Recent Posts

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Crush Control (by Jennifer Jabaley)

About the Book:
When Willow Grey was nine, her mom dropped the bomb of ultimate betrayal: they would be moving from their small town in Georgia to glitzy Las Vegas. So she decided to take control of the situation: she told Max to relax, to let his eyelids droop, and then she said: Max Montgomery, for as long as we live, you and I will be best friends…

Now, at seventeen, Willow and her mom move back to their home-town, and Willow is determined to pick up where she and Max left off. But even though he’s still her best friend, his heart now belongs to someone else—and Willow realizes that what she feels for him is so much more than just friendship. For the second time in her life, Willow finds herself using hypnosis to get what she wants. But what starts off as a harmless experiment soon spirals into chaos, and Willow is forces to wonder: Is the heart really something you can control—with mind control?

My Thoughts:
If you haven't noticed by now, I'm easily fascinated by things. And come on, hypnosis? Heck yes I wanna read about it! I was super excited when I got the book in the mail for review.

Crush Control was a lot of fun to read. I have just gotten back into reading after my break and this book was a great one to start with.

Willow is your regular teenage girl. That is, if your regular girl is moving to a small town in Georgia after having a show in Vegas in which her mother was a hypnotist. Actually, Willow is your regular girl, trying to escape her past and start over. Sure her past isn't anything too traumatizing, but it is a little flashy.

I thought the new-girl thing actually worked well. She didn't have boys falling all over her and she didn't make a crap ton of friends in one day. It seemed natural. When Willow was leaving her town to move to Nevada with her mom, she had had her best friend Max, and in a burst of kid-ness, decided to hypnotize Max into being her best friend forever. I have to admit, a lot of the things in this book definitely would not happen in your average experience, but who wants average anyway? I mean, really.

Anyways, when Willow moves back into town, her and Max hit it off quickly again. Only now she might like him, and only now he might have a girlfriend. And so maybe she has to use her skills to get another boy to like her to make Max jealous. Obviously, that will lead to bad things, and things go awry quickly.

I really loved the way Ms. Jabaley was able to convey the emotions and intent behind Willow's feelings and decisions. It wasn't just oh, cute boy, let's mess with his head so he likes me! Willow thought (sort of) about what she was doing and why. She had good reasons in her situation. She had real emotions! Very thought out, and that made me instantly believe and hope that whatever she had planned next would go well. I was definitely cheering Willow on throughout the entire book.

Speaking of cheering on, I was totally cheering for the relationships. Yes, plural. At one point or another, I was hoping that Willow's maybe-relationship with both Max and/or Quinton would work out. The boys were totally worth swooning. Even when Quinton was being annoying. Which is kind of a miracle. Willow's mom and grandma and the family problems/etc. were a good addition. The way her and her mom were so close was something that isn't really used much in a lot of YA books.

I have to say though, I think my favorite character was Georgia. She was so quirky and fun and hilarious. I was literally laughing out loud at almost everything that came out of her mouth. Thank goodness my room's in the basement and my family can't hear me. And oh boy, don't even get me started on Willow's dog's antics! I swear, he was the best character ever made. And yeah, I did just say that about a dog.

Pacing was awesome. Events were amusing. Family and friendship dynamics were completely real and believable. The only thing I wasn't fond of, is at one point in the book Willow is trying to figure out how to de-hypnotize Quinton from loving her and goes through a series of random solutions from the internet. After the second try, it got a little tiring and you just wanted her to realize that things from weird websites obviously aren't going to work. And while Willow's thoughts were believable, her naivety was a little grating.

Overall, Crush Control was a good, fun Summer read. If you're looking for a laugh, defintely check this one out.


Amelia said...

Thank god! Perfect timing. I really needed a summer read, thank you, guru of my heart!

I have never heard of this book but the way you describe it makes me wanna rush to the library and bang on the doors! (My library is a dork and closes at the ungodly early hour of 8 o'clock, having only been open since 10.)

Your reassurances that Willow ISN'T a complete girl and doesn't have the new-girl curse of bewitching cute guys on Day One is such a blessing. I hate the new-girl curse type of books.

Thanks for the wonderful review! :)


Anonymous said...

It sounds like a great book! Thanks for suggesting it. :) I'll also have to write down the name "Willow" for future writing projects... I love it! I've heard it before, but this kind of just made me realize I should write it down. ;)

Maggie Osborn said...

Amelia: Glad to be of help! Our library closes at 9, I think, but opens much earlier. Tell me what you think if you get to reading it!

Taylor: Willow is a nice name, isn't it? I've always liked that name too. And it isn't in a lot of YA books!