Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Jennifer Jabaley's Crush Control focuses on seventeen year old Willow's return to her childhood community. Filled with memories of Max, her best friend since birth, the return is much anticipated. She remembers all of the schemes they came up with together, as well as the time she hypnotized Max in an attempt to make sure that he would consider her his best friend forever right before she moved to Nevada for her mom to have a hypnotist show. Throughout her years away the two friends stayed in close contact, and Willow also realized that she liked Max as more than a friend.
Based on their first interactions, Willow had hope that Max's feelings were similar to her own, until she found out that he already had a girlfriend. Struggling to find out where she fits not only with Max but in general at her new high school, Willow ends up using hypnosis with her new classmates, including some in attempts to get Max to notice her. Only she never could have anticipated how complicated everything would get. One schenanigan after another Willow tries to get herself out of the mess she created.
The English major in me always loves it when books weave in the literature that students are learning in their classrooms, so the way that Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream appeared in the book was an instant hook for me. I also loved that the conflict was a theme that adults and children alike can relate to - realizing you have made a mistake but having to weigh coming out and telling the truth in order to have others help you, knowing that in doing so they will be disappointed or trying to fix it on your own. Once I got to a certain point in the book, I could not wait to keep flipping the pages to see how it would all turn out, at times cringing with Willow's decisions, making it all the more suspenseful.
I am excited to host a Q&A with Jennifer Jabaley soon as part of her Crush Control blog tour. The premise of her first book, Lipstick Apology, also has me intrigued.
*Review copy provided