Willow hypnotized Max to be her friend forever…which is why she never expected to fall for him.
When Willow Grey was nine, her mom dropped the bomb of ultimate betrayal: they would be moving from their small town in Georgia to glitzy Las Vegas. Willow was devastated to have to leave her best friend, Max, behind. So she decided to take control of the situation: she told Max to relax, to let his eyelids droop, and then she said: Max Montgomery, for as long as we live, you and I will be best friends…
Now, at seventeen, Willow and her mom move back to their hometown, and Willow is determined to pick up where she and Max left off. But even though he’s still her best friend, his heart now belongs to someone else – and Willow realizes that what she feels for him is so much more than just friendship. For the second time in her life, Willow finds herself using hypnosis to get what she wants. But what starts off as a harmless experiment soon spirals into chaos, and Willow is forced to wonder: Is the heart really something you can control – with mind control?
What do you do when you’ve hypnotized your friend into being your best friend forever, but years later realize you want more than just friendship? Why, more hypnosis, of course!
But Crush Control is more than just a light-hearted romance with a hypntism twist. It’s is a story about friendship, family, finding yourself and free will. It’s a story about the pressures of high expectations, and responsibilities. And, it’s a story about love.
Willow and her mom move to Las Vegas when Willow is nine to start up a hypnotist show, and before they leave Willow hypnotizes her friend Max into always being her friend. Years later, Willow and her mom return to her hometown. Willow is excited to start over in the small town, and to see Max again – hopefully, as more than just friends now. But things don’t go as planned. Max has a girlfriend, Willow meets handsome classmate Quinton and begins a risky plan to make Max jealous, and top of the social later Mia needs her help. Suddenly Willow is doing hypnosis on a regular basis, but her good intentions backfire when both Quinton and Mia begin to suffer and get hurt because of Willow’s hypnotic suggestions.
Willow is one of those characters that is so endearing, and genuinely tries to be the best person she can be, but ultimately gets herself into some trouble. I felt that when it came to Willow helping Mia, it just went a little too far – in the beginning, Willow was actually helping. With Quinton, however, Willow made bad decisions from the start, all for selfish reasons when she could have just talked to Max. But that wouldn’t have given us a book to read! I really liked Max, as a best friend and potential boyfriend for Willow. However, he should have sucked it up and talked to Willow himself when it became obvious she wasn’t going to talk to him about what was going on.
Willow’s mom and her friend Georgia were probably my favourites. Willow’s mom has made the decision to be a “responsible” parent and leave her Las Vegas show to become a hypnotherapist in a doctor’s office, give Willow a house rather than an apartment and to reconcile with her own parents. But she’s still herself. She may be changing her life, but she isn’t changing her personality, and I loved that. And Georgia! She’s hilarious. I enjoyed all the references to current books, movies and tv shows, and her desire to help but ultimately not helping at all.
While I felt that some of the decisions Willow made were a little farfetched, I enjoyed how they were written into the overall story to help drive it to it’s happy (yay!) ending. So in the end, with good writing, imagery and pop culture mixed with Shakespeare, Crush Control is a fun romance, with deeper messages that will keep you invested in the story and its characters. I devoured this book in only a few hours, and definitely recommend it.
Review copy for the tour provided by BookSparksPR. Thank you!
is the author of Lipstick Apology. Jen grew up in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and has been known to spend more time modeling sunglasses than seeing patients at her optometry practice. She lives in Blue Ridge, Georgia, with her husband and two children.