrated hippie with awful taste in men, has seen to that. But when her mom pulls her out of school to live at an ashram in the Catskills, Tessa goes from being a freak among normal people to being an outcast among freaks. Freaks who worship an orange robe-wearing guru. And while her mom is buzzing with spiritual energy, and finding a little too much favor with the guru, all Tessa feels are weird vibes.  

Unless she’s with Colin, the gorgeous boy who fixes trucks for the ashram. The connection they share is the most spiritual thing Tessa has ever felt. But he’s older-like illegally older-and Tessa’s taking dangerous risks to spend time with him. Soon her life is blooming into a psychedelic web of secrets and lies and it’s clear that something’s about to give way. When it does, will she have anyone to hold on to? Will she even know herself?

My Thoughts: Karma for Beginners was completely different from what I expected. From the summary and excerpt on the back cover, it sounds like will focus mostly on the relationship between MC and Collin. However, it seemed to focus more on Tessa’s life in the ashram than the relationship, which was a slight let-down because I was looking forward to a good book about dating an older guy. But, once I figured that out, I was able to easily fall into the book.

 I found it extremely interesting to read about life in the ashram because I’d never heard of it before. It’s shocking to think such a lifestyle is acceptable. I did feel it dragged a bit with the descriptions but it was worth it.

 While the relationship between Tessa and Collin wasn’t the biggest part of the book, there was still a lot of it in there. At first, I LOVED it. The age difference was played out nicely and Collin was just a great guy. He was quick to lend a hug and never forced her to do anything. Then something changed and he became a total ass and pretty much just let her go. But then I guess guys are like that.

 Unfortunately, the ending was quite abrupt. There was a big scene, a little fight, and then it was over. I do like how the story played out but I would’ve liked to have seen more added to give the ending a realistic quality.

So overall – Good book and I do recommend it, there were just some things I didn’t like. Also, while the MC is only 14-turning-15, be cautious about who picks this up as there is sex and drug use.

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2 Responses to "Karma for Beginners by Jessica Blank"

Good review. I wasn’t a huge fan but it was enjoyable until the end. My review was posted a few weeks ago.

Agree about the age of acceptable readers. This really should not have been a YA book in my opinion.

[…] Today, I welcome Jessica Blank, author of Karma for Beginners. […]

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