In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.
Song For This Book: Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Why? A romantic song for a romantic story. Plus, I think that the ages mentioned in the song fit well with the whole time travelling experience bit.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Joel Smith is a university student out on a trip with his friend before having to return back to school for graduation. They pass by an abandoned mine, and Joel decides to check it out, because who wouldn’t want to randomly wander into a dark, creepy mine? When he walks out of the mine, he finds himself in 1941 with no way to get back.
I’ve read a fair few self-published books, and this one definitely stands out. How often do you come across a well-edited, well-written, well put together book that was self-published? In my experience, not often. But this book is so well put together that I probably wouldn’t have even realized it was self-published unless I had looked into it.
That being said, this book wasn’t really my style. I enjoyed it well enough, but romantic stories have never really been my thing. So take my points how you will, but let’s get into this in a little more detail though, shall we?
The Good Points of The Mine:
As mentioned above, this book is well written and the editing is gorgeous. All self-published books should be held to this standard.
As far as romances go, this one was good. It’s sweet and enjoyable, and the whole thing feels very natural. If you’re into romances, you’ll probably really like this one.
There are few books where you get an ending this satisfying. Everything comes together and gets resolved by the end of the book, leaving you pleased with the whole experience and not wanting for anything more. I can’t remember the last time I was this happy with the ending of a book.
The Downsides of The Mine:
Have you ever been told a story by a friend of the person who actually witnessed the events? That’s kind of how this book felt. While the writing was spectacular, I wasn’t able to connect with it. The writing felt a bit removed from the story, if that makes any sense.
The characters all felt a little flat. Joel is easy going, charismatic, likes rocks and history. Grace is sweet, likes books, and is engaged. Ginny is determined, perceptive, aims to be a journalist. But I honestly don’t know much more about them. They don’t really have flaws, and they’re not particularly well rounded. It works for the story, but it would have been nice if there was more to them.
Joel adapts way too well to time travelling. It’s all way too easy. He shows up in 1941, realizes that he can’t get back, and just settles in. If I were stuck decades before my time, I would be freaking out, not gambling and hoping trains and such. I know this is fiction, but it didn’t seem like how the average person would react.
I think this book would have benefitted from a bit more conflict. Everything’s easy and smooth in this book, with the only major conflict being the war and Grace’s engagement. And those are pretty minor. Though perhaps my own preference, some more conflict would have made this book much more interesting.
All in all, this book isn’t bad. Not being of the romantic variety, it wasn’t really my style. But if you generally enjoy romance stories, you’ll probably really like this one as well. It’s incredibly well written though, and should set the new standard for how self-published books should be done.