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Perhaps a subtitle might be "This is what those of us with Neurodivergent Brains live with." It is a look into how to change our own patterns for those we love but struggle to understand. Parts seem repetitive, but that is a good thing. Quite useful.
I requested and received an EARC from Jessica Kingsley Publishers via NetGalley.
 
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jetangen4571 | Feb 1, 2024 |
Full review at: http://thebookshelfgargoyle.wordpress...

I received an ecopy of this book in return for an honest review.

Jawbreaker: Unlocking the (U)niverse is a short but substantial read aimed at young adults and focused around the tools required to create your identity the way you want and/or need it to be. Divided into short chapters centred around a theme, the book covers a range of personal development concepts in easy-to-understand language, with the added benefit of suggested activities that can be dipped or delved into depending on how deep the reader wants to go.

I was initially slightly put off by the chirpy, cheerleader-style language of the initial chapter, but quickly got over this as it swiftly became apparent that the content of the book was both relevant to the target age, and easy to apply to one's personal circumstances. One of the notable things about the content was the author's repeated acknowledgement that personal growth takes time. This is an important concept to grasp for the intended audience and it was reassuring to know that the book was not touting the suggestions as a quick-fix, two-minute solution to a perfect life.

This book will greatly appeal to the target audience and in particular, young women who are ready to undertake some basic introspection regarding how they want to be in the world.
 
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BruceGargoyle | Nov 18, 2013 |
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review*

Author
Jolene Stockman is an award winning writer, speaker, and an expert for Girlfriend Magazine Australia. She is a Master of Neuro Linguistic Programming, and one of the youngest in the world to achieve the Distinguished Toastmaster Award. Jolene lives in New Zealand, and is the author of Total Blueprint for World Domination. The Jelly Bean Crisis is her debut fiction.
Learn more at www.jolenestockman.com

Review
This book was every bit what I hoped it would be. A sweet relaxing read about a serious subject.
We often discuss if 16 is not to young for people to decide what they want with the rest of their lives. In the Netherlands where I live it is common for about 60% of the teenagers to hit that point when they are 16. I loved the way the author tackled that issue in this book.
Poppy, the main character, is easy to connect too. She is a young woman wanting the best in her life and actually a straight A student due to hard work combined with common sense. When she realizes that other people think it will come to them no matter what because it is what they want she starts to doubt herself. Wondering if she is making the right choices for herself. Her struggle is written out very realistic. As a person who made a career switch at 27 I could easily connect with that feeling.
What I also liked a lot was the way Poppy her friends where reacting and how life happened and things got weird between the friends because they where at different points in their lives. It was very real life how that was described.
I think this is a great book for every person who is at a point in her or his life where the question "is this it?" pops up. It gives you subjects to consider without making it complicated, difficult and all the bad that usually comes with a mood like that.
1 vote
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Ciska_vander_Lans | 5 other reviews | Mar 30, 2013 |
I am on such a contemporary kick this year. Every one of these books I pick up ends up blowing my mind. I'm actually surprised I practically ignored this genre for so long but happy that I've finally changed that! The Jelly Bean Crisis was a splendid novel and I'm happy to report that it's not just a pretty cover. This book really packs a punch and I devoured every page of it. I got so caught up in Poppy's story and I can tell you, ''one more page'' quickly turned into some lost sleep but it was totally worth it. It was really lovely, from start to finish.

Poppy is the protagonist in this book and a brilliant one at that. Her voice is really unique and strong. Her personality practically bursts through the pages. Obviously, being able to form a connection to the main character of a book is pretty important and thankfully I found that really easy. I felt like I knew Poppy from the get-go. As well as you can know a character who's going through a crisis like this, that is. It was so intriguing to watch Poppy just snap and to suddenly question everything she's ever known.

The Jelly Bean Crisis follows Poppy on her month long journey to find herself. All her life she's planned for one thing: college and a steady financial career. I felt really sorry for Poppy when she started freaking out and feeling like she had to make all her major life choices right now as a teenager. I enjoyed joining her as she dove headfirst into the search for what she really wanted! Poppy's Jelly Bean Theory is that you should eat the not-so-nice jelly beans first and then save the best for last. In this book we see her going against the theory she's held for many years and wondering if perhaps she should have been going for the red jelly beans- her favourite- the whole time.

