Online Book Club Reviews “Jellybeaners”

Online Book Club
Online Book Club

Review of Jellybeaners

by Fine Brand » 

Children are crying and in shock. Vane Sarge Walker arrives at the scene along with the Mount Vernon Volunteer Fire Department. Ashley, a three-year-old, seems to be the current victim of the pill mill tree of shame. Ashley’s doll is found with a broken neck. Sarge promises to get to the root of the matter and bring the culprits to justice. Who are the brains behind the pill mill? Is Ashley the only one affected?

Samantha, Sarge’s granddaughter, is required to keep a journal to stay out of jail. She asks Mr. Stephens not to burn her journal as he said he would. Through this journal, we learn about her boyfriend Jasper and how she had been the subject of ridicule because of her height. What more is there to discover about Samantha? What secrets can a simple journal hold? Read this book to find out more.

Jellybeaners by Gene Scott holds a special place in my heart because of the numerous positive aspects I found while reading the book. The book captures growth in teenagers as I watched the characters grow and make certain decisions due to this growth. I loved Samantha as a character. She was brilliant and knowledgeable. I learned a lot about history from her. She talked about things that would have prevented the invasion of the Taliban and how people leaving things incomplete can cause issues. She had a disdain for addiction to drugs and technology as she felt that teenagers were losing most of their time to the internet while missing out on life.

I took a liking to Sarge’s personal identification phrase, “don’t start what you can’t finish.” The book covers a lot of themes like corruption. It talked about how criminals benefit from loopholes in acts and laws and how some officials are willing to bend the laws for money and other enticements. Samantha talks about how reliance on drugs can be curbed, and it was devastating to discover the percentage of people addicted to drugs. It also takes about domestic violence, love, and betrayal. A theme I found very noteworthy was the theme of rape. Although this was not discussed in a lengthy manner, I could see why some rape victims refuse to sue, and I was unhappy about the questions that the judge asked the culprit as I believe that a victim of rape shouldn’t be accused of being the cause of their pain.

I found only an error while reading this book, and the only problem I encountered was that I found it challenging to understand the story at first; however, the author quickly resolved the situation.

Since I cannot find any reason to deduct any star from my rating, I rate this book four out of four stars. It was an informative and worthwhile read for me. I recommend the book to anyone interested in crime-related novels and anyone suffering from an addiction. This book would prove to be a life-changer.

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Opioid Deaths Sky Rocket

When Jellybeaners appeared in 2017 the overall death toll linked to opioids was 40,000 Americans per year. Now? It’s topping 50,000.

Here are the current statistics about the opioid epidemic from the National Drug Helpline:



  • In 2017, 1.7 million Americans had substance use disorders with an addiction to prescription opioid pain killers. A little over 650,000 Americans had a heroin addiction (with some overlap between the two).
  • In 2017, approximately 47,000 Americans lost their lives due to opioid overdoses.
  • National opioid prescribing rates started increasing in 2006 and peaked in 2012 at 255 million with a dispensing rate of 81.3 prescriptions per 100 Americans. In 2019, the dispensing rate had fallen to 46.7 per 100 persons with over 153 million opioid prescriptions dispensed. However, some counties had rates that were 6 times higher than the national average.
  • Opioid overdose deaths increased from around 21,000 in 2010 to nearly 50,000 in 2019.
  • Roughly 21-29% of people given prescriptions for opioid pain relievers misuse the medications. Up to 12% of people who use opioids to treat chronic pain treatment go on to develop opioid use disorder.
  • Around 4-6% of people who misuse prescription opioids later go on to abusing heroin.
  • 8 out of 10 heroin users started out by first using prescription opioid pain pills.


  • 1.6 million Americans have an opioid use disorder.
  • 10.1 million people report misusing opioids at least once in the past 12 months.
  • Among opioid abusers, 9.7 million people misuse prescription pain pills, 745,000 abuse heroin, and 404,000 abuse both prescription pain pills and heroin.


  • Every day, 136 people die from an opioid overdose in the United States, including prescription and illicit opioid drugs.
  • Overdose deaths in the U.S. involving prescription opioids (including methadone and semi-synthetic opioids) numbered around 3,500 in 1999 and increased to over 17,000 in 2017.
  • From 2012 to 2015, there was a 264% increase in deaths related to synthetic opioids.
  • In 2019, more than 71,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. Of these, over 70% (roughly 50,000 deaths) were overdoses involving opioids, including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
  • From 2018 to 2019, the overall opioid-involved death rate increased by over 6%. While prescription opioid-involved deaths and heroin-involved deaths declined by 6-7%, the synthetic opioid-involved death rate increased by more than 15%.
  • Between 1999 and 2019, nearly 500,000 Americans have died from an overdose involving an opioid drug.


  • Misuse of prescription opioids alone costs the U.S. more than $78 billion a year, including healthcare costs, lost productivity, criminal justice costs, and addiction treatment.

Want to know how this works on a personal level?   Read this well-received novel today.

Jellybeaners Jellybeaners
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