READ THIS BOOK NOW: “The Jason Jetson Trilogy: JJ” by Jennifer Aqualaney

So I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’ve got a feeling today’s going to be kind of a slow day at work.  I’m getting payments caught up, I don’t have a backlog of emails; basically, the only way my day can get totally boned is if my boss comes in and decides he wants to make my life hell by asking me all sorts of questions and pestering me about my process (because he doesn’t understand accounting, that makes it really fun for me – especially when he asks me why I did something and my response is “because you told me to?”; that’s the best).

Aaaaand I just had to put my headphones on and listen to WCYY online because if I have to hear either “Counting Stars” or “Timber” ONE MORE GODDAMNED TIME I am going to buy an axe and just demolish the shit out of this place.

Okay, neither of those things are things I want to talk about.  Instead, I want to take a few moments (or hours – whatever works with my schedule) and write a post that I’ve been looking forward to writing for a while now.

Two years ago (or so), my friend Jen started talking about writing a book.  She had some characters and stories floating around in her head, and she used me as a springboard.  We’d chat randomly, or late into the night when I’d visit her in Boston, but nothing became real until last March, when Jen sent me a message about a free writer’s cocktail party we could crash, put on by Paper Lantern Lit, an independent publishing company based out of New York that specializes in young adult literature. 

So because part of the cocktail party was a five minute pitch session with actual editors, she polished up a snippet she had written and turned it into a pitch.  I, on the other hand, spent the entire night making awesome business cards and pulling a pitch out of my ass because though I pretend to be a writer, I don’t really specialize in young adult lit.

We got gussied up and were totally the best-dressed there (note to aspiring writers: “free cocktail party” does not always equal “black dress and heels” – there was a lot of plaid in that room).  I got my free drink in exchange for my half-assed pitch, and Jen got a lot of encouragement and even a door prize: a meeting with a publicist towards marketing her book.

It has now been just about a year (HOLY SHIT – JEN – IT’S ONLY BEEN A FUCKING YEAR CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?), and in that year, Jen has pushed herself to great lengths and amazing depths of motivation, and now, she has realized her dream: she is a published writer.

Three times this year the world stopped for JJ.  Three times he had been wrenched from his path and thrown to the mercy of someone else’s whims.  The Panel, Miguel and Dr. Kim … and Eve.

No more California surf and sun; no more daily routine of taking classes among the other Enchanters, of Mixing elixirs and Moving objects with his Abilities.  No more being a freak, an outcast among outcasts.

He’d found his place.

But for how long?

Meet JJ.  He’s the main character of The Jason Jetson Trilogy: JJ.  He is a young Enchanter living in California, and after his testing and tiering, he starts his freshman year of what we would call high school at the Salem School of Magic in Salem, Massachusetts.  He leaves his family and his best friend (his cousin, Trip) behind to embark on this new adventure, but he’s plagued with fears: will he fit in with this new crowd?  What will happen when his friends learn that he’s actually an Ambidex – an Enchanter with two Abilities?  Where did that bear come from?

JJ adapts in spite of his fears and feelings of inadequacy and quickly becomes friends with Daegen, Ally and Nel.  Typical to any high school setting, there are moments of puppy love, infatuation, and skirmishes with the school bully.  But JJ’s trepidation about fitting in undercuts the first half of the book.

The second half of the book, I don’t want to give away – the back of the book alludes to doctors and a girl named Eve, and suffice it to say he ends up in a hospital.  I’m not going to tell you how, why, for how long, or whether the bear was involved – firstly because I’m trying not to ruin things anymore, but more importantly, I want you to read this book.

Now, Disclaimer Time!  I will not be rating this book for one simple reason: Jen reached out to me as a beta reader, and I helped her edit it.  I feel that rating the book would be like rating a book I helped write, which would be, in turn, rating me, and I didn’t write the book: Jen did.  And she did an amazing job; I just helped with semicolons and brought her mimosas while we watched Extreme Cheapskates.

What I can tell you about the book (aside from the scant plotline above) is that it is refreshing to read a young adult novel from the perspective of a young man.  Aside from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I have yet to read a young adult novel where the protagonist is male.  In addition to the whole gender thing, I’m sure it’s also refreshing to see that boys have the same feelings of inadequacy that girls sometimes exhibit: does she like me, will I fit in, where did that bear come from?

The most important thing I have to say about Jennifer’s book is this: it is self-published, so you’re not going to find it in your local library.  Yet.

Jennifer currently has JJ available for purchase on lulu.com – don’t worry, I’ll include the link.  You can purchase it in Hardcover or Softcover, but the best bet is an ebook for $7.99.  You can read it on any reader (iBook, Android/Google reader, Nook) (It appears you can’t download the ePub file to read on your Kindle at the moment; I believe Jen is working towards getting it available on Amazon in the near future), and you’ll always have it in a handy digital form.

It is so important that you buy her book – not just because she’s a friend, and not just because I helped edit the book (because I can tell you, just so everyone knows and doesn’t think I’ve “sold out” [although selling out for Jen would be a worthy enough cause]: I haven’t taken a dime of money towards editing the book; nor am I getting paid for writing this review – I do this out of the goodness of my heart!  [disclaimer: Jen may have bought me dinner a couple of times.  BUT YOU CAN’T CLAIM DINNER ON INCOME TAXES] {God, use parenthetical phrases much, Patterson?}) –

ANYWAY.  It is important that you buy her book because it helps support indie writers.  Jen doesn’t have a publishing company to help her promote her book – this is going to be a grassroots campaign if ever there was one.  Her marketing is through word of mouth, and having friends who will read the book and tell friends about the book, and make that friend want to buy the book so they can tell their other friends about it, and before you know it, this is like Fifty Shades of Gray but with less sex, more magic, and waaaaaaaaaaaaay better-written.

So please – check out Jen’s store and buy her book.  If you like it, leave a review on her Lulu site.  And tell your friends – for the price of a large coffee and a donut, you can buy not just a book, but a chance for an indie writer to make it.

If you like books that look great on your bookshelf, buy the hardcover edition here!

If you like books that look great on your bookshelf but maybe don’t weigh as much, buy the softcover edition here!

If you like books on iPads and other eReaders because you don’t believe in physical manifestations of awesomeness, buy the digital ebook here!

She also has a blog: you can read about her adventure here!

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2 thoughts on “READ THIS BOOK NOW: “The Jason Jetson Trilogy: JJ” by Jennifer Aqualaney

  1. Pingback: I love you | To write my story would be an awfully big Adventure

  2. Pingback: The Game of Thrones Project | To write my story would be an awfully big Adventure

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