Poppy gets up to a lot during her ''gap month'' in order to see if she can figure out which career path is perfect for her. We meet a whole host of interesting characters at each place and there are several minor characters who intrigued me. Poppy's friends annoyed me at parts but definitely redeemed themselves. Her Nana is a pretty awesome and wise woman and her relationship with her is really sweet to read about. The only thing I can say is that there wasn't enough of a certain love interest. Not really a flaw in the book- more of a personal preference and simply means he was such a great character, I wanted to read more about him!

Overall, I seriously enjoyed this book and I'm so glad I got the chance to read it. I'd recommend it to any contemporary fans, and anyone in that awkward stage in their life where they've got to figure out what they want from their future- which is probably everyone, right? Definitely one to look out for. It's a beautifully told story that you'll still be thinking about long after you finish reading it.
1 vote
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nicola26 | 5 other reviews | Mar 30, 2013 |
Total Blueprint for World Domination is a self-help book for teenagers. I suppose I am part of the target audience as I'm still in my teens... just about! I don't really tend to read non-fiction books a lot as I find they often go on for ages about nothing and I just skim them for the interesting parts. But I quite enjoyed this one and in part because it does not ramble on. It gets straight to the point and is short and sweet. It's a little boost of positivity.

This book doesn't tell you what you should be doing. It doesn't stick to one viewpoint and and consider all other options wrong. Rather, it tells you what you could do and lets the rest up to you. It's all about feeling empowered and realizing that when it comes down to it, you are really the one with control over your life. It definitely gets the point across that you cannot control other people and their actions but you can certainly control yourself! It's very open-ended and designed to make you think about all your options and decide which would be best for you personally given your own circumstances.

It's very well laid out in a clear and concise manner. It's basically done out in steps and is really easy to follow. Each step leads on to the next and it all builds up into your full plan. Total Blueprint for World Domination can be applied to massive decisions or tiny ones- it's up to you! It's well written and bursting with enthusiasm. Stockman draws on her own life experience at times which adds more meaning to the book as a whole. I certainly enjoyed reading this and like I said, it doesn't take much time to get through at all. I would recommend it for anyone who needs a little motivation for whatever it is.
 
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nicola26 | 1 other review | Mar 29, 2013 |
We’ve all heard of The Secret or books like it and while the synopsis of Total Blueprint points in that direction it’s not. Sure some elements of it may mimic Rhonda Byrne or Esther Hicks, but in the end Total Blueprint is just that…a blueprint on how to make your dreams come true. It’s targeted towards young adults, however; both parents and their children can sit down and map out a future of possibilities. We all have dreams we would like to see to fruition so why not create a blueprint? As Stockman states, “You’ve got one life, one shot, and all the power to make it happen. Get ready to dream big and live big. It’s all up to you. And it starts now.”

Stockman’s writing is simple and straightforward. In fact a lot of young adults will be able to associate with the examples she uses. She clearly knows how to communicate with them and relies on her own life experiences to convey her examples. Stockman walks the reader through a series of exercises. Each chapter is short, but meaningful. In fact as you read you’ll bookmark pages you’ll want to return to. It’s written to be open-ended and lets you think of your goals. She also gives you the option to think through circumstances so you can create a reality that fits you. The steps are easy to follow and designed to move along as you read. So at the end, you have your kick ass blueprint.

I do admit I was a bit unsure of how Stockman might tackle a few subjects. Mostly I was worried that she would say, “anything is possible.” Despite the fact that you might want to cure cancer, but you aren’t good science, she does state to make your goals realistic and for you. You might never be that scientist or model, but you can work in the industry and she walks you through possible scenarios to let you achieve your dream.

Anyone looking for a little motivation would benefit from this book. It’s not patronizing nor does it tell what to do and how to do it. I personally felt inspired after reading and do admit I began to plan what my blueprint would look like. I’m not ashamed to say that this weekend I’ll be finalizing it. We can all relate to wanting to achieve a dream and sometimes we lose our goals along the way. So why not take advantage of the help to clear up the mind?

