“Ireland’s debut is like receiving a perfectly composed text message from your crush—it’s wickedly charming, warm, self-assured, and incredibly swoony! I loved it!”
– justin a. reynolds bestselling author of OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS
"A sparkling, witty, warm-hearted gem of a debut. You'll love Jasmine even more than her family does."
– Karen M. McManus, #1 New York Times bestselling author of ONE OF US LYING
"Such an uplifting read! Jasmine's the perfect person to root for and I absolutely adored her family. This is the type of book you want to hug!"
– Loan Le, author of A PHO LOVE STORY
Everyone should dream, but Korean American adoptee Jasmine holds herself back.
After high school graduation, she plans to move in with her long-term boyfriend, Paul, and get her nursing degree. But if Jaz let herself dream, she would move to Paris to pursue a culinary career. Her practical plan crumbles when she catches Paul cheating and allows him to talk her into an open relationship. While she is devastated, Jaz’s family sees this as an opportunity. Her large, lively Italian and Filipino extended family, plus ethnically diverse siblings and friends, knows she can do better than settle for Paul, so they decide to secretly stage a competition in the style of The Bachelorette, complete with podcast. They advertise on social media and narrow down the list to three bachelors: former boy next door Justin Michael, minor league baseball player Aaron, and aspiring chef Eugene. As Jaz starts having supposedly chance meetups with the guys, she starts falling for one even as Paul realizes his mistake. Will Jaz returned to Paul and the life she had carefully planned or throw out the script and dare to dream? Occasional plot points around the messy, entertaining, and loving extended family dynamics feel inconsistent and require suspension of disbelief, but Ireland’s charming and fun debut, told through traditional narration with text messages and podcast transcripts peppered throughout, ends on a satisfyingly positive note.
A sweet story of discovering your own worth and finding someone worthy of you.
– Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2021
Ireland, Meredith. The Jasmine Project. 400p. S. & S. Sept. 2021. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781534477025. POP
Gr 7 Up–Jasmine has lived her life in the shadows. She feels inadequate compared to her sister, inhibited by her large Filipino-Italian-Korean-Dominican family, and insufficient for her boyfriend. So, when said boyfriend dumps her, after not-so-subtle cheating, she’s crushed. In an effort to bring back her confidence, the entirety of her family brainstorms and creates a bachelorette-style competition. Behind her back. Within days, three boys begin competing for her affection. But will they be enough to restore years of damage to Jasmine’s self-esteem? Or worse, will the scheme be revealed, and the secret blown? Swoon-worthy heroes set off a hesitant-yet-idealistic heroine in this tale of family, friendship, and of course, romance. Jasmine’s emotions are authentic and real and relatable. Between the inevitable-yet-earth-shattering climax, the masterful character development, and Ireland’s uncanny knack for hitting close to home, this story will keep readers turning the pages. VERDICT Add this to all collections serving teens.–Moksha Davaloor, Carroll H.S. Lib., Southlake, TX
– School Library Journal, September 2021
Ireland pens a refreshing YA contemporary about a young girl finding herself and taking a stance to finally live on her own terms. Jasmine has been in a relationship with her high-school boyfriend for four years, and she is content in their relationship. After graduation, they have plans to move in together and begin their happily ever after. Unknown to Jas—but well known to her extended family—Jasmine’s boyfriend has been cheating on her and wants to take a summer break to reassess their relationship. Enter Jasmine’s meddling family as they introduce three boys to Jasmine à la The Bachelorette to prove to Jasmine that she is deserving of love. This light and spirit-lifting tale weaves family, love, and uncertainty into a classic coming-of-age story. Jasmine and her blended family are the centerpieces as Ireland depicts a family that seemingly has nothing in common but are connected through their love and devotion to one another. To better shape her world and make her characters multidimensional, Ireland makes great use of podcast transcripts and family group chats, which add a pop of color to Jasmine’s perspective. This charming read is sure to lure readers in with its promise of romance, but it will truly capture hearts with its affectionate exploration of family.
– Booklist STARRED Review, September 15, 2021