Saturday, February 18, 2012

Review: Kevin's Point of View (now known as Captain Disaster)

Kevin's Point of View

Author: Del Shannon
Pages: 402
Publisher: Flatiron View Books
Source: Review Copy- Thank you!
Synopsis: Kevin Tobin is a relatively ordinary 12-year-old dealing with the aftermath of his father's death in a mountain biking accident near their home in Boulder, Colorado. To escape from his emotional turmoil, Kevin has developed his imagination into a dangerous foil and a powerful ally. While he antagonizes his sister through his superhero antics on an average Wednesday morning, his ability to escape inside a character's head become critical to his survival after his life is once-again turned upside down a year after his father's death. A mysterious package arrives in the mail, Kevin and his best friend are hunted down by a ruthless villain set upon world domination, and after enlisting Kevin's teenage sister and her pizza-delivery boyfriend in a battle for control over time itself, the secret of Kevin's whole existence is revealed to him by a source we never expected. Del Shannon's imaginative story, appreciation for the powers of family and the desire of young boys to both escape reality and prove themselves within it, and fast-paced, adventure-filled storytelling style make this a book with wide appeal for readers of all ages.

Buy the Book (The Book Depository/Amazon)

Kevin's Point of View was a really imaginative read unlike anything I've read in a long time. Unfortunately, I didn't really feel like I was the right audience for the book and because of that it didn't work for me. However, I think this is just the read a bunch of younger boys I know of would enjoy, and I'll pass it along to them.

Kevin's Point of View is about a normal 12 year old boy with a heck of an imagination. Ever since his dad died, Kevin can retreat his mind to somewhere else if he doesn't like what's happening in the present. It's hard to explain, except that Kevin gets into a lot of trouble for it. Whenever Kevin isn't being, well, Kevin, the writing was italicized and I enjoyed watching how Del Shannon connected Kevin's imagination with real life. You really start to feel for Kevin. Under his annoying, 12 year old boy exterior, he's just another kid that misses his dad.

Some of my favorite part is when Kevin and Tony, Kevin's best friend and side kick, would talk about things they don't know. They'd mix up words and they were probably uncertain a lot but they had that arrogance that kids have and they'd go around thinking they're right. It was something I'd do all the time when I was younger so I could relate to it and I thought it was realistically done. Except, sometimes Kevin seemed really smart for his age and other times very immature. Like he uses words like "inherent" but doesn't know hypothermia? That puzzles me, but I guess since I'm Canadian we hear more about hypothermia than Kevin who lives in Colorado does!

The plot is really fast paced and fun. The Influxitron is a device that looks like a remote control but is really a time traveling machine. Something is always happening in this book, which I appreciate and I know other kids will too.

The presentation of this book is incredible. It looks professional, the cover had my little sister laughing and wanting to read the book even though she doesn't know how to read yet. The doodles inside the book were cute and I loved trying to guess how relevant they were to the chapter. Also, since each chapter was separated by a chapter page and sometimes a blank page or two, this book is perfect to read in small doses which is what younger readers will probably do. The book itself is long at about 400 pages but it's formatted and written in a way that makes it feel much shorter.

There was a lot of good to this book and I definitely recommend it. Even if I couldn't get into the story because it wasn't really the kind I like (some parts fell into place much too easily, some characters felt way overdone and lacking depth) I can see how others probably will enjoy it. Especially if you're a boy around 8 and up. 3 stars,


EDIT: It's been months later and Kevin's Point of View has changed names and will be published as Captain Disaster. As I don't know the extent of the differences between the two (since there was some editing and revision done) I've decided to keep my review above and refer it to Kevin's Point of View. 

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