Please note: author supplied book for review.
 
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winterlillies | 1 other review | Dec 21, 2012 |
I should point out that I normally don’t read young adult fiction. It’s just not a genre that totally grasps my interest; however, I will admit to wanting to read Jolene Stockman’s The Jellybean Crisis based on the cover alone. I mean, look at it! It’s gorgeous! In the end Stockman’s writing had me riveted. It’s a fun story, and I believe in the message in the book: You aren’t limited to just being you, you can be many things, but most importantly don’t forget about YOU.

Poppy Johnson is a 16-year-old who does everything that is expected of her. Along the way, she loses the most important aspect–herself. She has a plan: attend Columbia, major in finance, and then work on Wall Street. She has a blueprint (yes, Stockman incorporates her Total Blueprint steps into the book) and sees life through jelly beans. For her the green jelly beans taste the worst and therefore anything she doesn’t like are the green jelly beans. While everything she does like or loves are the red jelly beans because the red ones taste the best (that they do).

Everyone, including her teachers, has a high level of expectation for Poppy; and naturally when she wins a coveted scholarship, everyone assumes she will proceed as planned. However, her world is turned upside down. Moments before the announcement of the scholarship recipient, she meets with the new guidance counselor who tells her it’s okay to try new things and lose yourself along the path. Poppy rejects the award (much to the horror of people around her) to take a gap month–a month to try out new things and quite possibly decide if her future on Wall Street is what she truly wants. Through a series of adventures she grows and learns that sometimes it’s okay to try other avenues to find your true calling.

I applaud Stockman for the realism used. Poppy has two best friends, Bex and Ella. All three have goals and dreams. Bex wants to be an engineer, and Ella wants to be an actress. When Poppy announces she’s taking a month off from school, her friends don’t quite understand why. Nor do they understand her mini meltdown and why she rejected the scholarship. Even her teachers don’t understand. That felt real. Often times we see someone reject something that is totally out of character, and all we can see is them throwing their life away. Poppy’s parents have a right to be concerned; but at the same time, she needed to be in charge of her life. So when I see Bex and Ella not supportive of Poppy’s decision, it hurt because here are the two people who are supposed to support her and be there, and yet they aren’t. Truthfully, you know they are secretly jealous of her and yet think that just because she’s not attending school that she can still make plans to meet them. Sadly, all three girls get a dose of reality and what it’s like in the real world.

I like that Stockman introduced the subject of a gap year, something that normally is seen for example in the UK or Australia. In the US there is still that mentality that taking a year off will put you behind everyone else, which I don’t believe. Many people can be on track with taking summer classes and still graduate a year or two later because they are busy taking classes in other areas. The experiences gained from a gap year are beneficial. While Poppy didn’t get a whole year off, she got a month. What she learned she can apply to life. She got to figure out what she doesn’t want based on her short sojourn.

If I could, I’d like to take the time to go discuss Stockman’s use of her book Total Blueprint. It’s not done in a “here’s my book and in your face.” It’s not obvious to the reader unless you are familiar with Total Blueprint. It provides a perfect example of how your blueprint can change, and it’s okay to do so because along the way you get to modify your own personal goals. I would rather be in Poppy’s shoes and modify the plan than to realize in the end I really didn’t want to be that doctor, but a baker instead.

I loved the ending of The Jellybean Crisis; it was believable. And although I wanted Poppy’s story to continue, I like to think her new blueprint is kicking ass, and along the way, Bex and Ella also revised their goals. Perhaps the two of them created their own kick-ass blueprint. I also would have liked to have seen and learned more about Stadford, Poppy’s love interest, although he’s not introduced as one until later in the book. Overall, it was a fun book to read, and I think all young girls could benefit from reading this. It has a positive message, and it’s important to know that it’s okay to change your blueprint and modify it as you go.

