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Crush Control [NOOK Book]


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 ...
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Crush Control

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Dianna Geers
Willow's mom was a performance hypnotist in Las Vegas from the time Willow was nine until she was seventeen. Willow spent many late nights helping her mom on stage. Wanting to create a more stable environment for Willow, her mom moves both of them back to their small hometown in Georgia. Willow is devastated to find that her best friend, Max, has moved on with his love life during her absence. Even though Willow is not experienced, she reluctantly agrees to perform hypnotism on a few of her new friends from school. While she is at it, she works on a plan to make Max so jealous that he will fall in love with her. Willow soon finds out that controlling someone's mind does not always work as planned. In fact, behaviors of others begin to go completely out of control. How many of the problems are due to her hypnotism? And how can she undo her actions? Using hypnotism as a fun twist to traditional chick lit, Jabaley has created a quick read and a likable protagonist in Willow Grey. Readers who enjoy chick lit will also like reading Crush Control. They will hope for Willow's success, cringe while predicting the outcomes of her sometimes impulsive decisions, and laugh wondering what else could go wrong? Reviewer: Dianna Geers
Children's Literature - Julia Beiker
Willow Grey spends most of her teen life hiding in her mom's shadow as a performer in a Vegas show, where she hypnotizes audience members. Willow's mom chose to live in Vegas to avoid her own parents' disproval of what she does for a living. This move, when she was nine years old, meant that Willow left behind her best friend, Max, and now she cannot wait to reunite that friendship as her mom decides to move back where her grandparents live. The tension between Willow's Mom and her grandma still exists, with Willow caught in the middle. On top of that, Willow tries too hard to make new friends when she realizes Max has moved on with a girlfriend. She uses hypnotism to help her gain a new love interest and to become the most popular girl in school, even after she was told not to do this by her mom. Will Willow fix her situation or make it worse? Even though predictable, using hypnotism gives it a unique twist to normal teen books that deals in dysfunctional relationships. The characters shine thru as individuals with growing problems from the most popular to the least popular which opens this book up to a variety of audiences. Reviewer: Julia Beiker
School Library Journal
Gr 8–10—Willow Grey, 17, is elated when her single mother, who was a popular, sexy "Hip Hypnotist in Vegas," decides to focus her skills in a more conventional way and move the duo back to their small hometown in Georgia. Willow can't wait to see her BFF Max again and to try to reestablish a relationship with her conventional and judgmental grandmother and ill grandfather. While Willow is thrilled that Max is just as wonderful, and even more handsome, than she remembered, she is not so elated when sweet, pretty Minnie steps into his arms and plants a big kiss on his lips. It doesn't take long before Willow realizes that what she feels for Max is much more than friendship, and she considers that maybe a little jealousy will make him look at her differently. At a party, Willow demonstrates the hypnosis techniques that she's watched her mother use, and she decides to make the hottest guy in school treat her like a goddess. Her session with Quinton, though, makes him unbearably needy and clingy. Even worse, her hypnotic suggestions to a classmate result in serious injury. Mom not only saves the situation, but also takes a big step in gaining respect in the eyes of her formerly disapproving parents. While the fluffy plot premise is predictable, readers will empathize with Willow's realistic desire to fit in at a new school and her seemingly unrequited love situation. Like Jabaley's Lipstick Apology (Penguin, 2009), Crush Control demonstrates the axiom that love means accepting and appreciating friends and family as they are.—Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101535226
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/9/2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 750,221
  • Age range: 12 years
  • File size: 395 KB

Meet the Author

Jennifer Jabaley grew up in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and has been known to spend more time modeling sunglasses than seeing patients at her optometry practice. Jen lives in Blue Ridge, Georgia, with her husband and two small children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Second Novel

    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.

    Grade: B+

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

      While moving to Las Vegas was bad for Willow Grey, leaving her

      While moving to Las Vegas was bad for Willow Grey, leaving her best friend, Max was worse.  To make sure he always stays her best friend, she hypnotizes him, but at age nine, she's not sure it will work.  Now that she's seventeen, her mom decides that they should move back to Georgia. She's going back to her home town, which means her best friend too.   
    Willow realizes how much she admires Max and she wants to tell him.

         This book is very well written and speaks directly to preteens and teens.  Thought provoking and exploring young love in a very sweet book.  Characters your child will relate to easily and get excited about, keeping them reading even more.

         I found no issues with this one.

         I give this book 5 cheers out of 5 because it's something I'm sure all teen girls can relate too.
    Reviewed by Holly Baron, age 12  ~Copy of book provided by author in exchange for a fair review~

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Lovedt Loved it!!!!

    Loved it. Willow, I think her name was, was really relatable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012


    This book was cute and funny but it dragged on a bit in some parts. I also found the ending very predictable.

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  • Posted February 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Cute but not cute as can be

    crush control is the perfect example of why I try to give authors a second shot of winning me over. I may not have been wowed by lipstick apology, but crush control definitely puts Jennifer Jabaley back on my TBR radar.

    {Cute story concept} crush control reminds me of something, maybe as far as unique parents go. Whereas Elizabeth Scott goes with ex-playboy bunny, Jennifer Jabaley goes with a former Las Vegas hypnotist for Willow’s mom. Bizarre as it sounds, it definitely works for the story! All these YA contemporary books that speak of “mind control” when the mean girls rule the school, but how interesting to introduce actual hypnosis into the high school dynamics!

