BOOK REVIEW: The Matchbook: A Short Story – Brent Jones

Hi everyone!

Today, I’m reviewing another story by Brent Jones. Go Home, Afton was great (read my review HERE), so when I signed up for Brent’s newsletter and recieved this short story, I was happy to dive right in and read.

The Matchbook: A Short Story

Corbyn Thurber, seventeen, meets the love of his life while passing through the small town of Wakefield—he just doesn’t know it at the time.

He returns years later in search of the woman he never forgot only to discover she has a dark secret. And tracking her down under the watch of judgmental locals is only half as antagonizing as his sense of self-doubt.

Told from the perspective of a man haunted by regret, this short story, from the author of Fender and The Fifteenth of June, masterfully considers the consequences of a life unexplored.


I love that this is told in first person, I spent half of my reading time hoping he would find his long, lost love, and the other half wondering how real this love could be after one, hour-long conversation. It really makes you wonder about Corbyn’s intentions – sometimes we remember events or people with such high esteem, only to find out later that those events/people weren’t as great as they were.

I think this story is really about Sapphire – real name, Stephanie – and what has happened in her life during the seven years after her encounter with Corbyn. I don’t really want to discuss it too much, because I don’t want to spoil this story for anyone, but her reactions in the past and present are something else to think about.


This is a powerful short story. I knew Brent Jones was an incredible writer after reading Go Home, Afton, but this short story blew me away. His ability to create tension and cause readers to ponder the questions presented, in such a small amount of words is brilliant. It’s the mark of a great story and a great writer, when a reader continues to think about a story, long after the last sentence is read.



Follow Brent Jones:
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Let me know if you decide to read The Matchbook, I think it would be a great one to discuss in more depth. 😊




21 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Matchbook: A Short Story – Brent Jones

      1. My favorites are fantasy and sci-fi, but I really like to branch out and read other genres. Since I’ve been home with this chronic pain issue, I’ve had a ton of time to read, so it’s been a lot of fun! August will be a great month! I have some Sarah J Maas I need to get to. I’m looking forward to your month of reading 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Baby, I am buzzed I am going to read Ella summers too her heroines are great with swords. Jessica I imagine myself (in my dreams and day dreams) that I am this great main character who is fabulous with her sword fighting and magic and these awesome powers and extremely sexy outfits. The earth quakes when I walk…
        Ah well so the dreams go…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, I will have to look into Ella Summers! I have similar dreams/day dreams. You’re not alone there! That’s why I read and write, so I can immerse myself in worlds that aren’t my reality. 😴


      4. I am! 😁 I’ve been working on it forever, but I have no excuses now, so I will definitely be getting it out soon. You know I’ll be contacting you for a tour. ❤


      1. That’s very kind of you to say.

        I unfortunately don’t end up commenting on every blog to post about one of my books, but if a reader takes the time to publish a thoughtful review, I’ll make time to express my gratitude. Building an audience of readers is the hardest part of being an indie author, so I don’t ever want to take someone’s review of my work for granted. Especially if it’s a positive review.

        I hope you’ll consider checking out my newest, Go Home, Afton. It’s only 99 cents everywhere eBooks are sold. The Matchbook, which Jessica reviewed here, is free in exchange for subscribing to my email newsletter. And An Honest Day’s Work, another short story of mine, is free everywhere eBooks are sold.

        Thanks for the praise, and if we’re not already connected, let’s follow each other on social media.

        Best wishes,


        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Jessica,

    Thanks so much for reading and reviewing The Matchbook.

    Whenever I set out to write a short story, I ask myself, “What do I want the reader to take away from this?” And your review pretty much sums it up. Things aren’t always as good as we remember them, and most of us believe our intentions are more pure than they really are.

    I appreciate the praise. You’re going to give me a big head, Jessica!

    In the meantime, I published a post on my blog highlighting some “Easter eggs” I included in Go Home, Afton. Not sure if you caught it, but in chapter twelve, there are obvious references made to The Matchbook.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Brent,

      You’re so welcome. I’m glad my I took away what you were hoping I would from the story. I sat down to read it last night, and I’ve been thinking about it since. It made me think about my own past. Really, this story is incredible.

      You deserve the praise, Brent! 😊

      I did see the “Easter Egg Post” go up – I’m headed there to read it now. I think I missed the reference to The Matchbook, so now that I’ve read it, I’m excited to see what it was.

      Thanks, as always for stopping by.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, that’s the thing about Easter eggs, isn’t it? I can’t make them too obvious, or it takes all the fun out of it. I try to overlap my fiction a little bit whenever I can, just as a small bonus for those who have read more than one title of mine.

        Thanks for the continued support. Don’t think I don’t see all the likes and retweets you’ve been sending my way. —Brent

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Very true! Now I’m going to have to read your other work and re-read Go Home, Afton. Not complaining though. 😁

        You’re very welcome. I’m so glad I signed up for the tour for Go Home, Afton and discovered your work. I’m glad to help promote anyway I can.


        Liked by 1 person

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