Tag Archives: time travel

Book Review: Waking in Time by Angie Stanton

Published March 1st 2017 by Curious Fox Books.

27919161Goodreads Synopsis: Still mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother and shaken by her mysterious, dying request to “find the baby,” Abbi has just arrived at UW Madison for her freshman year. But on her second day, she wakes up to a different world: 1983. That is just the first stop on Abbi’s journey backward through time. Will is a charming college freshman from 1927 who travels forward through time. When Abbi and Will meet in the middle, love adds another complication to their lives. Communicating across time through a buried time capsule, they try to decode the mystery of their travel, find the lost baby, and plead with their champion, a kindly physics professor, to help them find each other again … even though the professor gets younger each time Abbi meets him. This page-turning story full of romance, twists, and delightful details about campus life then and now will stay with readers long after the book’s satisfying end.


My Review: Being a massive Doctor Who fan, I love anything time-travel based, but I read sadly little of this kind of thing. So when this arrived, I was super excited about it! Waking in Time has such an intriguing premise, and a beautiful cover to match.

I really did adore the concept for the book – Abbi, the protagonist, moves into college whilst still grieving for her grandmother. After falling asleep in her dorm bed, she wakes in the wrong year. And it keeps happening – but are the dates she’s travelling to connected, and why is she the one travelling?

It’s a brilliant idea, and executed pretty well. I really enjoyed how Stanton sets up each new decade Abbi appears in, with all of the cultural references and the changes in settings. I loved envisioning it. The story unfolds really cleverly, as Abbi’s time travel is linked to a huge event that ties lots of aspects of her life together. I felt her frustration as travelling backwards, where the people she knows know less about the story, whilst she’s starting the piece together the mystery – and was really eager to see how the mystery unfolded. It was such a strange ending, one I definitely didn’t see coming!

As with every time travel story, there are inevitably some strange things that don’t quite add up, and some things that seemed a little too convenient. But the main thing I couldn’t really get on with in this book was the love story, between Abbi and Will – without giving anything away, he’s the other time traveller she encounters. They’re travelling in opposite directions, but are in love, and I just… nope. No thanks. I didn’t really understand it, and the romance seemed a little forced and it didn’t have a clear connection to the rest of the plot. The two characters become infatuated with one another within a few meetings, and I just didn’t understand why!

However, I didn’t have a problem with the protagonist, and I adored how the story is strongly centred around her grandma – the plot plays out really cleverly. It’s so hard to talk about without spoiling it, so I’ll just say that it’s really intricate and in-depth, which I loved.

Overall, Waking in Time is certainly a must if you’re into complex mysteries. It certainly wasn’t what I’d expected. To me, some events seemed a little too convenient or forced, but then again – the book plays with the idea of fate and history, so I guess it’s quite cleverly done! It’s certainly a fun read you can become completely absorbed in.


My Rating:

three

I received a copy of Waking in Time from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

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Review-Graphic: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

A little while ago, I was sent A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU for review from Harper360. I was really excited about reading it, after hearing lots about it on American book blogs! I have to admit, I did pick up the book largely because of the very beautiful cover (don’t judge a book by its cover, ehh, I know…) But luckily, I was not disappointed. Claudia Gray’s new title is absolutely stunning and captivating – with a truly brilliant and misleading plot that I can’t wait to see continued.

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I received a copy of A Thousand Pieces of You from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts. 

Mini Reviews: All Our Yesterdays and Doll Bones

I’m very behind on netgalley reviews- eek! I’ve decided to catch up on Netgalley titles I’ve forgotten to review, in my mini reviews posts, which may start getting more frequent! Here are two really different books! One covers time travel and sci-fi in a mind-blowing concept; the other an eerie quest to search for answers about a doll that may or may not be entirely made of bones. *ducks behind couch*

All Our YesterdaysALL OUR YESTERDAYS (By Cristin Terrill, published by Bloomsbury)

All Our Yesterdays was, quite simply, mind blowing. The concept was really original and a one-of-a-kind, fresh take on a time travel novel. I was really scared that I’d not like this, maybe because I’d find it too confusing, and I was really afraid I’d be the first of many readers, not to like this. Ah, I was too worried. This book was awesome! I delved into it knowing only that it involved a lot of time travel and action and drama. I was definitely right there. There was never a dull moment in this book: Right from the beginning, when Em finds a note from a version of herself in a different time, telling her she has to kill her best friend if she wants to save the world. I was a little bit confused as to why Em loved Marina so much as first, as I thought she didn’t know her, but then some extremely clever connections were made. *spoiler alert!!!* Marina is Em’s past self. *spoiler over!!!* That was just really clever, and I’ve honestly never seen a  plot twist like it in a book before. Whilst the ending was quite a bit too fast paced for me, I really did love the ending. It’s the kind of last chapter that you have to read over and over again- not because you didn’t understand it, but because it was just so unpredictable and genius that it’s hard to get over it. Just… ahh! Amazing, amazing book. Go find a copy, now!

