by Del Shannon
Publisher: Flatiron View Books (Self-Published) (October 2010)
Genre: YA/Middle-Grade Fantasy/Adventure
Pages: 400 (paperback)
Source: Author Review Request
Purchase at: Amazon / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
To escape the emotional turmoil of his father’s death 12-year-old Kevin Tobin has retreated inside himself, developing his imagination into a dangerous foil and a powerful ally. While he antagonizes everyone with his superhero antics, his ability to escape inside himself becomes critical to his survival after his life is once-again turned upside down a year after his father’s death.
When a mysterious package arrives in the mail, Kevin and his best friend are hunted by a ruthless villain who is determined to retrieve the package, which holds the key to his plans for world domination. After enlisting Kevin’s teenage sister and her pizza-delivery boyfriend in a battle for control over time itself, the group escapes into the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado and eventually discover that Kevin’s entire existence is because of the love of someone we never expected.
Kevin’s Point of View is Del Shannon’s debut novel and shows a deep appreciation for the powers of imagination, family ties, and the desire of young boys to both escape reality and prove themselves within it. The fast-paced, adventure-filled storytelling style makes this a book with wide appeal for readers of all ages.
Kevin’s Point of View is not my typical read. But when Shannon contacted me to review his book, he presented it in such a way that I had to know what this book was about. And I can honestly tell you I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this book. It has non-stop action, a great protagonist that you continuously cheer for, and a seriously evil bad guy that you can’t help but yell out “Why won’t you die?” every time he shows up to once again wreak havoc.
I was surprised how heartfelt some of this book was. Kevin has not been the same since his father died. The only way he can deal with the pain of his father’s death is to retreat into a fantasy world where he has complete control of his surroundings and actions. A place where no emotions and real-world problems can find him. Surprisingly, Kevin’s creative imagination becomes vital when Devin, the bad guy, stops at nothing to retrieve his Influxitron. The very item that was mailed to Kevin by mistake. Through the help of his family and friends, Kevin escapes Devin’s reach time and time, but this frightening chase of cat and mouse is not simply a scary adventure. The Influxitron, the very thing Devin is after, has the power to change the future in a catastrophic way.
Kevin made this book. I literally cried from laughing so hard in just the first few chapters. Kevin’s antics as Captain Disaster was down-right hilarious. How he created a fantastical world in his head and related it to the real world was pure genius. If for no other reason, I had to keep reading this book just to see what shenanigans Kevin got himself into next. And his friend Tony is the perfect contrast to Kevin. Tony is a realist, he can’t hide from reality as Kevin so easily does. And so Tony is the constant worrier, though I can’t blame him. If I had Devin and his lackeys trying to chase me down and kill me, I’d be freaking out like crazy. I think Tony’s fear is what helps Kevin take charge of every situation. He has to be the brave one if they both want to get out of this situation alive.
I loved the fact that Betsy, Kevin’s sister, and her boyfriend, Scratch, were caught up in the mix. Scratch, the pizza delivery boy, really made me smile every time he showed up. He had a way of making light of a dire situation to the point that I was in hysterics, even when the bad guys were winning. Scratch was the much needed comedic relief that helped me get through this book, even when I was tense with anxiety (which was all the time).
Devin is the perfect devious bad guy. I truly hated him from the start and wanted bad, bad things to happen to him. There is no redemption when it comes to Devin.
Shannon has somehow weaved together an adventurous and mysterious plot with a mosaic cast of characters that when brought together produces reader gold. How he could amp up the action with every turn of the page is beyond me. Reading this book is like being on a constant adrenaline high. And even through all the action and suspense, Shannon found a way to evoke emotions that even the most cold-hearted person could not deny.
And the ending. Can anyone say ‘wow’? The conclusion of this nerve-wracking tale is nothing short of brilliant. How everything was wrapped up and explained had me walking away satisfied.
Halfway through the book, when we have not only Kevin and Tony running for their lives, but Pudge, Betsy, and Scratch, too, I felt Kevin was put on the back burner. He was the character I came to love from the get-go so I wish the focus stayed on him throughout the novel.
Pudge was a little childish for me, especially since he was suppose to be an adult.
This is a very clean book. Great for schools to carry.
I have to applaud Shannon on a job well done. I truly enjoyed reading Kevin’s Point of View. I am so happy I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and read a book unlike my usual genres. And I want to thank Shannon for sending me a signed copy of his book. This was an expertly and cleverly written story that caught my interest and never let go.
“What on earth possessed you to jump out the bathroom window without clothes on, Kevin?” she asked in her ‘my-life-is-too-hard’ voice. “What will our neighbors think? I’ll tell you what they’ll think. They’ll think I let my children run around naked in the backyard before school because I’m two sandwiches short of a picnic. Then they’ll cart me off to the asylum, which might not be that bad, because then I may actually get some time to myself.”
“Have you ever noticed that the way you puke is unique?” Kevin offered after Tony’s last gag.
“What?” Tony asked, not really believing Kevin would be asking such a stupid question right now.
“Well, you’ve been puking for the last few minutes and I couldn’t help but notice that the way you hurl is kind of unique,” Kevin continued. “It’s your own personal thing. Like the way you write, or the way you walk. You can’t hide the way you puke because it’s the way you are.”
I haven’t heard of this book but it sounds really intriguing. Glad you enjoyed it, Jennifer! Awesome review! 🙂
Celine @ Forget-me-not
Jennifer L. Bielman
Thanks Celine. 🙂
Shanan, The Book Addict
Did the book have illustrations in it (in the style of Diary of a Wimpy Kid is what I was thinking)? I thought it may when I saw the cover, but then maybe not when I read through your review.
Thanks for telling me about this one–it looks like a lot of fun.
Jennifer L. Bielman
That is a very good question. No, it does not have illustrations. Though it does have little doodles for every chapter page. But no illustrations.
Shanan, The Book Addict
Thank you for stopping by and for answering my question. 🙂
Ok, so NOT what I was expecting. It’s not what you normally review, but this sounds really fun… And kind of bittersweet. A bit like Diary of a Wimpy Kid with a bit more action? So glad you enjoyed it! Xx
Jennifer L. Bielman
I know, I was only going to post my review on goodreads and amazon, but after reading this book, I had to let my readers know how interesting this book was. It is kinda like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid but a lot more scarier and so much more action. Great for kids in their early teens for sure. Many schools are actaully starting to carry it in their libraries.