The Third Eye of Jenny Crumb by Martina Dalton is well categorized as a Young Adult (YA) novel. I have read novels which claim the YA genre only to find several main characters displaying attitudes too old for their assigned age. Jenny Crumb is a well-developed character with appropriate dialogue and personality. She is believable even though she is a troubled psychic. As she ages, her ability to see another person’s flaws, personal history, and possible future increases in strength. It is annoying and sometimes embarrassing. She would love to turn the ability off but has no idea how to do it. The second problem for Jenny is keeping her ability a secret, even from her parents. At the age of four, she had foretold the death of her grandfather, her mother’s father. Jenny felt she had scared her mother so much that she could not let her family or anyone else become aware of her powers.
Jenny was a popular girl, a star cheerleader. She was well known for being able to do a forward flip from the top of a cheerleader pyramid. As she got older, her psychic powers would occasionally intrude and leave her in an other-worldly state while in the middle of a conversation; she would “zone out.” During some of these states, she would see an image of a man staring down at her in a coffin. She wasn’t sure if this image was a snapshot of her future or whether the event related to another person. One of these sessions intruded into her thoughts while she was preparing to do a forward flip. Blacking out in the middle of a forward flip is never good. Her cheerleading days were over. Her parents forbade further participation without a lengthy period of time for recovery from a concussion. The cheerleading team, unwilling to wait such a long time, replaced her. Time to find new friends and a new extracurricular interest.
Jenny’s new interest will involve music and acting. It would come with benefits. Mike Kramer and Jenny might develop a romantic relationship. Subplot One. Jenny will make a new friend, Mildred whose father is a detective and is investigating a case of a missing teenager, Callie Shoemaker. Detective Coalfield believes in using psychics to solve a case. When he learns of Jenny’s gift, he introduces her to an older psychic used by police in the past. The older psychic develops a set of stratagems that will help Jenny control her gift and possibly help the police. Subplot Two.
The main plot centers on two mysterious images which appear in Jenny’s time-out sessions. Is Jenny the girl in the coffin? Whether she is or is not, who is the kidnapper/possible murderer? There are no sex scenes and no discussion of sex. Violence only occurs once and a reader might almost miss it. The novel is a quick read in a tightly controlled story environment. I gave this four Amazon stars. I will read more by this author and will recommend it to my teenage son.