Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Title: The Jelly Bean Crisis
Author: Jolene Stockman
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: August 1, 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary
Reviewed by: Angie Edwards
My rating: 5/5


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.


The Jelly Bean Crisis was recommended to me by one of my most trusted book-addict friends, and what a terrific read it turned out to be. After having read countless less-than-mediocre attempts by inexperienced self-publishing authors, I’ve been steering clear of indie books for the past couple of months. Jolene Stockman’s The Jelly Bean Crisis can be shelved right up there with bestselling traditionally published works!

First off, this book is extremely well-written compared to other self-published books. The storyline flows easily and the characters, especially Poppy, our leading lady, has been expertly developed. She’s likeable, easy-going, intelligent, perceptive, and reasonable. What stuck with me most about this story is the originality of the plot, especially considering the genre. This is not your average YA plot with the expected, predictable romantic interest, although it does have a little romance. Still, the romance between Poppy and who she at first thinks of as her stalker, unfolds gradually and convincingly.

I enjoyed that this is a story about a teen wanting to make an informed decision about her future, and in order to do so she embarks on a “gap month” to explore a few possibilities for a potential career path that would make her happy. Ultimately, she wants to make a difference and inspire others to do the same. This decision not only affects her, but also her family and friendship with her two best friends, Ella and Bex. Poppy is used to doing everything for everyone; pleasing her parents and teachers, but now she wants to do something for herself - which is easier said than done.

As the reader follows Poppy’s exploration of career possibilities, she becomes an even more likeable character at every turn. Her energy and excitement, while trying out different career positions, positively pops off the page as she throws herself into each activity! Even though she discovers that most of it isn’t her passion, she continually takes something positive from each experience with her. Just when she’s ready to quit, she discovers the biggest truth of all, which finally...well, I’ll leave it to you to find out. 

The comparison with how Poppy’s life plan relates to getting to the red jelly beans in her jelly bean theory makes perfect sense. It did to me anyway. Along the way we meet all sorts of inspiring characters trying to make a difference in the world. The reader also learns that there are many others who, in tiny ways, contribute to our daily lives in ways we might take for granted.

The Jelly Bean Crisis is a unique and clever read with lots to smile about, and heaps of warm and fuzzy feels. With this novel Jolene Stockman has proved that she is one of a few independent authors who, by creating insightful characters and writing an uplifting story that breaks away from the YA norm, truly understand what young readers want. I’m excited to read more of her books!


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I'm a writer of books, an eater of wedges, and a lover of exclamation marks.

My YA nonfiction, Jawbreaker - Unlock the (U)niverse lets you explore who you are and decide who you want to be.

My YA nonfiction, Total Blueprint for World Domination shows you how to design your dream world and make it happen!

My YA fiction, The Jelly Bean Crisis follows a high-achieving teen who goes against expectations to find a dream of her own.

I live in New Zealand and love gravy, fizzy drinks and shiny things.

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