Book Review: The Wannabes by F.R. Jameson

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Why This Book 
To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what made me download The Wannabes by F.R. Jameson earlier in the year. I know I saw the Kindle version was free on Amazon, but it was either recommended to me or I connected with the author. Either case, I did… and in my quest to close out by the end of January 2018 all my commitments for ARCs or authors I know, it was one of the many reads on my many flights over the holidays this year. And now it’s time for the review…

Plot, Characters & Setting 
The story takes place in London, where main character John Clay has returned after a number of years absence. He was part of a group of entertainers/friends who dated one another, played tricks on one another and competed for meeting life goals in their various careers and family situations. John begins dating a former girlfriend from the group, but he awakens after strange dreams where he murders one of the friends in the group. As the nights go by, more dreams where he is killing various friends. But it doesn’t end there… he’s so startled by each dream that he goes to the friend’s house in the middle of the night to assure himself he didn’t commit murder, only to find the friend died in the exact way it occurred in the dream. Very strange! As the story progresses, readers learn of the intricate relationships in the group, a book that someone was about to publish and suspicion of witchcraft. Nothing is really as it seems, and you know there’s some sort of magic going on, but you won’t figure it out until the end — at least not the full story.

Approach & Style 
The book is written in third person with a focus on John Clay. I read the Kindle version in my iPad in about 2 hours on a flight – it’s relatively short and easy to digest. Chapters are short and keep you focused through suspense and intrigue.

Key Opinions 
This is a tough one to classify… it’s a good book, but at the same time, I couldn’t tell what readers were supposed to know and not supposed to know. I liked being a bit in the doubting range, as it forced me to focus intently on word choice and style. You need to in order to understand what’s real and pick up on specifically what’s not being said.

The characters were definitely not likable — none of them. They were a bit mean-spirited or over-the-top, but that’s the point and why it makes it a fun read. Dialogue is witty, clever and sarcastic – very British. You’ll know from fairly early on what’s probably going on, but you still want to see where it’s going and what the key missing piece to the story is — that’s the fun of the journey. All in all, I’d give it a 3.5, but because of the intention behind the book, how it lent itself to a humorous take, and what I think the author was doing with the approach, it rounds up to a 4 for me.

Final Thoughts 
In some ways, the book bordered on a bit of old school English tradition and classic American camp – in a good way. I enjoyed the premise, liked the writing style and bounced along with the plot. It’s a fun read, but it’s the type of book that doesn’t completely push you on being a serious thriller. Despite some of the ways people died or are killed, it’s not graphic but it’s not lighthearted. It’s something to add a little levity to the way people react when meeting a group they were formerly friends with. I like the author’s style and will read more of his work in the future.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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8 thoughts on “Book Review: The Wannabes by F.R. Jameson

    Book Club Mom said:
    December 30, 2017 at 4:50 PM

    This is a great review – I like how fair your comments are. Sounds like an interesting story – I do like a thrill element in books. Hope you have a Happy New Year and bundle up if you’re going to Times Square!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 30, 2017 at 4:52 PM

      Hi. Thank you so much! I appreciate it. It was an earlier version of the author’s books, so I think it will continue to get better. I like when a book has a little fun with itself. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

    Mischenko said:
    December 30, 2017 at 5:32 PM

    Great review, J! This sounds unique and strange. I think I’ll try it. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    December 30, 2017 at 9:36 PM

    Couldn’t help but take a peek at this although I’m supposed to be on a blogging break because I had heard about the book and wanted to see your “take” on it. Back to resting now. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 31, 2017 at 9:22 AM

      Happy New Year! It was a good read, but falls in between so many sub-genres… depending on how you feel about that aspect, you may or may not like it. It was relatively quick tho!

      Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    January 1, 2018 at 5:25 PM

    Definitely sounds different from my regular fare but in a good way! Quite like the premise and your review increased my interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    frjameson said:
    January 2, 2018 at 7:16 AM

    Reblogged this on Writing, Reading and Stuff and commented:
    As I’ve been dipping in and out of the blog/social media over the festive period, I actually missed James’s lovely review of my first novel, The Wannabes. But I’ve finally found it and its put a big smile on my face! Given it’s quite a British book, I find it most gratifying that it appeals to Americans too.

    It’s available fairly reasonably on Kindle (and on Kindle Unlimited), so if you fancy it please do check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

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