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4.3 31
by J. J. Hebert
YOUNG JAMES FROST just knows, deep in his bones, that he's a writer. He writes far into early mornings, after his wearying hours of scrubbing toilets and sweeping floors. He loves writing that much.

But it's not only the joy of words that keeps him grinding; it's his desire to retire the janitor's mop. He sees being published as the key to living an improved life.


YOUNG JAMES FROST just knows, deep in his bones, that he's a writer. He writes far into early mornings, after his wearying hours of scrubbing toilets and sweeping floors. He loves writing that much.

But it's not only the joy of words that keeps him grinding; it's his desire to retire the janitor's mop. He sees being published as the key to living an improved life. James has another deep-seated conviction: that he's not good enough. He secretly longs to be accepted. However, the conventional others in his life seem all too willing to remind him that he's wasting his time.

Then he meets and falls in love with Leigh, the one bright spot in his endless misery of self-doubt. A quiet but resolutely religious girl, she has to fight off disapproval of her own from overly critical parents, whose insults are countered by James's often-voiced admiration of her. Likewise, Leigh's faith in his talents begins to build his confidence, eventually allowing her to introduce him to a different way to help himself: relying on God.

Ultimately, James's newfound faith is sorely tested to the point of doubt when his dream to be published seems to melt into a mirage, smothered by countless rejection slips from agents and publishers. His faith is also battered by having to fight highly emotional battles and suffer fear and loss. Just when James appears hopelessly sapped by devastating events, one last door opens, and he's rocked by an epiphany.

UNCONVENTIONAL is designed to inspire readers to reach for their dreams. Buy this book. Read it. Share it with everyone you know. You - and they - will be glad you did!

Product Details

Mindstir Media
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
0.74(w) x 9.00(h) x 6.00(d)

Meet the Author

J. J. Hebert is the bestselling author of Unconventional, which is also available in the Kindle Store. J. J. currently lives in New England. Visit his website: http://www.jjhebert.net. Follow/subscribe to his blog: http://www.jjhebertblog.com.

