Jesus Jackson, by James Ryan Daley (book review) – death, atheism & Jesus in a linen suit

book cover of Jesus Jackson by James Ryan Daley published by Poison Pen PressBig brother dead,
terrible rumors at school,
surely answers can be found… somehow.

Jon idolizes Ryan and thinks that going to Catholic high school will be less bad because his big brother is there.

But Ryan’s death on orientation day leaves Jon with a huge hole in his heart and no faith to ease his pain.

Jesus Jackson – “spiritual contractor – 100% faith guaranteed – call for free estimate” – promises to help him out; just a few questions to answer.

The book trailer here is great – don’t miss it.

Ask for this October 2014 release at your local library or independent bookstore, and travel with Jonathan through his landscape of grief and the questions that Jesus Jackson asks him to ask himself.

Have you ever found it easier to accept the crazy theory than the true answer for a difficult problem?

Book info: Jesus Jackson / James Ryan Daley. Poison Pen Press, 2014.  [author site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Jonathan’s big brother left this life too early, before they’d finished examining all religions to find one that is true, and now a guy who looks like Jesus offers to help the 14-year-old atheist find some meaning in life.

Following in Ryan’s footsteps at St. Soren’s would be easy for Jonathan if he were athletic or cute or good at pretending that Catholic school made sense. When Ryan is found dead below the school’s steep running path, Jon is devastated.

On the day of his big brother’s funeral, a guy named Jesus Jackson offers to build him new faith in a god, but Jon clings to atheism like a life raft.

Jon and his new friend Henry find suspicious shoeprints at the accident site and decide to investigate Ryan’s friends and classmates when the police ignore this new evidence.

Jesus Jackson shows up here and there, asking just the right questions to get Jon pondering life and faith and whether anything matters at all.

What can Ryan’s girlfriend share about his behavior?
How can Jon get evidence that jealous Alistair pushed Ryan?
Can a ‘spiritual contractor’ really build Jon’s faith in something?

Jon’s divorced parents are dealing with grief in different ways, his school counselor won’t leave him alone, and weird details about Ryan’s time at St. Soren’s keep popping up – freshman year can’t get any worse, can it? And Jesus is just around the corner, with more questions about Jon’s questions.

What do you think?

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