Book Nerd Excerpt
I’m Jolene, a fast-talking film fan that loves fizzy drinks and shiny things. I was the shy kid. I couldn’t speak but I read a lot, and plotted my world take over by torchlight.
When my lack of confidence threatened my dreams, I took action and changed my life! I know what it takes to think big, jump in, and create a dream world. Now I want to help you do it, too!
Lucy Tenaro is annoyingly perky, teen-queen perfect. Her shallow future goal to be rich and famous has started to splinter Poppy’s plans. Poppy’s friend Ella is dreaming of a future onstage, but even her passion is starting to make Poppy feel insecure.
“Are you watching TV?” It was Ella. She was practically squealing.
“No, what channel?” I excused myself and raced out to the living room.
“Thirty-one. You won’t believe it.”
I turned the TV on. The audio came through first: “…and with just a self-built website, Lucy Tenaro has caught the attention of critics and collectors alike. Now it’s not just the web that she’ll be rocking…”
Ella cut in. “Lucy’s been discovered. She’s going to New York.”
“No way!” I sat in front of the screen, and sure enough, there was Lucy. She was in her ultra-pink bedroom being interviewed. Blinking like a cherub doll and pretending to type on her jewel-encrusted computer. Her smile was disgustingly unsurprised. I listened intently with Ella at my ear. “…because at just sixteen years old, Lucy’s art will be going from Lakewood, to the world…”
Jealousy ripped through me. The splinter wedged into my head, crumbling my carefully constructed world. Lucy was getting everything she wanted. Just the way she said. No work, no stress. Suddenly all my hours of study seemed pointless. I tried to talk it down: it’s not like I wanted to be some famous artist. I had Columbia. I had a plan. Still, seeing Lucy lit up like a Christmas tree filled me with conflict.
“Did you hear that?” Ella broke into my thoughts. “She’s leaving at the end of the week!” That, at least, I was grateful for. “Ha! Well, that keeps her gloating time to a minimum.” Then I realized: if I was grass-green jealous, Ella had to be forest-green, at least. She’d wanted fame forever, and she actually deserved it.
“El, you must be spewing!” I said. Funny, the way jealousy sounded a lot like empathy.
“No way!” Ella surprised me. “If it can happen for her, it can happen for me! This just confirms it.”
“True,” I agreed. “And you’ve worked really hard, so when it happens you’ll totally deserve it.”
What else could I say? Rich and famous. Lucy was halfway there. A strange, twisty feeling was gnawing at my stomach. And the other thing gnawing at my stomach? Knowing that when it came to Lucy Tenaro, things were only going to get worse.
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.
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