Please note: author supplied book for review.
1 vote
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winterlillies | 5 other reviews | Dec 21, 2012 |
So, why do I recommend you read this book? If you're a teen thinking about going to college or a parent with a kid going off to college, I think you should read it simply so you can remember who's life it is that's going to be affected the most by college. What's the right major? Should I take a year off? Should I let my child take a year off? Should I let them go for their dreams or a sensible job? If any of those questions are wandering around in your mind, even if you're an adult considering going back to college, read this novel.

Poppy has planned her life to please everyone but herself. She doesn't even know what makes her happy. I'm surprised she knows how she likes her pancakes. But when she's been pushing herself for so long to get the Denton award, a full ride to Columbia plus allowance, she stumbles. She realizes that being an investment banker may not be what she wants. She has never tried anything but what's on her plan, math, extra credit, lots of studying, anything that will look good on her transcripts. But her world is so limited that she doesn't know enough about it to know what she does and doesn't like. Her guidance counselor mentions a gap year between high school and college and Poppy jumps at that.

Dad doesn't. Dad and all of the people on his side of the family, the men, are legacies at Columbia. His father made him go and become a bank manager and he's going to make sure Poppy is taking that scholarship and study finance at Columbia. But he's willing to compromise, amazingly. She gets 30 days starting now to find out what she wants to do. And the race is on. It's unfair pressure. Poppy is a junior and sixteen. I doubt any sixteen year old really knows what they want to be. And Poppy knows that she's good in math, with numbers, but it doesn't make her happy. But she is sixteen, and has amazing resilience and optimism. She doesn't even let the less than supportive talks from her teachers sway her from her gap month.

There are some great moments in Poppy's experiences like eating all the cookie dough you could possibly want. Falling into the compost bin at an organic farm and chasing a chicken. Even being a go for on a movie set. She even meets a boy, something she's never done at her all girl high school and she learns the importance of her friends.

I only had one small time when I felt Poppy was being a tad over dramatic, but she is a 16 yr old girl. She kept on about how she didn't feel anything and she was miserable and a failure. She hadn't discovered what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. As smart as she is she still didn't figure out for herself that she wouldn't figure it out at 16. If she did, she would be one of the very few.

This is a really good coming of age, discovering yourself contemporary novel. Romance takes a back seat to the journey of finding yourself. Anyone struggling with that question might find some answers in the novel. I found the writing easy going, not overly descriptive. A couple of parts dragged but not for long.
I'm almost hoping there will be a second novel to follow up on Poppy and let us see what happens.

This is a very clean read and appropriate for 12 and up. I can't wait to read future works from this author,
Jolene Stockman.
1 vote
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hrose2931 | 5 other reviews | Aug 17, 2012 |
Poppy Johnson is 16 years old and has spent her entire life striving to be the top of her class in order to win the prestigious Denton award, a full scholarship to Columbia. She's had her whole life planned out since she was young, everything neatly figured out, she even has her own jelly bean theory. On the day her dreams are about to come true, she is suddenly hit with the realization that she isn't sure if this is really what she wants. With the help of her high school counselor, her Nana, and her somewhat reluctant parents, Poppy is given thirty days to figure things out. Sink or swim, she's in, and eager to take on the world and find her place in it.

This is a really cute and fun story about a young girl's quest to find herself and her place in life. As the reader, you take the month-long journey with Poppy as she discovers who she is and who she is not. Poppy is a very charismatic and entertaining character. I really liked her a lot. The things she thinks are as entertaining as the things she says. Other characters are best friends Becca and Ella, each with their own plans for their future. Then there is Stratford Logan, the hottie that Poppy just seems to keep bumping into everywhere. I enjoyed seeing Poppy mature in this story, and learn to stand up for herself and what she wants, and do this without destroying her relationship with her family, especially her dad, and her friends. There was the hint of romance in the story also, which was really sweet. This was a cute, fun, and fast-paced read, and would really appeal to the high-school age group, though we all can learn a little life lesson from The Jelly Bean Crisis. As Poppy would say, everyone's favorite color might not be red.
1 vote
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alwaysyaatheart | 5 other reviews | Aug 9, 2012 |
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