POVone: The First Person Perspective

Rants and Reviews on Novels Written in the First Person Point of View

Tag Archives: Children

Book Review: Love is Red by Sophie Jaff

Author: Sophie Jaff
Title: Love is Red
Genre: Suspense; Horror
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 384
Narrator: Katherine Emerson, The Sickle Man
Quality Rating: TBD

Love is Red by Sophie Jaff

What’s It About?

As the city of New York suffers from the fear of a relentless serial killer dubbed “The Sickle Man, Katherine begins a new relationship with pleasant and personable David. Her interest is rocked, however, when he introduces her to his best friend. The friend is sullen and aloof–everything David isn’t. And, still, Katherine finds herself drawn helplessly and erotically to this mysterious man.

Meanwhile, The Sickle Man strolls from victim to victim, recounting how he gains the trust of his prey just before slaying them and describing the peculiar way he sees the world. These victims are nothing to him, though. They are merely the build-up to the one who will fulfill his dark purpose. In the end, he will complete his sinister mission by taking the life of Katherine. It is, he believes, their destiny.

When The Sickle Man murders someone close to Katherine, she must fight for the one she has left. But, how can she protect him when her own life is in danger? If she is to escape the inhuman psychopath pursuing her, she may just have to lose some of her own humanity in the process.

Should You Read It?

It’s difficult to pin this book down to a particular kind–it’s fairly unique. First and foremost, it is a psychological thriller. The methods and descriptions of the serial killer are harsh and disturbing. There is also a trace of romance/erotica–with a few intense sex scenes and sexual imagery embedded throughout. Finally, and this really comes to fruition in the final chapters, there is a touch of the supernatural horror–complete with ghosts and dark prophecies. What really stands out about this novel, though, is the rich language of the serial killer. His metaphors are vibrant in texture, abundant in quantity, and utterly original. If you’re looking for a thriller written with a poetic flair, you should definitely give this a shot. If you’re sensitive to vulgar content, though, you may want to avoid it. This novel is intense.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Book Reviews: Kirkus Reviews, My Bookish Ways, Under My Apple Tree, Blog Critics

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By Sophie Jaff: Love is Red is Sophie Jaff’s debut novel.

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Book Review: Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

Author: Kimberly McCreight
Title: Where They Found Her
Genre: Literary; Suspense
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 336
Narrator: Molly Sanderson
Quality Rating: 84.2

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

What’s It About?

Molly Sanderson is a new reporter for a small newspaper in Ridgedale–a university town in which her husband has gotten a job as an English Professor. As she seeks recovery from a recent mental breakdown, she wants to make the best of the job in order to become a better mother again for her young daughter. When a lead reporter takes a few days’ leave for minor operation, she receives the opportunity to cover a major story. There’s just one problem: the story involves an investigation into the discovery of an infant’s dead body–and Molly’s recent bout of depression had stemmed from the miscarriage of her second child.

As Molly investigates the story, despite her misgivings, she stumbles across a large cast of characters from a police chief, an overbearing mother, and the “town whore” to a university president, a campus security guard, and a school teacher–all who may or may not be connected to the baby. As she digs further into the case, she discovers a dark history buried for decades by some of Ridgedale’s most long-term and well-respected residents. As the truth slowly begins to come to light, Molly herself is drawn into the story in unexpected and heartbreaking ways.

Should You Read It?

If you like the kind of psychological mystery that climatically brings a slew of disconnected characters together in a web of dark secrets, you’ll love this book. The story is heavily character-driven, with the inclusion of perspectives from several other characters in addition to Molly’s first person account. But the mystery surrounding the identity of the baby and its parents also gives the story a suspenseful momentum that readers of authors such as Gillian Flynn would enjoy. Essentially, if you love a mystery built around the secrets of rich, fleshed-out characters, you may want to give this story a shot.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Book Reviews: Kirkus Reviews, Books on the Table, Jen’s Book Thoughts

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By Kimberly McCreight: Reconstructing Amelia (2013)

Book Review: Aquarium by David Vann

Author: David Vann
Title: Aquarium
Genre: Literary
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (Grove/Atlantic)
Number of Pages: 272
Narrator: Caitlin Thompson
Amazon.com Reviewer Grade: C, Average; of the first 62 reviews, the average reader rating was 74.52%.

Aquarium by David Vann

What’s It About?

Caitlin is a twelve year old girl growing up in Seattle during the mid-1990s. Her mother–the only parent she has–frequently works late in order for them to eke out an existence together in a low rent apartment complex. Having nowhere else to go, Caitlin leaves school everyday and spends her afternoons at the local Aquarium watching the fish. One day, she meets an old man who also frequents the aquarium to watch the fish. Little by little, they begin to develop a friendship.

Caitlin’s mom has cut herself off from her family, and she never talks about her past. When she finds out that Caitlin has been talking to an old man, she jumps to the conclusion that the old man is a pervert and seeks to confront him. What she discovers, however, is that her past has come back to haunt her and the old man is no stranger–at least not in the way she thinks.

As Caitlin’s mother attempts to avoid dealing with her past, she reveals a hidden rage and becomes increasingly abusive with those around her–including her new boyfriend, her daughter’s friend from school, and even her own daughter. Caitlin must struggle with loving her mother in spite of the rage she exhibits, all the while seeking love herself from the others who are coming into her life as she grows older.

Should You Read It?

If you like stories about self-discovery, inner struggles, and broken family relationships, you’ll probably enjoy this book. The writing is rhythmic and poetic, while capturing the perspective of a child trying to understand the world of adults. Themes involve sexual exploration, coming of age, child abuse, forgiveness, and regret. If you’re into literary fiction that grapples with these issues, I’d look into this book. If you’re sensitive to the ideas of child abuse, child sexuality, or homosexuality, I would exercise caution–while not necessarily graphic, the scenes involving these issues can become fairly intense.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Wikipedia, Goodreads

Book Reviews: New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Chicago Tribune

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By David Mann: Goat Mountain (2013), Dirt (2012), Caribou Island (2011)