Genre: Time Travel


Never Apart by Romily Bernard | Blog Tour Book Spotlight (+ Giveaway)

October 16, 2017 Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Giveaway 3

Never Apart by Romily Bernard | Blog Tour Book Spotlight (+ Giveaway)

Never Apart by Romily Bernard | Blog Tour Book Spotlight (+ Giveaway)Never Apart by Romily Bernard
Published by Entangled Teen on October 3, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Time Travel
Pages: 400
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How many times would you die for love?

What if you had to relive the same five days over and over?

And what if at the end of it, your boyfriend is killed…

And you have to watch. Every time.

You don’t know why you’re stuck in this nightmare.

But you do know that these are the rules you now live by:

Wake Up.

Run.

Die.

Repeat.

Now, the only way to escape this loop is to attempt something crazy. Something dangerous. Something completely unexpected. This time…you’re not going to run.

Combining heart-pounding romance and a thrilling mystery Never Apart is a stunning story you won’t soon forget.

About Romily Bernard

Romily Bernard graduated from Georgia State University with a literature degree. Since then, she’s worked as a riding instructor, cell-phone salesperson, personal assistant, horse groomer and exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service representative. . . . She’s also, of course, now a YA novelist. So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed. Romily currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her debut novel, Find Me, won the Golden Heart Award for YA Romance from the Romance Writers of America in 2012.

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A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray | Book Review + Giveaway

January 5, 2015 Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult 38 ★★★★★

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray | Book Review + GiveawayA Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Series: Firebird #1
Published by HarperTEEN on November 4, 2014
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: From the Publisher
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5 Stars
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

This book sounded amazing before the cover image released, but once the cover was revealed I was even more excited about it! For once, the book lived up to its beautiful cover. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. As much as I loved this book, I had a very hard time getting started. The pacing across the first 100 pages or so is very slow and cumbersome. I actually set this book down back in November because I just could not hang in there, and I was so sad it would end up being a DNF. I’m so glad I gave it another chance, though, because it ended up becoming a new favorite!

2. I’m not usually a fan of parallel universes or alternate dimensions because books that contain them are usually repetitive and the differences between those worlds are never exciting or unique enough to hold my attention. In this case, however, I could not wait to see where Marguerite and Theo traveled to next.

3. My favorite parallel universe was Russia, and is where the bulk of this book takes place. Even though the characters never change time periods, this particular universe feels like it’s a couple hundred years behind ours. Marguerite is the daughter of the tsar, and lives in a candlelit castle. Lieutenant Markov (a.k.a. Paul Markov, suspected murderer of Marguerite’s father) is Marguerite’s personal body guard, and oh wow is he swoony! I loved getting to see so many sides of Paul, but this one was my favorite.

4. I really liked Marguerite. I liked that she was willing to take the less popular road and give Paul a chance to prove that he did not kill her father. I liked her tenacity and her crusade for truth. And I loved her relationship with her dad. So sweet.

5. I’m not going to try and explain the ins and outs of how they travel between dimensions and everything because that’s for you to discover as you read, but I found the “science” fascinating.

6. The focus in this story is primarily on romance, but there’s also this quest to find out if Paul killed Marguerite’s dad or not, a battle against an evil corporation looking to use the Firebird for evil, and the fight to stay alive and return home. There’s a lot going on, and there’s so many twists and turns and revelations. What you think is going on is not what’s going on.

7. The romance is super unique. You’ve got Theo and Paul. They make up the love triangle. But then there’s Lieutenant Markov, who is Paul but not really Paul. He’s Paul from Russia. And Marguerite loves Lieutenant Markov, but maybe not Paul. So basically it’s a love square with Theo and Paul from two different dimensions. By loving Paul is she cheating on Lieutenant Markov? So yeah. Complicated.

8. I could have done with fewer flashbacks to what happened before Paul supposedly betrayed Marguerite’s family. Those were kind of boring and took me out of the suspense of what was going on then.

9. There were some pretty romantic quotes. I just loved the romance!

All in all, I really enjoyed A Thousand Pieces of You and can’t wait for the next book in the series!

Somehow I ended up with an extra hardback from the publisher, so I’m giving it away to someone who thinks they might love it as much as I did! I’m feeling generous so I’m willing to ship internationally, and I’m currently publicizing the Debut Author Challenge so you get extra entries if you sign up!

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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle | Book Thoughts

March 27, 2014 Book Review, Middle Grade, That Artsy Librarian 2 ★★★

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle | Book ThoughtsA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Series: The Time Quintet #1
Published by Square Fish on January 1, 1962
Genres: Adventure, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought from Amazon
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3 Stars
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract".

