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The Jasmine Project

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Member Reviews

Thank you to netgalley for providing an e-galley for review. Meredith Ireland's "The Jasmine Project" was supposed to be a funny book about a girl finding her self worth and getting rid of her loser boyfriend with her overly involved family. While there were amusing parts, this was mostly a disturbing story of a toxic relationship and a girl who is constantly beating herself down emotionally. Thankfully the book ends on a hopeful note.
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Thanks to NetGalley for an eARC. The main character Jasmine doesn't know how special she is. When her boyfriend cheats on her and suggest they take time apart until August 1. Her big family knows they have to do something before she goes back to him when time up. So her sister hatches a plan with the family to get 3 guys to go on dates with Jasmine without her knowing its a set up.  Does she get with one of the guys or does she go back to her ex. Find out what happens to Jasmine in The Jasmine Project..  I enjoyed the book immensely. Meredith Ireland wrote a great story. I give this a 4 out of 5 stars. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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For me this book was equal amount of plot and dark academia aes , this is book is LITERALLY the definition of dark academia, I can say this as someone whose feed is dark academia and can read anything dark academia. The 90% of the book revolved around the library (mentioned in the synopsis) which was tbh the best part. 
Lets start with plot - the plot was good enough to keep me reading it and main characters who switched pov alternate chapters were really interesting and likeable ! The action scenes were written really nicely too ! I wasn't a big fan of the romance , it kinda felt flat in the book tho ! I definitely recommend you to read it!
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👩🏻‍🍳 Mini Review 💞
I don’t even know where to start with this review! I absolutely loved this book. I related to it in so many ways. Like Jasmine, I am Korean and adopted. I didn’t have a huge family as she did, I was actually an only child, but I still appreciated seeing myself so closely in Jasmine. 

Jasmine Yap is happy. She has a crazy but loving family, a safe boyfriend that she has had for years, a safe career path, and a safe future planned out. That is until this boyfriend is seen with another girl and decides he wants a few months break before starting their future together. Jasmine is crushed and decides she will let him get whatever this is out of his system and will wait for him. Her family, all 50-70 of them, have different plans. They decide to set up a bachelorette competition, including 3 boys, that will last 6 weeks. The only downfall is that they have to do it secretly, so Jasmine doesn’t find out. They want Jaz to see her worth and to get away from the “safe” boyfriend that is keeping her down. All seems to be going well until feelings get real and the truth comes out. 

Ugh… did I already say how much I loved this book?!?!? I LOVED IT! I loved Jaz, her family, the “contestants,” EVERYTHING. Although this book had some super swoon-worthy moments, what got me was Jasmine’s relationship with her close family and the growth that took place. I seriously stayed up till 2 am to finish this book and bawled my little eyes out soo many times. I felt what Jasmine was going through so deep because I had similar experiences. 

If you love a swoon-worthy contemporary with amazing food sprinkled in, and so much growth, then this is the book for you! I gave The Jasmine Project ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This book is out everywhere tomorrow, so make sure to get to your local bookstore asap and get it!!
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Jenny Han meets 10 Blind Dates, with a Korean adoptee's entire family working together to set her up on dates with boys of their choosing so she learns to value herself after having had a shitty boyfriend for a long time.

This was so cute it was almost too much for me. I absolutely loved seeing the main character come into her own and learn her worth and daring to have dreams. I loved seeing her huge family all work together to make her see how amazing she is, even if secretly setting her up with boys was maybe not the best idea. The family group chat cracked me up so much!
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I never thought I’d see the day where I actually prefer to read a contemporary over anything else. Yet here we are! I was over the moon excited to read The Jasmine Project.

I was hooked from the very beginning, simply because it mentioned tacos and burritos within the first chapter. I am simple. There’s also a lot of food mentioned throughout, too, because our main character Jasmine is an aspiring chef . . . so it’s fitting food is a constant component.

We follow Jasmine as she goes through her senior year of high school, a breakup with an emotionally abusive boyfriend, and her family setting her up with blind dates.

I really couldn’t stand Paul. He was a condescending asshole with no regard for anyone but himself. The way he treated Jasmine was appalling. I feel like the author did a great job making the reader despise him. Even him trying to redeem himself felt forced and fake as hell.

Also, good attentions aside . . . the way the family went behind Jasmine’s back with the project was a little upsetting. I know the family meant well and they thought they were doing something good for Jasmine. And they were. Just the secrecy of it all. All in all, I thought the whole project was actually pretty cute. It was obvious from the beginning who would “win.”

There were quite a few elements of drama, so it wasn’t just one conflict that needed to be solved. It was multi layered and that made it much more interesting to read. Jasmine has a strained relationship with her aunt, there’s issues within the family about money and the business, the Bachelorette style dating game and Jasmine finding out, and not trusting the guy she’s interested in. Even if a lot of it was predictable and obvious.

