Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review: The Mine

The Mine The Mine by John A. Heldt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

While on a post-college road trip with his best friend, Joel Smith stumbles into something that defies logic: an abandoned mine that transports him through time. When he steps out, he is in the 1940s with no discernible way to return. All he can do is find a way to make a new life with no cell phones, no modern amenities, and no one he knows or loves.

The Mine was a great read right off the bat because Joel was an excellent narrator. I love when authors can write teen/young adult boys realistically. There is an overwhelming amount of change in Joel's life, but he has a similar attitude to what I think I'd have, which is the constant thought of "there's no turning back, so I just have to move forward." He quickly throws himself into a new life, with new family and friends, and of course a new love interest--because come on, he's twenty-one!

All of the supporting characters were great, especially his sort of adoptive brother, Tom, and his girlfriend Ginny, who is a bad-ass feminist journalist with a surprising connection to Joel. There's a good balance of friendship drama and college partying with Joel's life drama and the impending Pearl Harbor tragedy that only Joel knows about, which leaves Joel to navigate the shady morality of the time travel he never meant to do.

Why the three stars? It's a personal opinion more than anything. Warning for the spoilers ahead, but for a tl;dr: I. Can't. Stand. Cheaters. Joel meets Grace knowing that she is engaged to someone who is on the other side of the country bettering himself. I can almost understand Joel's logic of this-girl-is-hot-so-I'm-going-for it. But Grace? She is a grade A bitch. I couldn't bring myself to like her for an instant after what she did. Even the ending left a bitter taste in my mouth. How could she be okay with what Joel did? Does she have no respect for herself, or is her moral compass just that out of whack?

All in all, I couldn't tell if the author was condoning the main relationship or if I was allowed to be justified in hating Grace. For an otherwise fun and engaging book, I was sad to have this main plot element leave such a bitter taste in my mouth. 3/5 stars, but that has more to do with my personal feelings than the writing of the book, which I would give 4/5 stars.

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