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Unconventional 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
Unconventional, by J.J. Hebert James Frost, a writer with low self-esteem and self-worth, struggles to live out his dream of becoming a successful novelist. He writes (and rewrites) whenever he finds time between eating, sleeping, and working as a janitor in his father's cleaning business. He hates his job and how people judge him for being 'only a janitor'--it makes him feel invisible. Although his writing fills his heart, his head is full of self loathing and doubt, and belief that he's undeserving of success. His 'conventional' peers and work-mates think his ideas of becoming published are pipe dreams and give him little or no sincere validation or encouragement. The only true support he gets is from four fabulous individuals: Mitch, his high school baseball coach and mentor, Arthur, his friend and editor, Meranda, an iconic author and adopted `grandmother', and Leigh, his Christian girlfriend. Without them in his life, his dreams would crumble and he'd be a broken man. This story is infused with a myriad of emotions. It takes the reader on a rollercoaster of fear, dread, doubt, sorrow, and shame, as well as surprise and elation. I love a story that makes me FEEL, and this one certainly did. The first person narrative is engaging and draws the reader into the character. As a writer myself, I could relate to so many of the doubts, fears, and adversities James Frost expressed. Unconventional is an inspiring story of determination, perseverance, faith and forgiveness. I've no doubt you'll close this book feeling satisfied and empowered. A quote by Winston Churchill came to mind that sums up one of the themes of this book. "Never, never, never give up!"
nmjaw More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading Unconventional. What an absolutely wonderful read. I laughed, cried and felt James'pain. It was a heart wrenching story and had such wonderful characters. Thank goodness he had Leigh to help with all his self doubt and pain. I will definitely be recommending it to my friends. Thank you for introducing me to a new author.
Ravenswood_Reviews More than 1 year ago
"UNCONVENTIONAL" BY J.J. HEBERT This novel spoke to me, being an aspiring author myself there is so much to learn contained in this one book. It says a lot about positive thinking and that you have to believe in yourself before anyone else will believe in you. It also speaks about the power of faith and how it can change your life for the better. James Frost is a struggling artist, a wonderful writer that is repeatedly rejected by publishing companies and editors that think his story is just not good enough. He goes through multiple re-writes as he moves through life meeting people that inspire and some that try to keep him down. Coming close to giving up on several occasions he keeps in mind all that he's learned from his mentors Mitch, the father that James' father could never quite be, Arthur, the editor willing to help him muddle through the hard times and offer never ending support and help, Meranda, the adopted grandmother/accomplished writer that has a problem only James can seem to understand, and Leigh, the woman that loves him unconditionally and breaks through the vicious cycle of parental control to stick by the man she loves. This book was simply remarkable one of the best I've read in a long time. I would recommend this book to everyone, but especially to those that seek inspiration to carry on with their dreams and never give up! -Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
Sneezybee23 More than 1 year ago
In spite of working in a soul-numbing job, James Frost clings to his dream of becoming a published novelist and stays determined to write a masterpiece. James' friend, Mitch, challenges him to be unconventional in his writing and his life. James' girlfriend, Leigh, challenges him to open his mind to God. And James' editor, Arthur, challenges him to write a better book. With all the challenges before him and the self-doubt inside of him, James sometimes fights just to get through the day. However, as he adopts the unconventional, finds an unexpected faith, and creates his masterpiece, James finds that all the dreaming, hoping, and working is truly worth the effort. I enjoyed reading Unconventional by J. J. Hebert. I hesitate to describe this book as Christian fiction, because I would hate to see someone pass it up simply because the main character has a spiritual relationship with God. Unconventional is indeed a unique book filled with hope that is desperately needed by today's society. The themes of hope and following one's dreams are well-integrated with the plot and characters. James is the narrator of the book and openly discloses everything in his mind. Sometimes, even more than you want to know! The book is written from a unique male point-of-view that is a refreshing change in Christian fiction. One of my favorite scenes in the book was when James speaks to two of his characters. One is a good guy and one is a bad guy. It is a wonderful illustration of God's love for his creatation. The spiritual overtones are perfectly integrated even though James at that time has not yet come to accept God. I would love to have seen something later in the book tie in with that scene. I recommend this book to.... anybody! Even if you do not read Christian fiction, there's a good chance you will like this book. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from PumpUpYourBook. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
ReviewsByMolly More than 1 year ago
Let me take just a moment to say that this book was amazing. Not at all what I thought it would be. It was so much more than I was expecting. J.J. Hebert instantly captured my mind and my heart with this novel. His skills shine bright in this beautifully written debut novel. Told in first person point of view, James Frost is a character that tugs at your heart. He dreams of becoming a writer, and J.J. Hebert fills this book with the emotionally turmoil one goes through with multiple rejections. James Frost is a character that is deeply complex and emotionally moving as he reaches and pushes on for those dreams. His family doesn't accept the fact that he would rather reach for those dreams instead of reaching for that education. He faces those turmoils and, eventually, he hits a rut that he doesn't think he will ever get out of. But, then, J.J. Hebert brings in God's amazing love and grace. I became a part of this amazing story and found my self praying, often, that James would reach out and grip that love that that unconventional God offers to him. Through this love of God, and a roller coaster of ups, downs, seriousness and judgement, J.J. Hebert turned this into a phenomenal piece of moving fiction. Without a doubt, I highly recommend this debut with 5 stars. It is so much more than just a novel...it is a message from God, and a lesson in life. Reach for your goals. Reach for your dreams. No matter what anyone says, does, or thinks, if you have dreams, chase them. Hats off to a wonderful and new author! Looking forward to more of this authors work!
ToReadPerchancetoDream More than 1 year ago
Unconventional by J.J. Hebert is about a young man with a big dream who is stuck in a dead end job. James Frost wants to be a writer, it's all he wants to do, but his manuscript is rejected by publisher after publisher. To make ends meet, he works as a janitor in his father's cleaning business. James doesn't have many friends, and most of them have gone off to college. He's not very close to his father who is too busy looking for a girlfriend. James has very low self-esteem and is ready to give up. Then he meets Leigh, who helps him understand the meaning of love and the need for a Savior in his life. This was a very enjoyable book to read. It was easy to connect to James and want the best to happen for him. The characters he interacts with have great depth, they felt like real people. I sometimes had problems when the time would jump forward from chapter to chapter, not knowing how much time had passed or if any had passed at all. Also, J.J. Hebert portrays James as a sensitive person, caring about people, wanting to stick up for anyone who is being made fun of; but at the restaurant, James himself makes fun of their waiter who has a bad case of acne. Admittedly, he does it in his thoughts only, but it still jars against the character to me. Unconventional is a book about dreams, obstacles, struggles, and faith. It's worth reading! *Disclaimer: I received this book free from LibraryThing and the author. I was not required to write a positive review.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
The greatest and most inspiring achievements are not produced by those who conform to society's idea of normal, but by those who courageously adopt the unconventional. That is exactly what James Frost believes. He will strive to not be like the normal but will go for his dreams no matter what anyone else believes he should do instead. James feels his life's calling is to write, starting with poetry and then on to fantasy novels where he can use his imagination through writing to give people a break from their otherwise mundane lives. Will James have what it takes to see his dream come fulfilled or will the constant comments from family and friends around him wear him down to the point where he finally accepts their comments and falls into a conventional lifestyle? In the novel Unconventional by J.J. Hebert, we meet James Frost, an aspiring hopeful writer who currently spends his days writing and working as a janitor. Despite what people say at times, James struggles to maintain a positive attitude and work hard at making his dream come true. Along the way, people judge him not only by his appearance, his current employment position, and even where his future is headed. Instead of not judging a book by it's cover, it seems apparent at times that's all most people will do. Will he have the drive to stay on his path towards his dream or will the voices of reason call him back to reality? Will his faith be enough to sustain him in the storms he will weather or will he simply give up and fall in line? I received Unconventional compliments of J. J. Hebert and Pump Up Your Book for my honest review and believe that anyone who is looking to grab the proverbial brass ring, should read this book and go for it. This book will inspire us all to reach for our dreams once more and who knows what the future holds if we are only willing to try, no matter what. This book rates a full 5 out of 5 stars!
acreech More than 1 year ago
James Frost embraces an unconventional life, taking the road less traveled. Working as a janitor for his father's cleaning company, he pursues his dream of becoming a published author. Along the way he meets people who change his life and faces the loss of some of these people. James is a great character that shows that pursuit of your dream may be difficult but it doesn't mean that achieving your dream is impossible. I really enjoyed this book. It was a great read.
jeffee More than 1 year ago
I met J.J. Hebert through Twitter and was convinced to buy his book. Boy, that was a great decision. I totally enjoyed his book on many levels not the least of which is that I too, am an aspiring author (investment book) who has known the great wave of rejection from publishers. I could totally relate to the main charactor, James Frost, who slaves away in a job he dislikes as he trys to become a paid writer. J.J. has written a great novel that moves logically ever forward with many ups and downs until James' faith in himself as a writer and as the right man for Leigh breaks through with the type of outcome that will occur for all who have faith. James goes through a great transformation, overcomes many obstacles, helps many people, and ultimally triumphs in a way that rewards the reader because the genius of J.J. to spin a tale that moves realistically to conclusion, always entertains, makes you happy and sad - all the skills of a great writer. You will enjoy this book and feel a sense of lifting and be better for having read this novel.
Jessica_Fox More than 1 year ago
Simply wowed. Unconventional is simply that- a novel that pushes beyond the boundaries. J.J. Hebert has created charactors that I think all of us can find ourselves in. James Frost, the main character, is struggling to become his own person in a world that pushes conformity. I was drawn into James Frost's world, feeling his struggles and battles as he seeks to follow his heart and his dreams. I truly felt that after spending time in the pages, that I had more strength to follow my own dreams as well. That is what I pick up a book for, for the feeling like I have lived amongst the characters, laughed and cried with them, and ultimately succeeded with them. Hebert's characters came to life within the pages, and I felt that after having put the book down, they were part of my world. I need a book to make me feel things, to literally read the heart of the author, as they put down on paper what their heart is feeling. Unconventional did just that. I feel like a better person for having read it - enlightened, inspired, and encouraged spiritually. I am so excited for J.J. Hebert's new releases!!
Tbear52 More than 1 year ago
Great book - had to read one more chapter before I went to bed - then another - then another... Needless to say went to bed at 3 AM... Book Complete! Worth it! I liked James who was determined to follow his dream of being a writer. I often wondered how much of the story about James was actually the author's story. I could feel his emotion with each chapter of the book. When James discovered Leigh it made my heart sing; she over looked all the negative things that James thought about himself and lifted him up Spiritually. He had his doubts about God but God never let him down. You felt his pain as he was trying to understand why God was not there for him when he received all the publisher rejections. Then you felt his joy when he realized that God was there along - he just did not hear His voice. I loved Arthur, Mitch, and Merander but I worried about his hate for Brad. Then J. J. made sure that he met up with Brad and all was forgiven; made my heart proud! I had a concern about James never seeing his Dad ever again after he moved to San Diego. When Leigh said she wanted to have her Cafe in Laguna Beach, I said to myself "YES, he will see his dad after all!" Way to go J. J.! I loved the book all the way to About the Author, his sense of humor in the introduction made me laugh out loud. Thank you J.J. for this wonderful book!
Hopefuldreams59 More than 1 year ago
For anyone that has had a dream that has taken detours and has the courage to keep going head first, this book is for YOU!! I was truly inspired by the writing and story. We can ALL relate to loss and challenges and working hard to overcome adversity. Being UNCONVENTIONAL is such a challenge in life and this book gives me the courage to be MYSELF ! This is a must read if you want to be lifted up and inspired!
annie2960 More than 1 year ago
This was a terrific book that challenges the way we look at those in menial jobs, essential to our societies needs, but often invisible people. What a person does is often not a reflection of who they are or what they will become. Most people are in a transition of who they are now, and their vision of who they prefer to be. Often our dreams and true self take a strong sense of purpose to grow into existence. All it takes is one or more people to believe in you and hold you up during the times of doubt, and a strong faith that you are doing what you were created to do. James renewed my faith in humanity, remembering dreams and future planning while living a less than desired present. I look forward to the next great book by this wise and interesting young author.
Courtney_Antley More than 1 year ago
I was totally moved by the inspirational story of James Frost as he struggles to become a published writer while working as a janitor. It is a wonderful story of overcoming adversity and having faith in Christ while waiting for your ship to come in. Anybody who is a Karen Kingsbury fan should love this book!
AuthorRebekahHarris More than 1 year ago
As indicated by its title, Unconventional, by J.J. Hebert, is certainly not the average novel. In fact, rather than merely being entertained by a good story, Hebert managed to locate every belief and vulnerability I possess and then challenge it. The result is a heart-stirring journey the reader takes right along with an unforgettable protagonist who eventually develops an indomitable spirit. Unconventional is the story of James Frost, an aspiring novelist who earns his living as a school custodian. A product of a broken home and stuck in a job he hates, James is plagued by self-doubt and subject to the criticism of others as he works to follow his dream of becoming a published author-a feat that is much easier said than done. In fact, the only thing going for him is Leigh, whose kind and gentle spirit provides a spark of light in his bleak world. After suffering rejection after rejection, loss after loss, James is on the brink of giving up hope. However, after a near-death experience, James is finally shaken by an epiphany-one that guides him through a spiritual journey that proves to be the most unconventional path of all.
HisChild More than 1 year ago
Unconventional, a debut novel by J.J. Hebert, is the story of a young man with a calling, a calling that cannot be ignored or denied. It tells the story of James Frost and his journey to achieve his dream while overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It is the saga of a young man's growth in faith, both in himself and in God; of persistance in striving for something that remains tantalizingly out of reach; of faith when it seems there is no reason to continue. I read this book in one sitting and watched in awe as the character grew from a boy with a dream to a man filled with wisdom and love. The journey was rocky but rewarding and I highly recommend this book. J.J. Hebert is a skilled writer who knows how to weave a believable story and I will be eagerly watching for future books from him!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is for dreamers from all walks of life. Everyone can enjoy this story of an underdog chasing his dreams. Read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heavensent1 More than 1 year ago
Unconventional is an inspirational fiction by debut author J.J. Hebert. James Frost has a dream, he wants to write, ever since he was a young boy it has driven his soul to produce his muse. Upon finishing his book 'The Forsaken World', young James sends his queries out to the editors and publishers in hopes of becoming published. After each rejection, James' determination and stamina falters and weakens until he is questioning his own skills and desires. Everyone, including his father, snickers at his dreams, and tell him all he is ever going to be good enough for is janitorial work. James meets Leigh on the internet, they meet and they fall in love. However, Leigh's controlling parents loathe James and all that he is and work to keep the two apart. James becomes confused and disillusioned about all things in his life and he begins to question his existence. Leigh and her parents are "Christian", and when they learn that James doesn't even believe, they are mortified, even though Leigh's parents are the farthest thing from being a Christian, her parents when they are not ignoring her, they are making snide remarks about her personally. Along the way, James has many people keeping him on track and encouraging him at every turn. Author, Robert Frost, is his inspiration to greatness, Mitch, his surrogate father finds James the leads that he needs to continue upon his quest, Arthur, James' editor whose words of encouragement and praise continue to keep him on the path to success and Meranda Erickson, the Pulitzer Prize author who disappears from the limelight and becomes the inspiration that James needs. All these people help to make James the person he needs to be and put him on the journey to his road in life. Upon reading this book, I was really bothered by all the I's...in one paragraph alone there were twelve of them, and it was truly frustrating as well as the flowery prose. However, I trudged on and am really glad I did, if you can get past Book One of the novel, then you are sure to be pleased with the rest of the book. After this time, the characters come into their own and the stories pace begins to pick up and flow. I truly enjoyed James, he is the type of man that any woman would cherish having and his qualities are certainly lacking in most men, lessons could be learned from such a character. I wasn't over impressed with Leigh's character however, she seemed a bit wooden and I struggled to feel for her and James' relationship. Arthur and Meranda are just great characters, especially Meranda, I just loved her spunk and grit. I felt they were needed to give the story balance, however, I believe Arthur should have been used more in the story. After a luncheon that he attends with James, the reader doesn't hear about him again personally, only in passing, and I don't believe he was given enough justification in the story. I also had problems with the mentioning of the mother and sister on numerous occasions but yet we don't hear from them once in the whole story. I'm thinking a small back story between the three would have helped strengthen the books overall integrity. I find it annoying to read about people in passing and they have no play in the book, but that is just me, I'm sure many won't find this aspect a hindrance. I really enjoyed the message of God and by his grace, if you place your faith in his hands, all things will work out. James comes to believe this message and we
cswriter59 More than 1 year ago
You will not want to put this book down! "Unconventional" on the surface, is an entertaining read with J. J. Hebert's sense of humor. Delving deeper, you will find yourself, within these pages in his characters. It is a story that anyone can relate to, in any walk of life. It has a taste of many flavors. Inspiration, sadness, self-doubt, humor, happiness, faith, hope and love. James Frost, working for his Dad's janitorial business, suffers from low self-esteem from childhood through adulthood. His dysfunctional family includes divorced parents. A father who spent time following in HIS father's footsteps as an alcoholic, is now a recovering alcoholic, still with many issues. His mother who has custody of his sister in another State. And all, emotionally detached from one another. Hebert's main character, James has one desire and that is to write and publish his Fantasy Novel. You don't have to be a writer to feel his frustration and angst as he is rejected time and again. For him, the rejection comes not only from agents and publishers, but also from his father, mother and sister. Leigh, who is the love of his life, has very controlling parents, who also reject him. And friends who have gone away to college and promise to stay in touch, but never do. There are a few people in James' life that understand who he is and what he is all about. Mitch, Arthur and Meranda Erickson. All colorful characters and except for them, James would truly be broken. This is a story of an uphill climb in more ways than one. But the most important is the Faith he finds in Jesus. "Unconventional" exudes a realm of emotion from the reader. And it is very hard to believe that "Unconventional" is a debut novel. Don't miss this one!
CoffeemomKG More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. Unconventional has such a great message about believing in ones self no matter what obstacles get in the way. The main character, James Frost, felt like a real person. He experienced emotions and situations that we all may encounter in our lives. A happy ending made it even better! I can't wait for the next book by J.J. Hebert!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AngieC07 More than 1 year ago
Unconventional is an outstanding and inspirational novel that encourages people to never give up on their dreams. Anyone who has ever struggled to overcome a hardship in order to reach their goals can relate to James Frost and the challenges he had to face. This story has an extraordinary message- believe in yourself and your faith and never give up on your hopes and dreams. I strongly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more of J.J. Hebert's stories in the future!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lifelike characters mixed with lots of obstacles to overcome, Unconventional is as entertaining as it is uplifting: very much so! Loved this book.
ErikStrata2010 More than 1 year ago
This is a gripping story of a janitor, James Frost, who does cleaning but wants to get away from janitorial work and get published. I plan to recommend this to all my friends. Everyone needs to be inspired and this book does it! I have to admit, I am Christian so maybe that's why the Christian themes didn't offend me. A non-Christian might find some scenes a bit preachy but the story is still great for everyone, especially for readers used to Christian fiction and inspirational fiction.