Jasmine really comes into herself. She goes on adventures and does things completely out of her safety and comfort zone, which is ultimately what her family wanted for her. They wanted her to realise there is more than Paul and the comforts of what she’s set up for herself. That she needs to take risks, etc.

Overall, this was an absolute adorable read. Don’t sleep on it!
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This YA Contemporary was adorable! I enjoyed Jasmine's story. This was a good representation of young love and how over time we change which causes our relationships to change. 

Jasmine is comfortable in her relationship with Paul that she doesn't see that the spark has fizzled. She has become complacent without realizing it so her family decides they're going to play matchmaker. I'm not a huge fan of The Bachelor but I thought it was a fun addition to this contemporary romance and I enjoyed getting to know each of the three candidates her family finds for Jasmine. I don't agree with them keeping her out of the loop but it made for an entertaining read. 

I thought each relationship prospect brought something different out of Jasmine throughout the process and I'm glad that this became more about her finding herself again rather than just strictly about the romance. It became more of a coming of age story by the end of it and it was so great seeing Jasmine really figure out what she really wants and who she wants to be. 

This book is filled with family drama, romance, and self-discovery. I definitely recommend it. It's a quick read and so enjoyable. I listened to the audio and enjoyed the full cast, especially when we got to see her family's group text message conversations, so I definitely recommend that format.
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Jasmine’s in a relationship with a less than stellar boyfriend. Paul doesn’t treat her the greatest, but she doesn’t really see it because Jasmine has relatively low self-worth. When Paul is caught cheating and wants a break so he can explore other options, she vows to wait until he’s ready to start up again. If that doesn’t speak volumes about her character, nothing will. In all their good intentions, her family wants her to explore what other options are out there. They want her to see that she is a strong young woman and has so much to offer the world. In a fun bachelorette style, this is how the story unfolds.

This is a book that you want to hold tight to and not let go, long after you’ve finished reading. I can’t wait to snag a physical copy once it’s released. Poor Jasmine. So many people are telling her how amazing she is, but she doesn’t see it. She refuses to see it because they’re close to her. Watching Jasmine come into herself is an absolute joy. The Jasmine Project has a wonderful cast and a super fun storyline from start to finish. I cannot count how many times I laughed out loud reading this. Thank you, Simon and Schuster Children’s and Book Terminal Tours, for sending this along!
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Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Jasmine Project

Author: Meredith Ireland

Book Series: Standalone

Diversity: Korean adopted Mc, Filipino side characters and family, Dominican Republic side character brother, Adopted family dynamics, South Asian love interest

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For...: young adult readers, contemporary, romance, family setting up blind dates trope, cooking romance, adopted family

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: September 7, 2021

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 400

Recommended Age: 14+ (Romance, Slight Language, Fat shaming, Slight emotional abuse, Slight microaggressions, Slight HP reference, Alcohol consumption by minors)

Explanation of CWs: There is a couple of instances of swearing. The fat shaming and emotional abuse are brief, but get brought up throughout the novel. There is also one very minute Harry Potter reference and only one scene of alcohol consumption by minors.

Synopsis: Jasmine Yap’s life is great. Well, it’s okay. She’s about to move in with her long-time boyfriend, Paul, before starting a nursing program at community college—all of which she mostly wants. But her stable world is turned upside down when she catches Paul cheating. To her giant, overprotective family, Paul’s loss is their golden ticket to showing Jasmine that she deserves much more. The only problem is, Jasmine refuses to meet anyone new.

But…what if the family set up a situation where she wouldn’t have to know? A secret Jasmine Project.

The plan is simple: use Jasmine’s graduation party as an opportunity for her to meet the most eligible teen bachelors in Orlando. There’s no pressure for Jasmine to choose anyone, of course, but the family hopes their meticulously curated choices will show Jasmine how she should be treated. And maybe one will win her heart.

But with the family fighting for their favorites, bachelors going rogue, and Paul wanting her back, the Jasmine Project may not end in love but total, heartbreaking disaster.

Review: I really enjoyed this book and it reminded me a lot of 10 Blind Dates. The character development was great and the world building was amazing. I felt like this was a really cute read and that it set the "family blind date" trope really well. I also think that the main character was very endearing. I feel like her plight was very relatable to a lot of people, especially me. A lot of people seek that sense of safety and the sense of never changing tides, and they have to learn how to branch out in a scary world.

The only really issue I had with this book is that sometimes the change between the story to the text message conversation and then to the podcast reading was a bit jarring at first, but otherwise I had absolutely no problem with this book.

