Sally's Reviews > The Jelly Bean Crisis

The Jelly Bean Crisis by Jolene Stockman
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Dec 07, 12

bookshelves: ya, school, coming-of-age-and-growing-up, challenge-ya-a-to-z, america, friendship, work-experience, e-own, e-read
Read from December 02 to 07, 2012, read count: 1

This book has THE cutest cover ever, omg. And the cutest title to match! AND it meant I got to cross J off my A-Z challenge list... 22 down, four to go! (Q, X, V and Z for the record.)

And it was, luckily, loads of fun to match the adorable cover and title combo. :) Basically, Poppy's a super-studious, over-achieving kind, who wins a prestigious scholarship... and then has a bit of a crisis when she suddenly realises that maybe going to Columbia and following the family "legacy", studying finance, isn't what she truly wants. So with a bit of influence from guidance counselor Mrs. Young*, she goes off in the middle of her junior year to take a "gap" month, to basically live and work outside of school and figure out what it is she REALLY wants to do.

*Mrs. Young is Australian! As a fellow Australian I can honestly say that I have NEVER before heard the expression "box of fluffies", and I can also honestly say that omg I am so going to start using it now because it's hilarious. Also the "rubber" thing made me laugh out loud on a tram, omg.

During her gap month, Poppy works in a bakery, an eco centre, a newspaper office, and a film set... and doesn't really find her niche in any of those places, which I thought was pretty cool. It's frustrating and disappointing for her - but realistic, too. I remember work experience in year 10, and SCIP in year 9. I did WE at a vet's, and SCIP at a daycare centre and a radio station. I was never thinking of working for real at either of my SCIP places anyway, but the work experience week pretty much taught me that omg I did not want to be a vet.

What I found really weird was the attitude of both Poppy's father and friends to the idea of a gap year - that if you did that, you'd then be a year behind. Behind what exactly?! It's as if everyone in their world went to uni at the same time, for the same time... which for me is just odd. I guess that's the Australian thing, because really most people DO do some kind of gap year, whether before or during uni. Or they take a semester off in the middle, or go part-time and work as well, or just stretch out a degree with as many extra subjects as possible because molecular genetics is only tolerable when you're doing a bunch of film classes and creative writing classes and zoology and basically everything you can possibly fit in that has nothing whatsoever to do with your actual major... And seriously, in third year prac? I swear you could count on the fingers of one hand the students in the class who were actually only in their third year at uni!

I'm off the subject of the book... I really want a sequel now, to see how Poppy's actual gap year goes :) I find it a bit odd though that she'd take off her senior year of high school and do extra credit over summer or something to graduate, rather than just finish high school and then take the gap year, but I guess school works differently over there?

(Also, I totally thought the author was Australian too when I was readying this, because she called a chicken a chook and a singlet a singlet, and I remember once having to explain to an American friend what a singlet was! Also 'mobile' phone.)

I really liked Poppy herself, was a bit eh on the Stratford Logan romantic subplot, loved her ass-kicking Nana, was sad at how unsuportive Bex and Ella could be, and was horrified at her father's attitude, but loved how that was all explained at the end.

Also my jellybean order would go (from favourite to least) orange, yellow, green*, red, blue, purple, pink, white, black. But I prefer Natural Confectionery Company jellybeans anyway, in which case my order goes ALL OF THEM AT ONCE. (*Except if they're Starburst jellybeans, because green Starburst tastes like soap.)
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Reading Progress

12/03/2012
24.0% "I only started this because I needed a "J" book... and I am super loving it!"
12/04/2012
41.0% "Chooks and singlets! Is the author an Aussie?? :D"
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