Friday, May 27, 2011

Unconventional by J.J. Hebert

Unconventional is an inspirational fiction by debut author J.J. Hebert.

James Frost has a dream, he wants to write, ever since he was a young boy it has driven his soul to produce his muse.  Upon finishing his book 'The Forsaken World', young James sends his queries out to the editors and publishers in hopes of becoming published.  After each rejection, James' determination and stamina falters and weakens until he is questioning his own skills and desires.  Everyone, including his father, snickers at his dreams, and tell him all he is ever going to be good enough for is janitorial work.

James meets Leigh on the internet, they meet and they fall in love.  However, Leigh's controlling parents loathe James and all that he is and work to keep the two apart.  James becomes confused and disillusioned about all things in his life and he begins to question his existence.  Leigh and her parents are "Christian", and when they learn that James doesn't even believe, they are mortified, even though Leigh's parents are the farthest thing from being a Christian, her parents when they are not ignoring her, they are making snide remarks about her personally. 

Along the way, James has many people keeping him on track and encouraging him at every turn.  Author, Robert Frost, is his inspiration to greatness, Mitch, his surrogate father finds James the leads that he needs to continue upon his quest, Arthur, James' editor whose words of encouragement and praise continue to keep him on the path to success and Meranda Erickson, the Pulitzer Prize author who disappears from the limelight and becomes the inspiration that James needs.  All these people help to make James the person he needs to be and put him on the journey to his road in life.

Upon reading this book, I was really bothered by all the I' one paragraph alone there were twelve of them, and it was truly frustrating as well as the flowery prose.  However, I trudged on and am really glad I did, if you can get past Book One of the novel, then you are sure to be pleased with the rest of the book.  After this time, the characters come into their own and the stories pace begins to pick up and flow.

I truly enjoyed James, he is the type of man that any woman would cherish having and his qualities are certainly lacking in most men, lessons could be learned from such a character.  I wasn't over impressed with Leigh's character however, she seemed a bit wooden and I struggled to feel for her and James' relationship.  Arthur and Meranda are just great characters, especially Meranda, I just loved her spunk and grit.  I felt they were needed to give the story balance, however, I believe Arthur should have been used more in the story.  After a luncheon that he attends with James, the reader doesn't hear about him again personally, only in passing, and I don't believe he was given enough justification in the story.

I also had problems with the mentioning of the mother and sister on numerous occasions but yet we don't hear from them once in the whole story.  I'm thinking  a small back story between the three would have helped strengthen the books overall integrity.  I find it annoying to read about people in passing and they have no play in the book, but that is just me, I'm sure many won't find this aspect a hindrance.

I really enjoyed the message of God and by his grace, if you place your faith in his hands, all things will work out.  James comes to believe this message and we watch as he continues to place more and more faith in the hands of God, and as he does, things begin to work out for him.  However, he has to fall in order to climb and the message is quite clear as you continue to read.  It was well done, and highly inspirational for those who are following their dreams.  Step outside the box and be who you were meant to be, a perfectly groovy message.  J.J. Hebert's first book has enough polish to keep you interested until the very end and I look forward to reading more from him.  Good luck to you in all that you and always remember to REACH FOR THEM STARS~!!

YOUNG JAMES FROST just knows, deep in his bones, that he's a writer. He writes far into early mornings, after his wearying hours of scrubbing toilets and sweeping floors. He loves writing that much. But it's not only the joy of words that keeps him grinding; it's his desire to retire the janitor's mop. He sees being published as the key to living an improved life. James has another deep-seated conviction: that he's not good enough. He secretly longs to be accepted. However, the conventional others in his life seem all too willing to remind him that he's wasting his time. Then he meets and falls in love with Leigh, the one bright spot in his endless misery of self-doubt. A quiet but resolutely religious girl, she has to fight off disapproval of her own from overly critical parents, whose insults are countered by James's often-voiced admiration of her. Likewise, Leigh's faith in his talents begins to build his confidence, eventually allowing her to introduce him to a different way to help himself: relying on God. Ultimately, James's newfound faith is sorely tested to the point of doubt when his dream to be published seems to melt into a mirage, smothered by countless rejection slips from agents and publishers. His faith is also battered by having to fight highly emotional battles and suffer fear and loss. Just when James appears hopelessly sapped by devastating events, one last door opens, and he's rocked by an epiphany. UNCONVENTIONAL is designed to inspire readers to reach for their dreams. Buy this book. Read it. Share it with everyone you know. You - and they - will be glad you did!
 ** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by I see it~!! **