(AD) Introducing Jarrod Black : Book Review

 This book was kindly sent to me by Texi Smith for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I have found it really hard to find football books that aren't autobiographies and are actually fiction as I would much rather read a fiction book these days due to the pure amount of autobiographies from players I have read over recent years. I really don't know why it has to be so much of a struggle to find a fiction football book that isn't aimed at kids because surely there is an audience there ready to read it? When I was approached by author Texi Smith about his book Introducing Jarrod Black I knew that it could definitely be one I enjoyed and be a welcomed addition to my book shelf as it was finally a fiction football book that wasn't found in the kids book section. I was kindly asked if I wanted a copy of the book sending to review and I am so glad I said yes. The book was a joy to read and it is actually the first book I have read from beginning to end in such a long time as I just haven't had the chance to sit and relax with a book. For this one though I really made sure I made time to sit and read it as it had me gripped. 

One thing with books that annoys me is when they drag on and are far too many pages long when the story could have been finished about 100 pages earlier. Some authors go on about specific details for much long than they need to but with this book Smith gets straight to the point so the book actually isn't too long. If you really wanted to I think you could finish it in just one evening but in the end it only took me a few nights to get to the end. I was actually enjoying it that much though I didn't want it to end. 

The book follows Jarrod Black who is a footballer from Australia who is yet to reach the dream of Premier League status, we follow him as he debates staying at a club or moving onto a new challenge, we meet his family, friends and team mates which is great as you are getting character background and why he has shaped up to be who he is and why his life is how it is. I absolutely love when you get other characters more involved in stories and not just focus on the main one as I think it helps you connect with the story a bit more as you aren't just set on that one character for a couple of hundred of pages. 

One great thing though is I thought that the book would be filled with big team names however, it is the likes of Darlington and Carlisle which is fantastic as it is could actually get fans from outside looking into those clubs just because they have been mentioned in the book that follows a fictional character. The fact that smaller clubs are referenced and so well shows that Smith knows his stuff with the footballing world and doesn't just want to focus on those big teams that everyone knows already. A lot of the book is based in the North of England too which is great as I think football in the north especially for them smaller teams gets overlooked by people outside the UK so it is safe to say he is helping bring attention to those other clubs whilst showcasing other names to those who previously might never have even heard of Darlington before. 

One thing in books I usually can't stand is flashbacks as I get very easily confused when they jump between present day and the past. However, Smith does this perfectly and there is a clear difference between the chapters so I never ended up confused and I enjoyed every second I was reading the book. There wasn't any random flashbacks either as they all flowed really well with what had happened in the previous chapter so it gave you a bit more information on why that specific event happened or his reasoning behind the decisions he makes in the future. Each flashback gives you an insight into his career when he was younger so through the flashbacks you get to see his career progression and I just think it is a great way of finding out about the character rather than just having a full book about his earlier years, in this book you get a nice mix to keep you interested. 

Something I really liked though was the fact that even tough it is a book in regards to the men's game the women's game is mentioned too which you definitely don't see very often. Smith clearly has an interest in the women's game and it's reputation as he mentions Jarrod Black's sister Anna playing in the W League (Australia's top women's league) and I already know he has plans to mention Anna a lot more as there is already a full book out just about her. I just find it nice that Smith is trying to incorporate the two as I am sure people who weren't already aware will have googled to see what the W League was and who knows it may have gained a few new fans. I will have a full review up on that Anna Black book very soon too as it is one I really can't wait to read. 

At the end of the book you also get a list of other book recommendations which again is fantastic for someone who is trying to build up a bit of a football book collection. It has definitely made me look more closely at the books surrounding the footballing world and has shown me more authors I hadn't previously heard of. No doubt I will be getting some of the books from the recommendation list as I try to grow my own football book collection from being just player or manager autobiographies to being filled with different aspects of the beautiful game whether they are fiction or non-fiction books. 

I know there are many more books written by Texi Smith that follow not only Jarrod Black but also his sister Anna Black so this book isn't just a one off which was music to my ears. I know I will definitely be giving the other books a read and following both Jarrod and Anna's journeys for as long as Smith is releasing those books. Each book is currently on the UK Amazon store so you can check them out for yourselves by clicking here. If you enjoy football and enjoy reading these are definitely a book for you to try. 

Keep your eye on the blog because there will be more book reviews coming as I work through my ever growing collection of football books now that I seem to be getting back into the swing of spending some time reading again instead of being glued to my computer screen. Introducing Jarrod Black has definitely been the book that has kick started my reading once more and I can not wait to continue making my way through the series. 

Thank you again Texi Smith for the copy of the book it has helped me get back into reading and was a fantastic read. Now on to the next one. 

Have you read any of Texi Smith's books or are you going to buy one? Come and let us know.  

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