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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.