26 Jul


Ray Blackston

Publisher: Revell

Publication Date: 2003

Paperback: 327 pages

Book Blurb:

Jay Jarvis just moved east. His dating life’s gone south. What else is a guy to do but go fishing?

Jay is new in town. He’s young, successful, and single, and he’s not afraid to plop down in a church pew to scope out the females. But in the murky waters of the South Caroling singles scene, Jay’s whole world is in danger of being turned upside down.

Stand alone or series: I just found out that it’s part of a series and I couldn’t be more excited!

Why I read this book: I was aching for a good male point of view. I’d just read the most ghastly male POV (point of view) in a romance written by a woman. Now I’m not saying that woman can’t write male perspectives because my creative writing professor tried to smite me when I did so. However from the books that I’ve read in the romance genre, they haven’t turned out so well. Blackston’s Jay hit the mark and had me begging for more.


I’ve always had so much trouble describing this book. There’s some romance in it, by it’s not a romance. There’s some adventure in it, but it’s not an adventure story. It takes several turns that I was not expecting it to take and took me to a place where I did not think it would end up and though it wasn’t at all what I expected I loved it. If I was hard pressed, I’d say Flabbergasted is a story about a man who found God and it changed his life. Now you might argue that this is what most Christian books are about and I would say that this is not most books.

I know this is going to sound silly, but one of the things I really like about it was that it was written by a man. Ray Blackston was able to give us all those little insights about men that I would never think of but when I read all I could do was shout “Yes! That’s exactly what they do!” The way that Jay handles being cornered by three women into having “the talk” and driving in a car with another man for hours on end and being stranded in a creepy place with a bunch of other guys had me cracking up.

Flabbergasted was Blackston’s debut novel and I can see why he’s done so well since. The characters are brighter than the cover, which, trust me, stands out. From a cute, food-flinging missionary to pseudo-single surfer named Ransom to a tall blond with a penchant for speeding and a car named Lime Shebert, the cast of Flabbergasted will stick with you. The snappy dialogue and Jay’s unfettered thoughts keep the pace moving and the reader laughing. But what I love even more than the great voice is how Blackston is able to combine the serious with the silly.

Jay Jarvis takes a journey from hitting up church with the hopes of finding a date to taking a plunge for his faith, even though that could mean upsetting the future he’d so carefully planned. I watched him as her grew and took first baby steps, them leaps and bounds in his walk with God. It was a fun and moving process to watch unfold. Something that made it even more interesting for me is that there is some truth in it. I read and reread bits and pieces—testimonials from people who are characters who might be real people and prologue which I still can’t tell if it’s Ray or Jay speaking (suspicious how close those two names are, isn’t it?) After much, much research I’ve found that about 34% of the novel is true. Which parts? Let me know what you think!

I would recommend this book to anyone—guy, girl, young, and young at heart—and have on many occasions. It’s a great summer read. Keeping checking for more Blackston and the Flabbergasted series. I hope you enjoy!


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