Sarah's Reviews > Crush Control

Crush Control by Jennifer Jabaley
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Apr 30, 2011

it was ok
Read in April, 2011

Jennifer Jabaley's Crush Control sounded really promising to me. Hypnosis, teens, the boy you've been crushing on since forever... all good stuff right? Unfortunately, this book ended up being more of a drag for me.

Synopsis: 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. (B&N.com)

Willow has just moved back to her hometown in Georgia, along with her mother. When she was nine, she moved to Las Vegas with her mother and helped at her mother's popular hypnosis show. Unfortunately, she's always been in her mother's shadow and Willow can't help hoping that moving back to Georgia will finally give her the chance to shine. And perhaps more importantly, she gets to see her longtime best friend, Max, once again. Only... things do not go as planned. Max has a girlfriend! Willow is crushed and hurt. She was hoping they would finally get the chance to be more than friends. Add to that, Willow's social life gets kind of hectic when her classmates find out she knows how to perform hypnosis. Will this be Willow's chance to shine?

I really ended up disliking Willow, a lot. She uses hypnosis to get a boyfriend, to help a classmate, and in fact, does it more than once. Now, this isn't why I disliked her. Teens make mistakes, I get that. But I felt like, when it was all said and done, Willow let the hypnosis go on way too long. She didn't listen to Max when he cautioned her that it was wrong to do it. She wouldn't confide in her mother. Even when her "boyfriend" started becoming even more obsessive with her, she didn't go to her mother. By book's end, I was just tired of it all. There are mistakes and then there is carelessness and I feel like Willow verged more towards that end of the spectrum. I also didn't feel that she was genuinely sorry for what she did to her friends and to Max. The last sentence of the book left a very bad taste in my mouth. I get it was supposed to be flirty and fun but to me, it felt like Willow did not learn her lesson at all.

Also, this book dragged and dragged. I feel like a good portion could have been chopped out without ruining the story. For much of the middle of the story, it was the same plot points rehashed with somewhat different scenarios. The back and forth jealousy situation Willow was playing against Max started to really get on my nerves throughout this book also.

What I did like about this book though is the relationship between Willow, her mom, and her grandma. It had a very Gilmore Girls vibe to it and well, I love Gilmore Girls so I think I was inclined to like it. But there was actually understanding and compassion in this relationship by the book's end. It was not an easy change and it wasn't perfect but I feel like these three characters at least better understood each other.

Overall though, I was dissatisfied with this story. It was a series of things that added up to disappointment and a rather mediocre read for me.
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