    {Hypnotized or not hypnotized?} I think this was the main question of the story, and Willow had to determine if hypnosis was really the answer to her heart’s desire. Does she have the heart to undo the hypnosis and put her feelings out there to be possibly rejected? Especially when she hypnotized Max to be her BFF before she left for Las Vegas and he now has a super-sweet girlfriend when Willow returns to Georgia. What a dilemma!

    {Cute, but not to the power of cuteness} I think crush control could have been taken up another notch to make it beyond the comprehension of cute. The drama potential was there, but it needed a little more fuel to really burn. For instance, I think Max’s all-too-sugary girlfriend could have milked the jealousy factor and given Willow something more to untangle. It definitely would have given more reason for readers to dislike Max’s girlfriend more – or it could have really driven the sympathy card in her favor.

    crush control may not have rendered me into a babbly mess like Elizabath Scott tends to do, but I feel that it has the potential to – and that gets me interested to see what Jennifer Jabaley brings to the table next!

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  • Posted December 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fun, funny, warm and thoughtful

    It's not terribly difficult to forsee the various disasters that MC Willow inflicts on herself and others, nor is it hard to see how things will eventually work themselves out. But there's lots of fun to be had along the way. Willow is a charming MC, who could benefit from a good shake now and then, but has a sweet, sensitve and kind heart, although it is fraught with bad judgment and poor impulse control. There are several great supporting characters as well - her quirkster friend, Georgia; her single mom struggling with her own issues of identity and parental acceptance; the surface perfect but vulnerable cheerleader; and of course two hunky boys for Willow to obssess over. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the way the author worked the themes of A Midsummer Night's Dream into the story. I love when authors introduce a book like that in a way that illuminates the action and also moves the plot forward - like Leaves of Grass in Paper Towns, or Pride and Prejudice in Between the Lines. This book also features a really great "meet cute" scene with one of the aforesaid boys on Willow's first day back in the small Georgia town they've returned to from Las Vegas. Believable emotions, if farfetched situations, and warmly portrayed lovable characters made this a pleasurable, quick read.

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Crush Control - Thought-provoking and Funny!!

    I've always been both fascinated and terrified by hypnotism. It's supposed to have helped a lot of people with really serious issues (I'd love a subliminal message somedays that NO, I do not need to eat that cupcake...) but when I think about hypnotism, what usually jumps right into my head first is those shows where people end up making total fools of themselves and I just can't even imagine volunteering to participate in something like that!

    Imagine my delight when I started reading Crush Control and I realized that this book actually contains both of those exact types of hypnotism! Willow's mother has run a Vegas hypnotism show for nine years and so when they move back home to Georgia, Willow quickly gets talked into doing a "show" for the kids from school. This insta-hit (with the "funny" style hypnosis where people end up doing stupid things) leads to several of Willow's new friends to help them with various problems through hypnosis.

    One of Willow's new friends is Mia, the Queen Bee of their school. Captain of the Cheer Squad, Mia's expected to do more and more intricate stunts. When her fear of heights overwhelms her, she turns to Willow for help. Willow, though reluctant, helps Mia to push past her fears. Having figured out what Willow had done for Mia, Quinton, a very hot guy from school asks Willow for help with sleepwalking issues. Again, Mia's not really sure if she should try to help. Her mother was the real hypnotist, after all, and has only just moved into the realm of therapeutic hypnosis, but Willow caves and studies her mom's books to know what she's doing.

    Unable to help herself and totally frustrated with her unrequited feelings for her best friend, Max, Willow secretly hypnotizes Quinton to not only stop sleepwalking, but also become her boyfriend. Her uber-sensitive, caring, treat her like the goddess she is...boyfriend. Which, of course, totally backfires and leads to all kinds of high-jinks and worsening situations with Max, who not only doesn't like her relationship with Quinton, but also keeps telling her she shouldn't be doing any hypnosis.

    Willow's voice (often in internal dialogue mode) sparkles throughout this funny and touching book. Even as she is totally unsure of herself, she works to make things work, to sound at least reasonably intelligent, and to keep from hurting anyone's feelings. She was a character that I totally got. Her pining for Max felt so realistic...I can remember having a crush just like that when I was younger!

    The difficulties that Willow had with Quinton made me laugh out loud, even as I was cringing in embarrassment right alongside Willow. All girls want a little romance, but too much easily becomes smothering and poor, hypnotized Quinton went even a step beyond that to crazy!

    While dealing with her new friends at school, Willow is also dealing with trying to reconcile her family. When they moved to Vegas nine years before, it was because Willow's mother and grandmother had a huge fight. Now, Willow's grandfather has had a stroke and they've come home to be closer to their family, but her mother and grandmother still can't get along. Once again, I totally related to Willow's struggle to please every member of her family while still wanting everyone to just get along and accept one another.

    Touching and funny, poignant and thought-provoking, Jabaley's written a real winner. I can't wait now to go back and read her other novel, Lipstick Apology.

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    Posted May 21, 2012

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    Posted December 10, 2011

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    Posted December 17, 2011

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