Willow has spent most of her life as her mother's sidekick in a popular Las Vegas hypnotism show. So when she and her mom move back to their sleepy southern hometown to start over, she thinks she's in for a life of quiet normalcy. Except that her new life turns out to be anything but, when she kinda sorta hypnotizes Quinton, the hottest guy on the football team, to fall madly, deeply, head over heels in love with her. But what started out as an innocent way to make her best friend, Max, jealous soon gets way out of hand, and Willow begins to wonder if the mind - and more importantly, the heart - is something you can really control.Review:
After reading Jennifer Jabaley’s smashing and bittersweet Lipstick Apology, I was eager to read more by her. Therefor when Crush Control, her second YA novel, landed in my hands, I was eager to devour it one page at a time. Thankfully Crush Control was a great second novel, because not only was the premise fresh and enticing, but the characters were relatable and fun to read about it.
Crush Control opens up just as nine-year-old Willow Grey is about to hypnotize her best friend Max to stay her best friend until the end of time. For some, this may be extreme, but for Willow, it is her only way to take control of the fact she will be moving to Las Vegas in a few days, and thankfully enough, it works. Max and her stay best friends throughout the years, talking every day on the phone, exchanging text messages, and just being there for each other, which makes the fact that a now seventeen-year-old Willow will be moving back to their hometown even more perfect. However, not everything is as perfect as Willow bargained, because as soon as she sees Max, she knows she wants to be more than just friends, while Max seems to think being friends is good enough. Willow knows she needs a plan to get the guy of her dreams, but will hypnotizing him be worth the risk? Only time and more pages can tell in this action packed novel!
Willow was the type of character whom it is easy to be torn over, because while Willow was a sweet and nice girl at heart, her actions and manipulative side did not always show that. However, while this aspect made me take a while to warm up to her, it also made her all the more real so to say, because when it comes down Willow’s dilemmas with mind control can easily be shown at as yet another way people, especially teens, seek control over their lives. Another aspect that made Willow down to earth, in my eyes, was her relationship with her mom. Very Gilmore Girl-ish, it was a very sweet and unique add to the story. I also loved the secondary characters introduced in this such as Georgia, the girl whose obsession with soap operas will never cease to make you laugh, and Mia, the cheerleader with a lot of heart.
As mentioned before, the premise of Crush Control was very refreshing. I enjoyed the idea of seeing a teen deal with the advantages and disadvantages that come with mind control, and better yet, Jennifer Jabaley execution of the was nothing short of great. It was always fun to see all the twists, turns, and complications that came from it, especially when Willow grew as a character because of it. The area dealing with Willow and Max was also interesting, especially when you added Quinton to the mix, as I never knew exactly how everything was going to turn out.
Jennifer’s writing in this was also descent. She did a great job of developing the characters in an easy to relate to way, and I loved all the pop culture references.
Light, breezy, and full of fun, Crush Control is yet another great addition to your summer reading list, as it’s sure to have you rooting for Willow (if not all the characters) every step of the way.
Crush Control is now out!
Source: Publisher via BooksSparksPR- thanks!
In your opinion, what are the top three reasons why teens should consider picking up Crush Control, your latest release, the next time they see it in stores or online?
Because CRUSH CONTROL is a fast, funny read. It will teach you a little something you probably didn't know about hypnosis. And it's a story of friendships and when those relationships blur into more.
Crush Control tells the story of Willow Gray, so would you mind sharing a bit about her? In addition, if you could offer her any advice, what would you say?
Willow Grey feels stuck in the shadows of her beautiful mother, the successful and famous Las Vegas hypnotist. When they return to the hometown of Worthington, Georgia, Willow feels like it's finally time that she can step out of the shadows and create an image of her own. But when circumstances don't go exactly as planned, she caves to using her ability to hypnotize people to try and create the life she wants. If I could offer her some advice, I would tell her that as much as she may want to try and control her circumstances, some things in life shouldn't be messed with. Sometimes you just have to let it be.
In Crush Control Willow tends to use hypnosis to get what she wants so what inspired you to give her that specific characteristic?
Admittedly, I am a bit of a control freak :) I understand the desire to want to create order in your life and to want to control how things play out. It's a little unsettling when certain things are just outside my control...I thought this was a great characteristic to explore because what if you were tempted with the ability to control something that typically most people can not control, would you give in? And how would that change the course of events?
I absolutely love the cover for Crush Control, and the way it goes along with Lipstick Apology’s cover, which leaves met to wonder the following: what was your reaction when you saw it for the first time?
Oh, I loved it, too. I loved the swirls that were sort of trippy and indicative of mind control. And yes, I certainly picked up on how similar the vibe was to Lipstick Apology and I loved that. Even though it's not a sequel, it's a similar style so when someone is just browsing at the bookstore they hopefully will immediately recognize that this book is by the same author of Lipstick Apology.
With Crush Control’s release date quickly approaching, do you have any plans on how you will spend the big day?
It's always fun to see your book actually make it into the bookstores. I hope that on the day of release I'll be able to visit some local bookstores and just oogle. :)
I think when I received my first fan mail I felt like the biggest rock star ever!! But honestly, the most surprising moment happened just a month or so ago. I went to see Meg Cabot at her booksigning for ABANDON. While I was waiting in the crowd one of the mothers who was there with her teen daughter, asked me if I had a daughter at home who was a Meg Cabot fan. I said that actually I was a YA author and I was there to tell Meg I loved her books and she was an inspiration to me. The woman asked what book I had written. When I answered 'Lipstick Apology' a girl in the crowd spun around and explained that Lipstick Apology was her favorite book ever. She proceeded to make her mother take a picture with me and made a really big spectacle. It was, to put it lightly, amazing.
What is up next for you book wise? Is there anything else you would like to add?
I'm in talks with my editor right now about another YA. Fingers crossed!! I'd like to add a sincere thanks to everyone who has supported my first book, LIPSTICK APOLOGY. It has definitely been a word of mouth success and I am so appreciative to everyone who took the time to recommend it to their sister/friend/bookclub. You guys are wonderful!!!
Thanks so much for having me!!
You're very welcome! It's a blast having you as a guest today! And yay for more upcoming YA books. :)
To find out more about Jennifer and her books:
Jennifer Talks about Crush Control: