Tag Archives: flabbergasted

Flabbergasted (Ray Blackston)

Flabbergasted by Ray Blackston Rating: [rate 5]

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

Flabbergasted is a story of a twenty-something year old stockbroker who just moved to Greenville, South Carolina. Jay is not a serious Christian; in fact, he calls his religion “workaholic”, and it wasn’t until his real estate agent told him that in Greenville, the in thing are churches, not bars. So Jay drives to the North Hills Presbyterian Church, fully intending to meet females but he didn’t expect Ecuador missionary Allie Kyle to catch his eye. In order to get to know Allie, he volunteers to help out in their singles beach trip. There he meets his new best friend Steve, righteous-man-with-big-words Stanley, married surfer dude Ransom, The Numericals, Allie’s lime-green loving best friend Darcy (and her lime green Sherbet) and of course, Allie. Jay’s landing into the church feels so casual, and yet, “God had him at the collar” and was leading him into places he never would have imagined he would be.

Flabbergasted is a lad lit, a sub-genre of chick lit for men, where a twenty-something semi-successful man is the narrator. Reviews of this book are mixed; some of them really like this while some don’t. I fall in the former.

The novel, true to its nature, is very light and funny. The dialogues kept me laughing and giggling to myself while reading it and the characters are indeed so wacky but at the same time so real. I like how clean it is, with hardly any mention of sex or male enhancement or anything in that nature. The story is real enough in the sense that some people join religious groups to scope out some chicks or some boys, and while it’s not right, the novel shows that even with these kinds of intentions, God makes use of them to get us closer to Him.

Writing wise, some parts of the story are kind of hard to connect with each other, especially when the story suddenly turns into another part of Jay’s life. Some chapters are kind of skippable too, but they make up the story quite nicely. I think we will all see ourselves in Jay Jarvis as he eventually sees himself and what God wants for him. The ending is a bit obvious, but Jay’s realizations wraps it up really good.

It’s a good book, perfect for some light afternoon reading. :D

…I really just wanted to stay tight — tight to the south of God, right there in his shadow. Because outside of God’s shadow, I was just a gaudy plastic float filled with stubborn air, drifting off like a blind Jonah in search of Plan B, manipulating circumstances and wondering why I kept waking up in my very own Tarshish. But in God’s shadow I had been dazzled by the detour, amazed at the fraternity, and flabbergasted by the depth that comes from simplicity, from serving in a village that was shabby, green, and pulsing with life.”
– Jay Jarvis, p. 326

Life in a book

Right now I’m reading Flabbergasted by Ray Blackston. What I love about books is that I get to plunge into something other than my own world, to see and be a part another person’s adventures even if that person is fictional. Not that I don’t like my life right now; I just always welcome a break. It’s like when you watch a movie: life on the big screen seems so…perfect, that you wish you are living the same life too.

Two weeks into work and I’ve been thinking about how I am going to spend the rest of my life. That sounds really deep, I know. I could blame it on this particular page in my planner which has “Big Thoughts” written on it and since I’ve been allowing myself to dream BIG, I wrote down some things I want to accomplish in my life, namely:

  • I want to write. I want to be able to publish at least two books and let people see what I see with my words.
  • I want to see the world. I want to travel.

Simple? Kinda. I’m still allowing myself to “dream” and so far I got those two, which is generally what I want to do in my life as of now. I’m young, so let me dream. :P

Anyway, the thing with reading books is that sometimes I start to wish that I live inside a book. Not literally, Thursday Next style (though I wouldn’t mind that! :p). I want to be able to live some part of my life like the way book characters do. It’s like wishing to have your own fairy tale, only it’s probably chick-lit style. Gets?

I always wonder where life would take me the next few years. Would I be amazingly famous and be known all over the world? Would I be living in my dream house with a wonderful family? Would I be climbing the corporate ladder and making big time decisions here and there? Would I even start to understand things about stocks and businesses? Would I be a missionary, meeting people all over the world and bringing the message of God’s love for those who need it the most?

There are so many possibilities in my life, and I have to admit that I’m afraid to miss out on a lot of things. On the contrary, I am afraid of taking risks, and I still don’t know if I’d recognize an opportunity even if it bites me on the nose. I do think, however, that adds spice to my life. As Ate Bev mentioned last night, God doesn’t give you everything you want just so you’d still come thirsty for Him. God is giving me these specific kinds of moments in my life to give room for Him to create magic in it. For Him to amaze me and surprise me, for Him to let me see that He is amazing.

And you know? I wouldn’t mind that. Being surprised, I mean. I’ve always wanted to be surprised.

Maybe my life isn’t like those novels I read. But I think…I wouldn’t trade this one to be a character in any book.

Unless of course if it’s a book based on myself, written by me. ;)