Cover Image: The 9:09 Project

The 9:09 Project

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was such an interesting book to read. The premise of the photography as a "lens" for his relationship and grief was so well done. I think this is a pretty unique book to read. I enjoyed seeing the main character change over the course of the book.
Was this review helpful?
I talk a lot about how much I love sister books, but I’m not sure I talk much about how much grief processing books mean to me, too. There’s something really powerful about a story that peels back the layers and reveals truths about love and loss that we don’t talk about. This book does that so well, and so many of the statements about loss and grief really resonated with me.

So, full disclosure, the ARC that I read opens with a note from the author, so I read that first. Which means before I even read the first line of the book, I was crying. The letter is about how the author was editing this book as he was saying goodbye to his mom, who was dying of the same type of cancer Jamison’s mom died from. I can’t even imagine how incredibly difficult that must have been. Absolutely heartbreaking.

I think one of my favorite things about the story, though, is that though it’s about grief, it doesn’t take the course that I have seen some other YA novels take. Meaning, it doesn’t focus on Jamison’s former friendships and how they’ve changed because of his grief, whose fault it is, or whether they can be repaired.

We don’t really know who his friends were before his mom’s death. He’s so totally disconnected from the Before time of his life that it never comes up. What we do get to see is the fresh growth of new friendships, what those mean to him, and how he learns to trust other people with his grief and share in theirs, too.

A fair amount of the story focuses on Jamison’s photography, which I loved. I especially loved the way that the Dorothea Lange quotes at the beginning of each chapter encapsulated something that happened in that chapter. I loved seeing those connections. Jamison shares some of the technical aspects of editing photos, but context clues were enough for me to follow along. I know the photography side, so that was familiar to me, but I think it’d be easily accessible to someone who didn’t have the knowledge.

I really liked the characters, too. Not just Jamison, but his sister, Assi, and Seth, too. They each bring really interesting elements to the story, and I liked that his relationship with each of them is different.

On the whole, I would call this one a win. I think readers who enjoy books by John Green should really check this one out.
Was this review helpful?
Great book and enjoyed the characters . loved the slight romance and the how well the group worked together. Overall a great book . I would read this author again.
Was this review helpful?
Grief is obviously a heavy and nuanced subject. I appreciate how Jamison was eventually able to process, and even help others going through the same thing. As someone who frequently laments how often the loss of a parent is turned into a sympathetic trope in YA, I think this one does it well, and does not necessarily shield Jamison from criticism.
Was this review helpful?
What a fresh take on grief. This story was heartbreaking and inspiring in one. An easy connection is made with our main character because he’s written so well.
Was this review helpful?
This was a remarkably positive book about dealing with the grief of losing a parent.  I enjoyed Jamieson's character and the overall creation of the 9:09 project.  I think this could be a great title for a grief group, an arts integration class, or other discussion groups/book clubs at the HS level.
Was this review helpful?
I very much enjoyed reading this book and getting to know the characters. I love the way the main character is coping through the loss of his mother, and funneling his grief in a healthy and interesting way. J seems a lot more mature than most kids his age, and I found his relationship with Assi very endearing. I love how they both explored their grief together.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this. We follow the Deever family as they navigate life after a familial loss, and the part about that that I enjoyed the most was the way the author portrayed the family's journey through their grief and through their loss. We get to see the three of them deal with their loss in their own ways, and we get to see that it's not a linear process and it's not the same for either of them. I also appreciated the way the author incorporated J's interest in photography into his journey. As someone who isn't overly intimate with photography, I didn't feel like it was a cumbersome or awkward insertion into the story; none of the jargon used ever felt like an obstacle in understanding the overall plot, and I really appreciated that.
Was this review helpful?
The 9:09 Project is the story of the Deever family, processing the death of its matriarch. Jamison is a junior who uses photography to express himself and work through the loss.  The book is not only about grief: it is about a teenage boy starting to figure out dating, two siblings who have a tight, supportive bond, and an amateur photographer honing his craft.

While I know nothing about photography, the use of technical jargon was never an obstacle to understanding the story.  The Dorothea Lange quotes at the start of each paragraph were interesting, and for the most part, new to me.  I found the dialog in the book to be genuine and realistic and the pacing appropriate.  

Of course, the adult in me rather predicted where the story was going to go, but I still appreciated the journey.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children’s Delacorte Press for this ARC in exchange for my review.
Was this review helpful?
This was truly a love tale of a teen wanting to carry out the legacy of their late mother. I was sucked into the text and couldn’t put it down! A great read
Was this review helpful?
I thoroughly enjoyed the 9:09 Project. Each character was well developed. Their problems were realistic, as were their solutions to those problems. There are not many ya books out their that deal with parental death and this is one that focuses on it in a healthy way. I would recommend this book to my students (and any teen) in heartbeat.
Was this review helpful?
I really liked this one! The main character, J, is such a great guy. I like how close his family is. I really like how the book explores the different ways that people deal with grief. And that it takes time.
I liked all the characters and that many of them had a nice arc. I thought that some of the plot was a little too neat and not so realistic, but it was still enjoyable.
Was this review helpful?
Although the story's plot centered around a parental death, it was more of the process of grieving and coping in a positive way. It was sad at times, but the majority of the time, it was about healing and growing.
I really liked the writing style. The author kept a good pace with interesting things happening to keep the story moving. And the relationships between the characters were really well done so there were many times that you laugh - or at least smile.
I would definitely read more by this author.
Was this review helpful?
A truly heartfelt story with Jamison deciding to honor the loss of his mom by starting a website with photos he takes at 9:09,the time of her death. He never wants to be over his mom, who showed him Dorothea Lange’ photos. J felt his mom really got him and encouraged his love of photography.He wants others to see what “life as it really is” and “to see the deepest truth.” Jamison makes a new friend, Assi, who tells him his photography is different because of the way he looks at the world. Jamison finds “photos help me make more sense of the stuff that makes no sense.” At the end, Jamison wants to do something different with his site. Will it work? “…the best we can do is carry someone with us as we go through life.”
Was this review helpful?
Mark Parsons, a debut author, immerses the reader in a beautiful trip through grief and moving forward.  J, his sister Ollie, and his Dad are still processing the grief in their lives left by the death of J's mother of cancer.  As a tribute to his mother, J begins a street photography campaign called the 9:09 Project; 9:09 because at the exact moment of his mother's death, he watched as life continued on down on the street below.  As he makes his project public, he begins to see that his work can help move othes forwards and perhaps even help his own family.  A stunningly beautiful picture of grief through the eyes of a teenage boy.  Anyone who has lost someone will connect wiith Parson's words.
Was this review helpful?
I liked Jamison and his family. I liked the progression of dealing with their guilt. I thought the story was kind of slow though. I could tell which characters J was going to have interaction with but I felt like it took a while to get through the story. I liked the photography and how that shaped him and helped him deal with his grief. I liked the family dynamics also. I really did like this book and it's look into grief and dealing with loss. I liked the friendships and the relationships also. I just felt like the whole book moved kind of slowly. This was one I would read sections of and come back to, it wasn't one to really read all in one sitting. 

Thanks NetGalley and the Publisher for this ARC!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you, Delacorte Press, for allowing me to read The 9:09 Project early!

I requested this title only because of its premise, but I'm definitely happy I did request it. I really loved how the novel delves into grief and all its nuances, coping mechanisms, healing and the discovery of the self.
Was this review helpful?