This review is part of the Christmas Advent Calendar 2014
22 sleeps till Christmas
When I first received 809 Jacob St by Marty Young I was drawn to the cover and back blurb and couldn’t wait to read it. I quickly jumped on the internet to find out more. This, I feel, was a huge mistake.
Every review I read was raving about 809 Jacob street, giving me the opinion that I was in for a read I would never forget. I was reading reviews that had me believe that Marty Young was the author of all authors,not to be missed. I found it hard to find a review that was not overly gushy, although there are a few. What I did learn was that Marty Young is well known within the horror writers circle so this may have something to do with the level of reviews. He already has a high status in the eyes of the circle.
Sadly I have to say I did not feel the same about the book as others, but, after all, reviews are the opinion of the individual reader. When reviewing there is no right or wrong. Don’t get me wrong, 809 Jacob St is a good read, thoroughly enjoyable and well written. It tells of a wonderful story based around a 14 year old boy Byron James and a homeless man named Joey Blue. Marty Young writes with great rhythm and flow and there was never a moment that I was bored, I just expected more.
This is Marty Young’s first novel and to his credit he has achieved winning the Australian Shadows Award for Best Horror novel. Congratulations to Marty Young on this achievement and on producing a book that has a cover that shines, invites and draws you to the pages.
Joe McKinney is quoted on the front cover as saying “ a nightmare of tortured emotions and madness”. I could see how this related to the plot and the characters but it did not relate to me personally as a reader.
809 Jacob St is a quick read coming in at only 189 pages. I loved the use of the black and white pictures. These set the mood of the book and complimented the book nicely. They were actually a little more appealing to me than the story.
If I was to give this book a rating using the five star system I would still give it a 4 out of 5 as it is well written, well thought out and interesting, just not as great as they all say. I did come across one person on Good Reads who gave it one star saying the descriptions were so detailed it made it hard to concentrate on the story, this I did not find. Another gave it three stars complaining that there were too many Australianisms for a story set in the US and the ending was anti climatic.
I think what is also important to remember when reading this book as an adult is that it is written around young teens of the age of 14 so we can therefore assume that the teen market is what Marty is aiming for. With this in mind I am sure that teens would find this an amusing and enjoyable read. But would they find it scary?
My recommendation would be give it a go, after all it has won an award. I have just dared to give my honest opinion on 809 Jacob St as I do with all the books I review. Once again I will stress it is my opinion only. I love to talk books, analyse them and compare opinions so by all means contact me and tell me how you find 809 Jacob St By Marty Young.
Find out more about Marty Young: www.martyyoung.com
Watch the Youtube review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8fufeDu-NQ
Review: Jennifer Douglas