If It's Free, I Can't Afford It

Christian - Fiction
268 Pages
Reviewed on 11/07/2023
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Author Biography

J. Jones is married with three children who provide just enough constructive ridicule to keep his feet grounded. His mysteries, thrillers, and Christian novels are inspired by work, faith, and family, with his best selling Ghost of the Gray winning the 2023 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for best 1st book. Jones has worked with amazing people in amazing places, from the heat of the New Mexico desert to the chill of the Arctic Circle depicted in his environmental thriller, Crack in the Red Ice, a 2023 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award finalist. He has numerous technical publications, one patent, and much less hair than when this journey began. When he’s not writing, he can be found working around the house or running in the very deserts described in Ghost of the Gray where cactus, rocks, and rattlesnakes rule.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite

Declining wages and skyrocketing apartment rates put Natalie in the uncomfortable position of being one nonpayment away from homelessness. She turns to her grandfather who lives in the new Legends apartments for advice and he comes up with an arrangement that has her and her dog sharing his apartment. Everything works out well until the day her grandfather disappears. Now Natalie must come up with a creative way of maintaining his presence in his apartment if she wants to keep a roof over her head. As innocent as this venture looks, it will involve her going against everything she stands for in J. Jones's Christian novel, If It's Free, I Can't Afford It.

The storyline dives into the rising trend of unaffordable housing in the country in a tale that is both exciting and comedic to a larger extent. J. Jones is fairly accurate in the depiction of Natalie and her friends with the general perception that young people tend to look at senior citizens like people from another planet. Nothing captures this better than the nicknames DeAndre has for the residents of Legends. The shenanigans the young adults get into in a bid to maintain their ruse makes for some very interesting reading. Jones balances out the funny aspects of this book with the drama that unfolds during the search for Grandpa and Natalie's conversations with Angie. What I love about If It’s Free, I Can’t Afford It is the subtle manner in which Jones highlights the positives that come with being morally upright. This is a lovely novel with a lesson in it for all readers.