POVone: The First Person Perspective

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

Tag Archives: Dreams

Book Review: Minor King by Jim Mitchem

Author: Jim Mitchem
Title: Minor King
Genre: General Fiction
Publication Date: December 14, 2014
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Number of Pages: 200
Narrator: Jim Christianson

Minor King by Jim Mitchem

What’s It About?

Jim Christianson has everything he ever wanted. Having risen from a dark and broken past, he now has a beautiful wife, two great kids, and a job that many would envy. Finally, he has joined the ranks of the elite. Hovering between the world of the middle class and the wealthy, though, he begins to wonder if this is the life he really wanted after all.

Jim is a writer. He works for a start-up and, with his slick marketing copy and branding expertise, the company has taken off in just a few years. Despite his unquestionable importance to the organization, Jim begins to feel increasingly undervalued by his boss–the founder and CEO. Moreover, he is tired of using his gift to feed the corporate machine and wants to write something that matters.

When Jim’s child is mistreated by the entitled child of a rich neighbor, something in him snaps. In a moment of righteous indignation, he publishes a lengthy and incendiary blog post about the wealthy elite. When the rant goes viral and catches the attention of his boss, Jim must move quickly to salvage what he can from a rapidly deteriorating situation.

Should You Read It?

If you’re interested in the kind of story that centers around a man searching for identity and purpose in a world that is foreign to him, you might enjoy this work. It is marketed as a thriller and, while there is some suspenseful build up to an explosive climax, I would consider it more literary in nature. There is much more reflection, introspection, and dialogue than there is action. Prevalent themes include wealth, family, purpose, and the American Dream. If you find these ideas appealing or interesting, you may want to give this novel a shot.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Note: This novel was published in December of 2014. My rule is to only review books published from 2015 on, but I had already read it and decided to review it before I realized when it was published. And this is my blog. I make the rules; I can break the rules. So, deal with it.

Book Review: The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

Author: Cynthia Swanson
Title: The Bookseller
Genre: Literary
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 352
Narrator: Kitty Miller
Amazon.com Reviewer Grade: B, Very Good; of the first 119 reviews, the average reader rating was 86.22%.

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

What’s It About?

Kitty Miller is a thirty-something year old bookseller from the 1950s working in a small Denver bookshop she owns with her best friend. As business starts to slow and the success of the bookstore is threatened, she begins having vivid dreams about another life–the life she would be living eight years in the future had she taken a different path.

In this other life, she is married to her dream guy and she has three children. She’s a family woman. Every night, when she goes to sleep, she enters into this dream life. When she wakes up, she’s back in the real world.

At first, everything seems perfect about her dream life–like it’s everything she ever wanted. As time goes by, though, she realizes that some things are missing from her dream life that would make it the perfect world. Soon, the dream even becomes somewhat of a nightmare.

As her dreams become more vivid, Kitty finds it increasingly more difficult to determine what’s real. She knows her brain is inventing one of her worlds, but which one? And why is she caught between these worlds?

Should You Read It?

This story is built around a psychological mystery with a touch of magical realism. While set in the 1950s and 1960s, the writing style, characterization, and dialogue are more or less contemporary. The theme involves the difficulty in coping with tragic circumstances and coming to terms with the way life works out. At its heart, The Bookseller is literary work dealing with the central character’s regrets and repressed memories, but the mystery through which these concepts are revealed to the reader make it an engaging read.

Links and References

Author Information: Integrity Modern (Author Website), Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Denver Post Interview

Book Reviews: Kirkus Reviews, My Novel Opinion

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By Cynthia Swanson: The Bookseller is Cynthia Swanson’s debut novel.

Book Review: Little Black Lies by Sandra Block

Author: Sandra Block
Title: Little Black Lies
Genre: Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Mystery
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
Publisher: Grand Central (Hachette)
Number of Pages: 352
Narrator: Zoe Goldman
Amazon.com Reviewer Grade: B, Very Good; of the first 50 reviews, the average reader rating was 85.6%.

Little Black Lies by Sandra Block

What’s It About?

Zoe Goldman, a young psychiatrist newly relocated to her hometown of Buffalo, New York, has started having the dreams again. She is a small child, cowering in a corner with blood on her hands. She smells something burning, hears an eerie whirring noise, and someone is calling her name…

Zoe knows the recurring dream is part nightmare and part memory. She has been told by her adoptive mother (who now has dementia) that her real mother died in a fire when she was really young. When she has the dream, she reasons, she’s remembering fragments of that incident. But she can’t shake the feeling that there is more to the dream than what her mind is letting her remember. So, she works with her own psychiatrist to try and figure it out.

Meanwhile, she resumes her work at the mental hospital engaging in everyday dialogue with her colleagues and assisting a number of patients. One new patient in particular, Sofia Vallano, really draws Zoe in. She can’t help but think there’s something more to Sofia, but she can’t put her finger on it. But, whatever it is, it makes her uncomfortable.

As Zoe digs deeper to uncover the meaning of her dream and understand the truth about her birth mother, she discovers the reality of her past and why her mind has kept it hidden for so long. She may not be who she thinks she is.

Should You Read It?

If you enjoy a good psychological thriller, you will love this book. The story doesn’t have a great deal of action; most of the plot revolves around Zoe trying to figure out her dream. But there are plenty of twists and turns–plenty of mystery and intrigue that build up to a dramatic conclusion.. There is also a great deal of dialogue. While Zoe’s internal state is troubled and dismal at times, the conversations she has with her colleagues and adoptive family are light and witty. The tone keeps your emotions on edge, oscillating beautifully between comic and eerie.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Facebook, Twitter

Book Reviews: Publishers Weekly, Examiner, The Big Thrill

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com