by Tamara Ireland Stone
Expected publication date: October 9, 2012
by Hyperion Books
Source: ARC from BEA (Book Expo America.) Read my review policy/disclosure here.
My summary: Anna lives in Chicago in 1995. She's drawn to Bennett, the new kid in school, who frustrates her with his erratic behavior, then finally tells her a secret: he's from the future. He's traveled into the past, trying to solve a mystery, when he falls in love with Anna. With almost two decades of time and half a continent between them, can the two of them ever find happiness?
My take: I've said it here before on the blog, and I'll say it again. I always think that time travel books are going to make my head explode. It's the same problem I have with sci-fi and fantasy. I'm using so much brainpower to try to make sense of all the stuff that's going on, I can't really relax and lose myself in the story.
Thankfully, Time Between Us tries to make the time travel rules as simple as possible. Bennett has a special time travel ability that runs in his family. He is only able to travel within his lifetime. He has a personal policy not to change the course of events too drastically. (Except one time when Anna begs him to help her undo something that happened, and he agrees.) The thing I didn't quite understand is how Anna is able to travel to other places in time and space with him, sort of like using a portkey in Harry Potter. But I'm willing to go along with it.
One of the things I like about time travel in books is that it creates a ton of romantic possibilities. In 2012, Anna is a 31 year-old cougar and Bennett is a teenager. If he travels to 1995, he can make them the same age. I liked Anna -- a sheltered bookstore employee who longs to see the world. Bennett is harder to get a read on, since he keeps disappearing and reappearing. Most of the book was set in the 1990s -- a time that I feel deeply nostalgic for -- and I wished that the book would have given me more of a sense of that era.
But all in all, I did enjoy Time Between Us and loved the way the author was able to resolve the ending. If you're a fan of time travel books, definitely check this one out.
Tell me in comments: what's your take on time travel stories? Do you have favorite time travel books and movies?
Next week this book will be part of my I Love The 90s giveaway! Don't miss it!
Time travel in books rarely works for me. It's often used to reset or complicate matters. I do enjoy Myra McEntire's Hourglass series where the time travel is integral to the plot and not just a device to manipulate the reader.ReplyDelete
So...I'm not sure how I'll feel about this one but I'm going to give it a shot since I got it at BEA.
Try it and let me know. I would say that time travel is integral to the plot. I liked that the book didn't try to make the time travel so complicated that it overshadowed the story.Delete
However, I do always feel a sense of distance -- both intellectual and emotional -- when I read time travel books, and I think on some level that sense of distance works against what a YA book is supposed to be about...
I love books with time travel. I think that when done well they can be fantastic. This sounds good. Thanks for the great review!ReplyDelete
Then you should definitely check this one out!Delete
I am looking forward to reading this, although I'm kind of eh when it comes to time travel. It worked fine in books like Outlander, and I liked Hourglass, but the time travel in Jasper Fjorde's Thursday Next series makes my head ache.ReplyDelete
I have never read Outlander and I'm sure that I should. I also liked Hourglass -- I thought that explained the travel really well.Delete
Great review, Jen! I love time travel books, but sometimes you do find the odd one that just overcomplicates things (like Tempest, by Julie Cross). This one sounds lovely! And I love that a lot of it is in the 90's ... I love the 90's!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the review!
I had to take a ton of notes in Tempest, just to keep it all straight!Delete
The only time travel book I've read is Tempest. I did se ethe Time TRavelere's Wife. Does that count?ReplyDelete
Yes! I read the book but I haven't seen the movie.Delete
I've sort of fallen in love with time travel books -- I always used to not like them, then I read Lisa T Bergren's River of Time series (which is AMAZING. Everyone should read it. Everyone!). And I'm a little in love now ... This one totally sounds cool, because it's such a short timespan - it's not like, different centuries ((okay, technically it is, but it's not drastic like 21st C America + Medieval Rome)). And that cover. I heart that cover ...ReplyDelete
Maybe I need to read that series!!!Delete
Somehow I get less confused when it's different centuries. When I was a kid I remember watching Somewhere in Time, which is about a guy from the present and a woman from 1912. Which I guess was not different centuries when the movie came out.Delete
Agree-- it is a very lovely and romantic cover!
