Official Review: Jonny the boy from the road

This forum is for volunteer reviews by members of our review team. These reviews are done voluntarily by the reviewers and are published in this forum, separate from the official professional reviews. These reviews are kept separate primarily because the same book may be reviewed by many different reviewers.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 16
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:47
2018 Reading Goal: 16
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Currently Reading: Superhighway
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Jonny the boy from the road by J.n.stephenson

Official Review: Jonny the boy from the road

Post by shidawn » 01 Jun 2018, 12:20

[Following is an official review of "Jonny the boy from the road" by J.n.stephenson.]
Book Cover
2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

Jonny the Boy from the Road by J. N. Stephenson tells the story of Jonny, a teenage boy growing up during The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Jonny’s story starts in 1991 when he is fourteen and continues through his early adulthood. In the beginning, much of his focus is on his dream of one day playing professional football (or soccer, as it is called in the United States), preferably for Manchester United. He also has to deal with an alcoholic father and help his mother with the family’s current financial situation, but overall, Jonny’s life is pretty good. One day, his life is forever changed when he’s in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he is pulled into his country’s political conflict.

One problem I had with this book was that things didn’t fit together right for me. For example, his dad is portrayed as this mean drunk for most of the book. Yet, when Jonny gets hurts, his dad is suddenly super compassionate for several chapters. There’s no explanation for these actions. The author doesn’t tell us that the dad stopped drinking for a while or that once a while this compassionate man comes out. Instead, I just felt like the father’s actions were completely out of character based on what we knew about him up to this point.

For me, there were also several issues when it came to football in the book. One of the biggest things that doesn’t fit is that Jonny spends most of his time on the bench for his school team. When he finally does get to play for a short time at the end of one game, he’s this elite player who gets recruited to play on a prestigious team in the area. First, I feel like if he was that great of a player, he would be starting on his school team. Second, I didn’t feel like the coach who recruited him had seen Jonny play enough to know that Jonny would be a good fit for the team.

As a warning to potential readers, this book has a lot of profanity. If I had known that, I would have passed on reading it. For me, the level of profanity distracted highly from the book. There is also one sex scene, which I felt was entirely unnecessary and way too detailed. Surprisingly, considering the subject matter, the book was not as violent as I expected, although the opening scene and a few scenes toward the end of the novel do get a bit graphic.

By reading this book, I had hoped to learn more about The Troubles, a politically driven conflict that took place in Northern Island for much of the second half of the 20th Century. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like I got a better understanding of the conflict, although I did learn that it was a multi-sided conflict and not just two groups battling for power. This book will probably be most appealing to history buffs or others who are familiar with The Troubles. They will probably better understand what’s happen and enjoy the fictionalized account of someone who lived through it.

If you are not familiar with the conflict, you might find yourself a bit bogged down by the acronyms for the different feuding groups. I was often looking up the acronyms to try to find out more about each group. For me, it would have been nice if the book contained a glossary with a short explanation about each group’s part in the conflict.

I am rating this book 2 out of 4 stars. The premise of the story is interesting, so it’s definitely not a 1-star book. Unfortunately, there are far too many grammatical errors, including missing commas, words that should be capitalized, and missing words, to give this book a higher rating. I also felt that while the premise of the story was interesting, there was too much focus on the subplots and not even focus on the main story to give this book a higher rating.

Jonny the boy from the road
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like shidawn's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Posts: 596
Joined: 02 Apr 2018, 10:51
2019 Reading Goal: 120
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 1
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 24
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 212
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Scary Snow Day by Kyle Derby Pratt
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by SamSim » 05 Jul 2018, 06:56

"As a warning to potential readers, this book has a lot of profanity. If I had known that, I would have passed on reading it. For me, the level of profanity distracted highly from the book. There is also one sex scene, which I felt was entirely unnecessary and way too detailed."
This is a deal-breaker for me, especially if excessive profanity or overly descriptive sex scenes are completely unnecessary or unrelated to the story. Thanks for the warning and the great review!
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

User avatar
Posts: 1612
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 135
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Blue Gate by LL Fox

Post by Cecilia_L » 05 Jul 2018, 14:48

Thanks for the warning. I will pass on a book that has profanity that distracts from the story. I appreciate your excellent review.

User avatar
Posts: 493
Joined: 26 Apr 2018, 11:04
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 160
Favorite Book: Will's Red Coat
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 81
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by Britty01 » 06 Jul 2018, 11:22

As this story centered around a young lad caught up in The Troubles in Northern Ireland it got my attention but thanks to the warning in your very well-written review I realize it would just as quickly get my distaste for reading further. The conflict in Northern Ireland is certainly a complex one and much more intricate to be something simply based on religious differences. I agree with you on the usefullness of a glossary. I may know some of those acronyms but I am sure I would be lost on others.

I appreciate you getting through it and presenting this detailed review.

User avatar
Posts: 204
Joined: 03 Aug 2017, 13:40
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 40
Currently Reading: Call Me Pomeroy
Bookshelf Size: 33
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid by Gary Robinson

Post by Faithmwangi » 06 Jul 2018, 18:31

Sadly this is not for me. Thank you for the review though.

User avatar
Posts: 995
Joined: 19 Jan 2018, 13:32
Currently Reading: Bitroux
Bookshelf Size: 32
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: SSN Seadragon by J P Ronald

Post by crediblereading2 » 09 Jul 2018, 22:31

This happens sometimes. It is when you get to the inner-depths of a book that you are confronted with what you wish don't have read. Thank you for your honest review.

User avatar
JR Mercier
Posts: 696
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:03
2018 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Bear and the Nightingale
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 130
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Betrayal by Maggie Walsh

Post by JR Mercier » 11 Jul 2018, 07:00

Swearing is okay but sometimes people push its way to far. No one actually speaks like that and if they do - Well, I have duct tape and I will close your mouth for you. The unnecessary sex is also a big turn off. Great review but I think I'll pass on this one.
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

Post Reply

Return to “Volunteer Reviews”