I am excited to be participating in The Jelly Bean Crisis Tour courtesy of AToMR Blog Tours. Stick around after my review for a giveaway! Click on the banner for a complete tour list.
The Jelly Bean Crisis by Jolene Stockman
A total meltdown. The whole school watching. Now Poppy’s an ex-straight-A with no Plan B.When Poppy Johnson throws away a full scholarship to Columbia, she can only blame the jelly beans. The yucky green ones? Midnight cram sessions and Saturday’s spent studying. The delicious red? The family legacy: Columbia, and a future in finance. Except now it’s starting to look like Poppy’s jelly bean theory is wrong. School has been her life until, but maybe it’s time to start living now.Poppy has thirty days to try a new life. No school, no studying. Just jumping into every possible world. Thirty days to find her passion, her path, and maybe even love. The Jelly Bean Crisis is officially on.Paperback, 308 pagesPublished August 1st 2012 by CreateSpace
Four Stars: A book for everyone who has been confused over what they want to be if they grow up.
Poppy's stomach is a rolling sea of anxiety. She is sitting in an assembly trying to soothe her jangled nerves. This could be the moment she has been waiting for her entire young life. She is a shoe in for the prestigious Denton Award. A four year scholarship to Columbia where she plans to fulfill her family legacy and get her degree in marketing. Poppy as a junior has pushed endlessly to win this award, but why now is she feeling the butterflies of doubt? Isn't this her dream, her destiny, or is it what everyone else expects her to do. Her name is announced. Poppy should be overwhelmed with joy, but why does this feel wrong? Then she does the unexpected. Poppy announces to the whole school that she can't accept the award because she doesn't even know if she wants to go to college. Everyone is shocked! At home, Poppy's parents are upset. Her father demands that she come to her senses. Poppy has one month to accept the award. The next day at school, Poppy and her school guidance counselor hatch an exciting plan. Poppy is going to take a gap month. An entire month off from school and studies (she will have to make them up of course) for her to explore and try out different career paths. Can Poppy find the answer to her worries? Will she discover what she wants to do with the rest of her life?
What I Liked:
- The Jellybean Crisis was a surprise read for me. I was expecting a light, funny, fluffy read. What I got was something entirely different. This is a book about a teenager facing the difficult decision that we all face at some point in our life. Deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life and if that choice will bring happiness. This is a decision that plagues all of us. I throughly enjoyed watching Poppy grapple with this hefty choice. She is a girl who from an early age was groomed and prepped to follow in her father's footsteps. She constantly pushed for good grades and sought excellence. Now her world is spiraling out of control as she realizes that perhaps she doesn't fit into her father's shoes. It takes courage to set goals and follow your dreams and I applaud Poppy for taking a step back and questioning her life's path.
- I was impressed by the positive tone of the book and all the inspirational messages. Ms. Stockman does a wonderful job in conveying her message: it is okay to be unsure about what you want in life, it is good to explore and try different career paths, all in order to ensure the right choice that works for you. Let's face it, picking out a job that you could be doing for thirty to forty years is scary. It is best to be prepared. This book is perfect for anyone who has felt lost when it comes to choosing a career.
- I was intrigued by the idea of a gap month. I can totally relate to Poppy. High school can be tough and it is easy to burn out and become bored. Wouldn't a month long period in which you are allowed to explore and try out different jobs be a wonderful solution for many uncertain teens? I know I would have benefitted from this kind of experiment. I absolutely love this idea and I hope that perhaps it can be an idea that is implemented for teens.
- I adored Poppy's jellybean theory. Basically she believes that jellybeans should be eaten in order of the least desirable to the best. For Poppy, green are the worst and red the best. She equates this philosophy to real life. Delaying gratification by tackling the hard things first.
And The Not So Much:
- I was disappointed in Poppy's father. In the beginning of the book, it is established that he has long been the driving force behind Poppy's quest for success. There is a brief mention that he had a tumultuous relationship with his father because his father pushed him too hard. There is not enough discussion on this, I would like more insight into this area. Furthermore, he is angry at Poppy and refuses to allow her to stray off his set in stone path for success. He is always pushing and pushing and he never takes the time to listen. Finally, at the end when he and Poppy sit down and come to an agreement, it is a quick scene. I would like it to have had more depth and I wanted more insight and admission from her father.
- The ending of this one was a bit of a disappointment. It was abrupt and I felt like the book chopped off right at the climax. I wish the author had included and epilogue to let us know how Poppy worked everything out and what her final decision was. I also would like to have seen how the romance played out. Poppy was just realizing her feelings at the end. Honestly, I was surprised that I had reached the end; it felt like there was so much more to say! This book isn't a cliffhanger by any means, but the ending was too quick for my taste. I can see there easily being a sequel.
- I was a bit put off by Poppy's attitude toward guidance counselors. She was ashamed to seek help and didn't want anyone to see her visiting the guidance counselor. She saw it as being weak. I hoped that her attitude on this would change, but it was never discussed. I understand where she is coming from, but I was hoping that the reader would leave the story with the idea that counselors are a resource that everyone should take advantage of when in need.
The Jellybean Crisis is a book I can wholeheartedly recommend to any teen or any adult for that matter. It is a realistic look at a girl who is struggling with the daunting and all important questions of what do I want to do with the rest of my life? Will I be happy in my choices? This book walks you through the process and helps you to discover ways that might help you in answering these questions.
"So, save the red ones for last. If you eat the best ones first, there's nothing but green and yellow in your future. You should build on your future. You should build on the flavors, knowing that they're only going to get better and better."
"But then I remind myself of the Jelly Bean Theory, that school is my green jelly bean. It's hard work that I need to do, to get life that I really want."
"You don't get things just because you want them; you get things because you work hard for them."
"It doesn't matter how you get there, as long as you get there."
"This is your life, Poppy. Don't be afraid to not be perfect."
"I think at some point every guidance counselor realizes what they really want to do. They guide themselves right out of a job, or right into their dream."
"There's a bumper sticker that I like: Success is getting what you want, happiness iw wanting what you get."
"There was this sudden ache I felt about my life. Like it wasn't mine. I'd bern doing everything to please everyone else and some imaginary me."
"There is no real world. She smiles. "There is only what is real for you."
"We all have dreams for our children. Sometimes you have to let them find their own way."
"I think if planting a seedling changes the world, maybe planting s thought or a belief at a protest can do the same. After all, protests create awareness."
"Knowledge makes a difference."
I received a copy of this book as part of a promotional tour sponsored by AToMR Tours. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions expressed are my own.
As part of the tour Jolene Stockman is offering a giveaway. Just fill out the Rafflecopter to enter. You can find out more about Jolene Stockman on her website, blog, Goodreads, twitter and Facebook and Amazon.
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