Have you ever shaken a Magic 8 Ball and anxiously awaited your fortune? In Risa Green’s first young adult novel, The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball, high school sophomore, Erin Channing, inherits a pink fortune-telling ball with the ability to alter her future… or at least her immediate high school experience. Armed with a list of deliberately vague and puzzling instructions from her kooky Aunt Kiki, Erin and her two best friends devise a series of questions they hope will help them get better grades in school, win a trip to Italy, gain the attention of potential boyfriends, become more popular, and dish out a little revenge on their enemies. It doesn’t take a psychic to foresee that this journey may have some unexpected results. After all, some things are simply too important to be left to chance.
Lindsay lets out a heavy sigh, as if I’m the one who needs to be reasoned with. “You’re so closed-minded,” she says. “Why can’t you just accept that there are things in this world that aren’t concrete? Veronica says that people like you are just threatened by the idea that you can’t control everything.” (Veronica being the crazy lady behind the counter who, apparently, has received her Ph.D. in armchair psychology.)
Despite one or two minor plot inconsistencies and a couple of shallow characters, The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball is a youthful fantasy adventure told with light-hearted humor. It’s a story about the bonds of friendship and young women pursuing their goals with a little magical assistance. Though not profoundly deep, it is a quick and entertaining read that offers a whimsical diversion.
Risa Green is the author of the adult novels Notes From the Underbelly and Tales From the Crib, humorous accounts of pregnancy and parenthood that were also adapted for television.
This article was first published as Book Review: The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green in Blogcritics magazine.