Doll BonesDOLL BONES (by Holly Black, published by Random House) 

Doll Bones was such a fun, and relatively quick, read, that I’d really recommend to kids and teens alike! Holly Black is an absolutely brilliant author, though before this I’d only read her writing in the Spiderwick Chronicles. I was really glad that I got an ecopy of this book! It wasn’t exactly the story that I’d expected. It turned out differently than I’d guessed it would, but it really was a fun read. Three best friends, Zach, Poppy, and Alice, are whisked away on an adventure to bury a doll to put its spirit (the ghost of the girl its bones were made of) to rest. The whole thing was hugely eerie, and even though it was targeted at quite a young audience, it definitely sent shivers up my spine at some points! The other side to the story was quite unexpected. Really, if you stripped away the horror story and the ghostly aspects, the story was about growing up. Zach’s dad threw his toys away, saying he should stop playing with dolls, and that’s really what sparked their whole expedition. I really liked that aspect of the story, because it was quite emotional, too, seeing how Zach would cope with that on the side of their mystery. The characters were relatable, and the story was well structured, haunting and mysterious… what’s not to love about this?

My Ratings: 

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To All Our Yesterdays

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To Doll Bones (This seems like a low rating… but check out my rating system page and it’s really not! :))

I received both of these titles from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

 

After Eden

By Helen Douglas, published by Bloomsbury.

After Eden (After Eden, #1)Goodreads synopsis: Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she’s hooked. On the face of it, he’s a typical American teenager. So why doesn’t he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn’t heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he’s taking in her.
As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan’s bedroom – a biography of her best friend – written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose … and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.

My Review: After Eden just blew me away! I’ve been wanting to read this for a while, as I’ve seen the (vibrant and gorgeous!) cover popping up all around the blogosphere. Why were so many people eagerly anticipating this book?

After reading it, I definitely knew why. After Eden was absolutely amazing.

It all began as a bit of a typical, high school set book: our protagonist a typical girl, not too popular, but not an outcast, and the mysterious new American boy. I quite enjoyed seeing Eden start to figure out everything: as she is drawn closer to Ryan whilst finding out some strange things about him (like how can he not know who Hitler was?!). As well as the whole time-travel thing (watch out. In a little while I will be going into a full on rant about that.), there was also this subplot, which was a tiny bit predictable but still very enjoyable: Eden’s best friend is in love with her, and this is all slowly revealed and really shakes things up. The plot was really well structured: there was a great build up to Eden’s discovery, with her playing the detective. And then, it was well paced, with drama and a developing relationship that made a plan at the ending come together. It was all really clever, with some great plot twists and shocks!

Eden was a really brilliant protagonist. I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like her or not at the beginning, but I grew to really love her. she developed really well throughout the events of the book, too, which was great! I found her to be a really strong heroine- although it was a bit strange that she just accepted that Ryan was from the future, I loved how she was so willing to help him, putting aside any shock or screams and helping to save the future of Earth. A lot of pressure, right? Than there was also her relationship with Ryan. I loved that aspect of the book! It made for a really tragic love story- because he would have to return to the future, maybe meet her great grand children, and never see her again. It was heartbreaking to even imagine poor Eden being left behind in his past, to be replaced by her future generations. However, there was a brilliant outcome to their love story, which I absolutely adored! The ending really showed how caring and loveable Ryan was. The author has portrayed him as the typical YA heartthrob, though he seems so much different from your Jace or Tobias (not that they’re not awesome!). I really understood him, even though I think the focus was intended for Eden’s feeling. Team Ryan!! I also really loved the story behind his name: there are a few future-people in this book who are named after constellations. Ryan changed to Ryan when he went back in time. His real name is so clever!

*this paragraph will contain spoilers!*

Okay, rant time. As a proud Whovian (Doctor Who fan, for those of you who are unfamiliar), I cannot help but notice the extreme flaws in the whole scientific aspect of this book. This part may be a little spoilerish if I get carried away. t will also likely be incredibly confusing. Apologies in advance! So, if Ryan was to use the help of Eden to save the Earth by stopping somebody she knows from discovering something that will affect the future, if Ryan goes back into the future, shouldn’t he have forgotten her? Because everything would have been repaired and so there would never have been a problem in the future and so he would never had gone back in time so there would be a nine month long empty gap in his life. Wouldn’t this then cause a paradox that could disrupt the continuity of space and time? How could he then have traveled back to see Eden again? Because his meeting her would be non-existent, so how could he have known her to go back and see her? My inner science nerd got so annoyed at this! So if you are reading this book very carefully and noting the scientific aspects, you will probably notice this.

