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Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average Paperback – September 14, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist, Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books, like the fantasy mystery Death is but a Dream and the sci-fi middle grade book Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average. You can reach her at tiptoegirl87@gmail.com and she'll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1479241253
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479241255
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,475,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In most science-fiction and fantasy stories, we like to believe that our heroes are special—that they are destined by fate, chosen by the Gods or the Universe, or simply possess something that makes them able to overcome astounding obstacles. This, as a staple in literature, has been seen throughout generations. But in Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average, that role is completely reversed—because our hero is, in fact, anything but extraordinary.

Enter Jacob Smith—a twelve, almost thirteen-year-old boy. In the grand scheme of things, he isn’t anything special. He gets average grades, does average in sports, is average in height and intelligence. He’s even statistically average when it comes to the number of siblings in an American household. Normally, we wouldn’t think anything of this. Average people aren’t normally capable of anything extraordinary. But what if an alien species was able to use that to their advantage—to ‘harness’ the average in order to potentially take over the human race? That is the challenge Jacob Smith faces in Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average, and the driving point of its plot.

As a mid-grade/young-adult novel, Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average nails every aspect that the genre requires. It’s easy to read, its pace is fast and the plot doesn’t meander, and it features likable characters and scenarios everyone can relate to. Where the novel truly stands out is as a science-fiction piece. The wonder presented in the novel is slow to creep in, but once it does, it hits you full force. But unlike many sci-fi novels (where, even in YA, the reader can become confused and overwhelmed,) Jacob Smith makes sure to introduce the fantastical aspect of its narrative slowly and simply. Aliens are usually described in minute detail.
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Format: Kindle Edition
What an incredibly fun read! I admit I started reading this book just to parentally screen it for my daughter, to see if it would be appropriate or interesting for her, but then I found myself completely sucked into the story, to the point that I read this over the other books I was reading for myself, just because I wanted to see what was going to happen to Jacob Smith in his battles with aliens.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of anything of the young aduld action adventure genre, such as books along the lines of The Lightning Thief, or even Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

I also think this book would make a great movie, and I can actually imagine it being a major motion picture someday. Fun stuff!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fun, crazy, and intense adventure! Take an unexpected adventure with the most normal boy on planet Earth. To an alien species who wants to take over the Earth for their selfish desires, Jacob Smith, is the Key to everything. Jacob finds that his crazy grandpa might not be so crazy after all and that there is a lot more to his family than meets the eye. Erin Hayes writes an out of this world story that will keep young readers engaged and gave this older reader a fun and exciting reality break.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What if your complete and uninteresting normalcy is the very thing that could wipe humans off the face of the planet? This is the unlikely premise of the delightfully unique Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average. I loved the odd situation Jacob found himself in, and all the events that unfolded because of it. The writing was good, the humour was... well, amusing, and the pace was good. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone from 12 - 120 years old who is looking for a light, entertaining read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I saw this book shared from an author I follow on Facebook. The cover looked like an old computer game I played when I was younger. Therefore, I was intrigued to read the synopsis. Finding out its about an alien race wanting to take over earth had me wanting to read it. I was presently surprised on how much I liked this book. Even though it's aim at the middle school crowd as an adult I thought it was very entertaining. The writing is well written and I could picture this book becoming a movie. Overall, a very fun read.

I would recommend this book for fans of the Percy Jackson, and the Pendragon series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Lots of writers of middle grade fantasy/adventure books are good at coming up with catchy premises and angles. Some can sustain a narrative and some are skilled at describing alien characters and setting scenes. But, ahh, as to the central figures - the heroes and heroines of the story - that often proves to be a bridge too far.

Well, this book has a great hook, it has a strong narrative, and it has some very impressive set pieces - but what sets it apart is the appeal and authenticity of the central characters.

The angle is that Jacob Smith is the most normal kid around; he is literally as well as figuratively "average". For reasons that become clear as the plot develops, (no SPOILERS here), his averageness is sort of the aspect of Jacob Smith that makes the whole alien invasion shebang work.

You'd think that developing an "average" character would not be a hard assignment. But as I thought about it I realized that outrageous characters - super geniuses, mega-geeks, video game freaks, emo girls, mondo nerds, "bad" boys, skaters, greasers, bullies, and so on - are easier, because they are so recognizable and it's so easy to just put the parts together. But how do you write an "average" hero who can command and hold the reader's attention? Well, Erin Hayes has done that.

Jacob has a loyal if a bit quirky best friend, Max, whose occasional cracks keep him grounded. Jacob's sister has gone goth out of middle kid rebellion, but she is fond of Jacob and rallies 'round when the going gets tough. Jacob's parents aren't perfect, but they aren't cartoonishly over the top. Jacob's worries are normal; his thought processes seem authentic. His attitude and style seem realistic.
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