I agree with Karen's assessment above regarding McEntire's Hourglass books!ReplyDelete
I have been hesitant to try this, mostly because it was lauded as a YA version of The Time Traveler's Wife. I really enjoyed that book but am not sure I want to re-read it in YA form. I enjoyed your review however!
Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it!Delete
This sounds really good. Not sure how the going back in time to get with the 31 year old while she's a teenager makes me feel though. I know there's got to be more to it than that, but the wording just really sort of creeped me out! Lol :)ReplyDelete
Anyway, Ruby Red is probably my favorite time travel book :)
Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction
That age difference thing was a little weird, but when they were together, they were both the same age. I guess time travel books do have that issue!Delete
I typically feel the same about time travel stories, but am usually pleasantly surprised. I'm glad this one was well done. I'm excited about it being partially set in the 90s. Great review!ReplyDelete
I am loving the historical fiction set in the 90s. Though thinking of it that way makes me feel soooo old.Delete
I LOVE Time Travel! I loved this one, The Time Traveler's Wife, and Clockwise. I have more on my TBR list. This one was so sweet and romantic. Not to mention he is rich and could take her any where in the world she wants to go! I mean a date on a beautiful island in Thailand! Although kind of weird in the prologue when old Anna sees young Bennett but love the way everything worked out!ReplyDelete
I agree -- because the age difference wasn't centuries, that part was a little weird. But still, a very sweet story!Delete
I haven't read the timetraveler's wife but, I have seen the movie and I really loved it. I am so intrigued by this book and I really wanna read it, thanks for your review!ReplyDelete
Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven
If you loved Time Traveler's Wife, you should definitely read this!Delete
I love the concept of time travel! It is very new to me because I haven't read too many but overall it intrigues me. I also get some of the mechanics confused (same way with fantasy and such like you said up there). I've been so dying to read this one so hopefully it will all come together for me when I read it finally. :)ReplyDelete
Hope you enjoy it!Delete
I love the idea of time travel but I rarely LOVE it in books; I've enjoyed some but none of springing immediately to time. I think it is easier for me in movies: I'm thinking of Back to the Future and Somewhere in Time especially.ReplyDelete
I completely agree and I'm not sure why that is the case for me....Delete
Oh, this sounds cool! I thought it was a contemp, but the time travel thing adds a cool twist to it... And did the line " Anna is a 31 year-old cougar" make me laugh! :D And I actually do enjoy these kinda books. I think Hourglass is my favorite. Tempest was pretty good, but kinda confusing. :PReplyDelete
I actually dislike the term, because a guy who dates someone 15 years younger gets a high-five, while a woman gets called a cougar. But that was a part of the book that had me thinking -- the idea that they actually did live at the same time but in different generations...Delete
I do like reading & watching time travel stories. I have not read many. I like whole 'fish out of water' element.ReplyDelete
That's a good point. You know how I love those stories too!Delete
I feel the same way about time travel books, I get so confused and wonder so much at the impossibilities that it tends to ruin the book for me!ReplyDelete
I can also see how it would be a bit disappointing to go back to a time that you remember but to not feel any nostalgia, kind of like reading about a place that you've been to which holds no similarities to the actual place at all!
Not sure I'm going to read this one.
I know exactly what you mean with time travel books, but I think I would actually be able to follow this one!ReplyDelete
I feel bad that I haven't read this one yet. This is starting to happen with a lot of books. I'm glad that they've made the time travel rules simple because I agree with you, if they get too complicated it makes my head hurt! I also love the 90's, and I can't wait to read it!ReplyDelete
I wish it had even more 90s stuff, but I'm happy for any 90s historical fiction. Yes, typing those words is painful...Delete
I feel so conflicted about time travel books. There is always so much going on that needs to be explained and I find myself thinking "but wait, didn't you just and what if that happens..." And what about this genetic thing that gives people the ability to time travel? This has happened in other books (The Time Traveler,s Wife) and I guess I am kind of missing a machine you step in that sucks you to another time. Anyway, I totally love the 90's and I will wear my baby-doll dress, thrift store cardi, and Doc Martin Mary Janes in honor of the week, just for you.ReplyDelete
LOL -- I look forward to your 90s wear. There will be a short homage to the 90s tomorrow and then more next week!Delete
I'm not really into time-travel books but this one sounds good and the cover looks great so maybe I should I give it a try.ReplyDelete