Monday, February 7, 2011

Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon

Title: Kevin’s Point of View
Author: Del Shannon
Series: ???
Release Date: Oct. 26, 2010
Pages: 400 (paperback)
Obtained from: Author in exchange for an honest review (Thanks Del!)

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. –Goodreads


Kevin's Point of View was a strange book. Yes, a strange--but humorous--book that grabbed my attention right from page one. Shannon did a wonderful job capturing the personality and imagination of a twelve-year-old, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching Kevin's mind switch from reality to role-playing mode as he battled the bad guys throughout this story. Watching him escape his troubles by retreating into his imagination took me back to my own days as a twelve-year-old, playing Pretend on the playground with my friends...except that when we did it, our lives weren't in danger. (We liked to pretend that we were Pokémon trainers training to defeat the Elite Four.) It was cool to see that whenever Kevin started to play pretend, he managed to find the courage to face whatever danger lay before him. Eccentric characters are always fun to read about, but they're even better when they use their unusual quirks to accomplish great feats. It's the kind of thing you hope to admire in a person, fictional or not. And boy, it's a good thing that Kevin had a way to handle all of the crazy that was buzzing about him, because Kevin's Point of View was one of those stories that just continued to get more and more outrageous as the plot went on--like each chapter was trying to outdo itself. It was just a roller coaster of crazy event after crazy event, and it was hard to stop myself from yelling things like, "WHY WON'T YOU DIE?!" at the book when the bad guys managed to show up yet again after falling off of a train or getting crushed by an avalanche. It was actually, really, really funny. The only beef I had with Kevin's Point of View was that even though the book begins with Kevin as the main character, towards the end it splits and becomes more about the group of characters that Kevin hooks up with. This wasn't a big deal since each character contributed to the ending in his or her own way, but since I grew so attached to Kevin's imagination in the first half of the book I wanted to see him use more of it to be the hero in the end.

In a way, the style of this story reminded me of The 39 Clues series, both in tone and structure. The sci-fi element in this book is light and fairly easy to understand, even though some sequences of events were confusing. However, Shannon manages to pull it all together at the end with a well-constructed plot twist. The fast-paced, cliffhanger like chapters will encourage even the most reluctant readers to keep reading, and the bizarre events will have everyone laughing about something. All-in-all, Kevin's Point of View was just plain old, good clean fun with something new on every page. A goofy read for all ages!