Overall, though, and aside from the whole time travel thing, After Eden was just so amazing. I loved the whole idea for it, it was so imaginative! Eden was a really great character, and it was so interesting to read about how she discovers what happens in the future. It’s also really genius how it all links to her, especially her name. Ryan was a character that it was quite hard not to fall in love with. Jace Wayland, watch out! The plot was really engaging, and rich with detailed imagery that made the story really spring to life. Helen Douglas is an amazing author… I really can’t wait to read her next book!

My Rating:

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I received a copy of After Eden from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

Tempest

By Julie Cross, published by Macmillan

“Time will tear them apart…”

It’s 2009, and Jackson has a secret- he can jump back in time and relive moments in his past, and only he and his geeky friend know. Jackson has a girlfriend, the beautiful, blonde hair and blue eyed Holly, and he would do anything for her. When two mysterious men burst in on Jackson and Holly and Holly is shot, Jackson immediately jumps back in time, determined to undo it all. But, when he’s catapulted back, he ends up in 2007. after many tries, Jackson realises that he is stuck, two years from Holly being shot, and can only jump further backwards. Can he work out how to save Holly, whilst he digs up a terrifying truth about his father?

This book was good, but not exactly brilliant. The plot was an original, clever idea, and I really enjoyed it- it was a bit like groundhog day and was fun to read. However, the beginning of the book was so confusing- one minute they were in one place, the next minute Jackson was years in the past- the time travel was pretty hard to grip at first, but I came to understand it after a while. Another thing I disliked was that towards the end, the whole story was taken over with the ‘Tempest’ Time Travel Agency, and I think the whole ‘save Holly’ thing was kind of dropped. 

Bad stuff aside… The character of Jackson was a real adventurous one, and he had a well developed personality and background. I liked the character of Holly, too, but I wish it would have gone more in depth to her background because I didn’t really get to know anything about her except for the fact that she had an overprotective mother. 

Overall, I quite enjoyed Tempest. It was thrilling, with some cool plot twists and I liked the romance side of things, too- how Jackson kept falling in love with a past versions of his girlfriend Holly – it was a real twist on a teenage love story. It’s great for sci-fi fans!

Back to BlackBrick

By Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, published by Orion

Back to Blackbrick

“Just because you can’t see someone anymore doesn’t mean that they’re not a part of you…”

Cosmo is a boy in a complicated family- his brother, Brian, died at the age of ten, his mother has moved to Sydney for ‘business’, and now Cosmo lives with his Granny Deedee and Granddad Kevin. But Granddad seems to be losing his memory, and although Cosmo denies it, he knows he has Alzheimer’s Disease and there isn’t much time left before his Grandfather is moved to a special home.

When Cosmo says his goodbyes to his Granddad before moving to his Uncle’s home, his Grandfather gives him a key- a key to a strange place called BlackBrick Abbey. Out of curiosity,  brave young Cosmo takes the key and heads to the Abbey- but as he steps through the gates, he finds himself transported to his Granddad’s teenage past. He’ll discover hidden, dark secrets and lies, and some very special- and also evil– people…

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would! The book pulled me in straight from the beginning, and kept me reading; I ended up ploughing through this in about a day. The main plot of the Grandfather’s Alzheimer’s made this book a really emotional roller-coaster; and I got a real insight to a family torn apart by its effects. The authors’ father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, as it says in the Authors Note, and that made the story all too real, and devastating.

As well as the emotional side, there is also an imaginative, fantastical twist which I really wasn’t expecting. Cosmo stepped through some kind of portal to about seventy years ago, and played a huge part in the teenage lives of his grandmother, grandfather, and his grandfathers’ first love. The story was really well told, with a serious time-paradox-twist but it wasn’t too confusing thanks to the fantastic, consistent narration! The ending… well… lets just say it brought a tear to my eye. Or two.

My only problem with the book is that it was, even at 230 pages, too short for me (although that was probably because I became really emotionally attached to these characters, and didn’t want to let them go)!  Overall, I think this is one of the most stunning debuts I have read so far, from an author to keep an eye on. I’m sure we’ll hear some more great titles coming from Fitzgerald!