Verdict: Highly recommend!
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A joy to read and a powerful lesson about confidence. 

Jasmine Yap is graduating and planning to move in with her long-term boyfriend. Unfortunately, he’s a manipulative cheater. Everyone except Jasmine knows this and when she finds out and confronts him, he decides it’s time to take a break from their relationship for the summer. 

Jasmine’s family steps in to make sure he stays gone by hatching a plan to present three good-guy bachelors to Jasmine. But Jasmine doesn’t know the world is honed in on her family’s good-intentioned meddling through her sister’s podcast show.

This was a sweet, well-written, witty book that follows Jasmine’s journey as she finds purpose that works for her life. 

Highly recommended for all readers who love YA romance, overcoming toxic relationships, strong family ties, and self-discovery. 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for the fantastic ARC; this review is my unbiased opinion.
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4.5 stars from me! 

I personally love YA Contemporary novels, and this one takes the cake! She also very much gave me Jenny Han vibes from To All the Boys.

This book looks at things such as career, boyfriends, heartbreaks, and trying to find your way through the smoke of it all. Her family wants nothing but for Jasmine to be able to see her worth, and to essentially realize that her boyfriend did to her was wrong, and what better place to do that than at a graduation party. 

All in all, such a cute book!
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Unfortunately, this book became an immediate DNF for me, as I didn't even make it past the first chapter. The writing style was one I knew I wouldn't mesh well with upon beginning my read of THE JASMINE PROJECT, and I concluded that I would not like the book if I were to continue reading because of it. It came across as very repetitive and almost too banter-ish (like it was trying too hard to get the readers to like it, which had the opposite effect). I was really looking forward to liking this book, but it just wasn't for me.
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Thank you to Book Terminal Tours and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book through NetGalley for this honest review!

This was a really sweet book about family and learning your own worth, with lots of cute romance as well. Jasmine's family dynamics were so fun to read about, and very relatable too! I also loved seeing her character growth, and the way she fully realized her worth and potential.
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When Jasmine’s high school boyfriend, Paul, decides he wants to see other people for a few months before they move in together, Jasmine is devastated. Sure, Paul can be difficult sometimes, but she loves him. Her family sees this as an opportunity to make Jasmine realize that she deserves so much better than Paul, whether that’s a better boyfriend or being happy on her own for a while. They set up what they call “Little Bachelorette” - they find three boys and set them up to run into her at her graduation party, hoping that Jasmine will find romance with one of them. The catch? While Jasmine’s massive extended family is all in on it, Jasmine herself has no idea. 

This was sort of an odd idea from the get go. Is it cute or overbearing that her family steps in in this way? It made the whole book a bit uncomfortable, being in on a secret that Jasmine would obviously be angry about if she knew. The upside is that this isn’t really set up as a love triangle (love square?) as it’s pretty evident early on who Jasmine is interested in, and the others don’t pursue her too strongly. Jasmine also learns about herself and her self worth throughout the story, which was part of her family’s intention. While some of the secondary characters are one-dimensional, Jasmine goes through significant character growth over the course of the novel.

My biggest struggle with this book was how long it took to get to the story. I definitely wouldn’t have finished this one if I hadn’t been reading it for review - the first hundred or so pages really dragged, and I didn’t get truly interested until maybe 250 pages in. It felt like a lot of the set up of this almost 400 page book could have been cut down; some parts felt repetitive or just boring. Setting up the background - Jasmine’s attachment to her boyfriend, her lack of self confidence, the group texts between the family - could have taken a lot less time. She didn’t start running into the boys until over 70 pages in.

Without giving away any spoilers, the ending also felt a bit abrupt and unsatisfying. It felt like there were two “good” endings to the book, but instead of committing to one, the ending landed in a weird space in the middle. I can see what the author was going for, but it really didn’t work for me.

Jasmine’s character growth and family relationships were easily the best part of the story, and were clearly intended to be more important than romantic relationships. Maybe part of the problem here is the marketing. The book is described as a romance and marketed as such. The cover clearly points to that. I was expecting a cute romantic story, and while that’s there, it really didn’t feel like the point. 

Overall, this book wasn’t for me, but someone willing to spend more time with the character set up and who isn’t looking for a straightforward romance may enjoy it more. 2.5 stars, rounded up.
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As someone who is adopted, seeing a transracial adoptee (Korean) as the main character of a happily ever after romance story is so amazing! I loved seeing how Jasmine finds her confidence after being almost decimated by her ex-boyfriend Paul. While her family did meddle in her love life and set her up with three boys without her knowledge, the events following did push her out of her comfort zone. On the topic of Jasmine's family: I adored them! They reminded me of my large(ish) family and the chaos that tends to ensue when everyone is together. I also loved the group messages in some of the chapters. Readers don't see some of the family members on page, but we can get a pretty good idea of their personalities based on their texts in these groups. 

