Author: Shandy Lawson
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Released: April 30, 2013
Source: ARC from the publisher:
"Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal day—both the best and worst of their lives—they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man who is destined to kill them.
"'This is it, Ben.' Maggie's eyes were wide, pupils big and black like puddles of ink. 'This is when it happens.' Her gaze bores into me. 'We can hide, or we can fight.'"
This book was recommended by one of my colleagues. It's about people who get stuck in time loops and can't figure out how to get out - specifically two teens who start to change things each time they live through these couple of days.
Ben and Maggie are stuck in a loop. They have lived the same few days over and over - enough times that they can't even count them. At first it just felt like de ja vu... now they know it's something very different. The kicker is that they get killed at the end of these days each time. Now they have started changing things. Little things to see if they can change the outcome.
What a creepy idea that you might get stuck in a time loop! And to not realize it for a long time... and to realize that you can't get out! There is something so horrific about that, it gives me chills. And hopeless! Who are we to think we can change fate?! That whole idea is what made this book really hit me. There were things that felt off to me, but in all... it's a gripping story.
One of the things that I found interesting was the perspective switch over halfway through the book. I sort of understand why, but I had to reread through that chapter a couple of times before I realized what had happened. You're now looking through Maggie's eyes... and you're reliving the loop the next time. Which I am glad we didn't rehash every tiny detail. The other issue I had was the ending. So, without spoiling it... there was just something very anticlimactic about it. There is a little burst of excitement and drama, but then nothing. I guess I just wanted more out of it.
There is a chance that I was just analyzing things too carefully. I knew the gist of the story from my colleague, so I was probably analyzing each thing the characters did so carefully - in case I missed something important. But I think this book is written in a way that will have readers really question reality and time. There's something to be said for that. And I think many teens will find this whole concept mind blowing.
While this book doesn't go in the favorite pile for me, it definitely stands up. It's a short book, so I do feel like some things could have been fleshed out even more. But I think the story packs a punch and will leave you feeling breathless.
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