“(Adapted from my original Amazon.com review): As a 25-year-old male, I am approximately the least desirable target among Jam & the Box's intended demographic. And yet, I found the story fairly appealing nonetheless -- even excepting the fact that I was and am friends with the author. First of all, the characterization is superb. The persons referenced within are fully fleshed out INDIVIDUALS, each with his or her own deliciously unique quirks and quarks. As the story revolves around a rather large ensemble cast beyond the titular Jamison "Jam" James, it is no small accomplishment to have made each character stand apart from the rest and become someone that you can easily envision meeting on any given day in this small New York town.
Second of all, though not a "comic novel" per se (a term that causes the author to shudder, I assure you), there is genuine humor throughout the telling, not the least of which is due to the ever-amusing failings and foibles of the local townspeople. It doesn't hit you over the head with obvious jokes, but you'll find yourself chuckling in the most unexpected places -- perhaps even out loud.
Finally, beyond the McGuffin-y (look it up) premise that initially unites this group of disparate citizens over a simple Macintosh computer, there is a legitimately intriguing story underlying the entertaining characters and vivid set pieces. I wouldn't go so far as to put the book in the Mystery section, but mystery it contains (and in the form of an attractive dark-haired stranger, no less). And if you didn't guess from that last line that there's a decent dollop of romance within these 272 pages too, then you, sir, need to bring your inference-ometer in for a tune-up.
So who should read this book? Well, frankly, I wouldn't get it for your kid brother. However, if anyone in your family is a certified Mac addict, they may get a kick out of it. And I have a feeling that your mother, grandmother, aunt, and/or older sister would probably enjoy the small-town antics of this multi-generational cast of characters, as well as the previously alluded to romantic intrigue. For that matter, friends and family in upstate New York are sure to recognize and appreciate many of the similarities between the fictional Highkill and their own personal places of residence (especially if they've ever lived in or even been to a certain New York town in which a famous concert may or may not have been held one fateful summer...).”
Trevor M wrote this review Saturday, January 9, 2010.