Overall, THE JASMINE PROJECT is a fun book full of food, family, and finding yourself!
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The premise of The Jasmine Project was intriguing, and I would say that its content delivered. The suspense of the novel was in how the author would follow through when the reader pretty much knew the plot from the blurb. Considering its genre, it handled the myriad male love interests with surprising complexity, particularly the ex boyfriend. I would recommend this novels to fans of meet cutes and finding self worth.
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This was such a fun summer read. I loved Jasmine's Big Fat Italian-Filipino Family and their chaotic group texts. The romance is a bit predictable, like, as soon as she met bachelor #1, I figured out who was ending up with whom, but cheese is honest. The romance is great, but I also appreciated the coming-of-age aspect. Jasmine's journey to self-discovery was painful to read initially, but didn't we all have cringey awkward growing pains in high school?  Her complete lack of self-awareness initially had me worried I wouldn't like her as a protagonist, but by the end, I was rooting for her even more than I was rooting for the Jasmine Project to work out.
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The Jasmine Project is a fun YA rom-com about starting over and finding who you are. This YA take on The Bachelor provides readers with several potential love interests and it's really entertaining to see who Jasmine ends up with. The element of the secret podcast and family text-chains add a little something special to this story. Jasmine reminds teen readers that a break up doesn't have to be the end of the world. You will come out on the other side with a renewed sense of who you are.
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Rating: 4.5 Stars

When Jasmine’s boyfriend wants “time apart”, her family seizes the moment to show her there are more fish in the sea. They secretly arrange for three bachelors to prove to Jasmine that she could do better, and maybe even recognize how she stands out in a crowd.

I knew this was going to be super cute and that I would fall in love with Jasmine’s meddling family, but I also adored the personal journey Jasmine took during this story. That space between high school and college can be tricky for some, and it was a grey area for Jasmine. She kept with the status quo for many reasons, but once she was separated from her boyfriend, she was able to see things in a different light.

The three bachelors – the boy next door, the athlete, and the cook, all allowed Jasmine to shine in a way she never could before. Their friendship and encouragement gave her that nudge to stretch her wings a bit, recognize her talents, and want more for herself. Jasmine experienced a tremendous amount of growth, and I cannot argue with the road she was on at the end of this book. I was happy for her, as well as very proud of her.

Though this story was about Jasmine finding herself and her way, it was fun, light, and breezy. I had such a great time on all her dates, and her gigantic family was delightful. Their plan may have been a bit duplicitous, but it really did come from a good place. They all loved Jasmine so much, and they wanted her to want more for herself. Their love for her showed in those hilarious family chats, as well as in the podcasts.

Overall: A wonderful and heartwarming story of self discovery, taking chances, and not accepting less than you deserve.
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“A part of me will always want to take the safest route. I just have to conquer it.”

Jasmine Yap has a plan: graduate high school with honors, move in with her long-time boyfriend Paul, attend community college on a great scholarship, and eventually become a nurse. Everything seems to be falling into place, and she’s mostly happy—but then her family catches Paul with another girl, and Jasmine’s stable world suddenly becomes shaky. She finally has a chance to see what the world is like outside of her comfort zone, but Jasmine refuses to meet anyone new. So, her large, overprotective family decides to take matters into their hands and creates a secret Jasmine Project to set Jasmine up with the most eligible teen bachelors in Orlando…without her finding out. But what starts as semi-successful soon becomes anything but as hilarious shenanigans ensue. Will Jasmine finally figure out her self-worth? Or will the Jasmine Project crash and burn before she has a chance?

Meredith Ireland’s debut is hilarious, heartwarming, and best of all, full of romantic and family-centric misadventures. I loved everything about this fantastic book! Jasmine is a brilliant protagonist, and her gradual discovery of her own self-worth is simultaneously heartbreaking, inspirational, and oh so very real. Each of the bachelors are fabulously fun and unique, and I had a hard time deciding which one Jasmine would fall for. Of course, a review of The Jasmine Project would not be complete without mentioning Jasmine’s hysterically loving fifty-strong family, and that brings me to one of my absolute favorite parts of this book: the family group texts! Ireland’s creative inclusion of group texts to discuss how the Project is coming along—as well as podcast episodes, diary entries, and bookkeeping notes—really brought the story and the characters to life and added even more levity to this loveable tale. Moral of the story? Grab yourself a copy of The Jasmine Project as soon as it hits shelves because this is one book you don’t want to miss! 

Content Warnings: Underage drinking, emotional manipulation, bullying, infidelity, divorce, moderately strong language

(Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)
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