Meg's father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

A Wrinkle in Time and I, sadly, did not click. I found it to be rather boring and, at times, confusing. I read it for my children’s literature class, and am so glad I did because it gives me more credibility in the field of youth services librarianship. I’m sad I didn’t love it, though, because it’s a classic that has been well-loved for a very long time! I’ve decided to not write a formal review and instead, have chosen to post some of my thoughts that I was required to write for my class. Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the book!

This book focuses a lot on the battle between good and evil, which I have always enjoyed. These children are really put to the test as they participate in this battle. Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Who all represent a kind of messenger from something good, whether it be a Heavenly place or somewhere else. I think it’s up to the reader to decide what “good” comes from, which can facilitate a lot of interesting discussions.

Battles between good and evil usually bring with them Christian or other religious undertones. I can pick out a lot of Christian themes especially, including the mention of Jesus. Light and dark, Heavenly messengers, resisting temptation, and the mention of books in the Bible also show up in the story. The books of Isaiah and John are quoted. This book has been challenged before, and I can see that these themes might be the reason. At the same time, though, I’m not sure all children would pick up on them.

Children will be able to relate to homely little Meg and misunderstood Charles Wallace. I think they will also enjoy the love within this family, which is another huge theme in the story. Love conquers all. I can see that their imaginations will be stimulated, however, I don’t think I would have been a science fiction lover if I had started out with this book. I enjoyed The Giver and The Time Machine much more.


Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier (Mini Book Review)

October 14, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 4 ★★★★★

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier (Mini Book Review)Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier
Series: Ruby Red Trilogy #3
Also in this series: Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on October 8, 2013
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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5 Stars
Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is. She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.

I loved this conclusion to the Ruby Red trilogy! I’m not used to books getting better and better as a series continues. Usually the first book is the best, the second book is pointless, and the third book is a major letdown. Not so with Emerald Green! I grew to love the trilogy more and more as the series continued, and now I am so sad to be finished with it! I’m doing a mini review of this book, just because most of what I loved about it I already mentioned in my reviews of Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue.

I read this trilogy almost back to back, but I still appreciated the recaps we were given on what had happened up to this point. The time traveling is a little confusing, but readers are kept on track with these subtle reminders. The writing is so pretty, and full of funny conversations and elaborate descriptions. I always love seeing where Gwen and Gideon will go, what they will wear, and what they will do. In this book, Gwen and Gideon get to go to a ball and they also go on some secret missions for answers. I loved it!

Gwen is still spunky and is not going to let anyone keep her in the dark. Rather than sitting down and being content with only being able to see a small piece of the large picture she’s a part of, she goes off in her own world and in past worlds to find answers to all these different mysteries. Her grandfather plays a huge role in this book, and I loved that she was able to have a strong relationship with him in some capacity. Lesley, Gwen’s friend, plays a larger role this time around as well, and I really like her. She’s the researcher, and I loved hearing about the information she dug out of the Internet. Raphael, Gideon’s brother, is a fun new addition to the group, and I liked his snarkiness. Charlotte bugged me more than ever, and Xemerius was even more endearing and funny.

All our questions get answered in Emerald Green. What’s up with Lucy and Paul? What happens when the circle is closed? Who is Count St. Germain? What’s in store for Gwen and Gideon? We learn a LOT. Gwen learns about her past and her future, which was so exciting. We learn all about the count and the Guardians. We get to fill in various time travel holes, and piece together different things that have happened across the rest of the trilogy. It was all very satisfying.

I kept this vague and short, just because I know not many people have even read the first book. My point with this review is to get you all excited about the trilogy. If you enjoy time travel, a little humor, adventure, great characters, and history then you will definitely enjoy all three books! And if you quit with Ruby Red because it was not for you, give Sapphire Blue a chance! You’ll love it. :)


Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier (Mini Book Review)

October 11, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 3 ★★★★

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier (Mini Book Review)Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier
Series: Ruby Red Trilogy #2
Also in this series: Ruby Red, Emerald Green
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on October 30, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 362
Format: eBook
Source: Christmas Present
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4 Stars
Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

I’m so proud of Sapphire Blue for not suffering the second book syndrome! I actually liked this book much more than Ruby Red. It was full of twists and turns and witty banter between characters. There was quite a bit more time traveling, and now that Gwen is getting used to it, the visits to the past have a purpose. I was always excited to see what year she traveled back to, and what she was going to do. She has started to really question this time travel business, and so she’s breaking some rules to do some investigating in the past. She gets into trouble, and meets some new people.

Gwen and Gideon do a lot of traveling together also, and I love their conversations while they sit in a locked room doing homework while they wait to travel back to the present. They also get to go to a soiree in this book, and I loved the descriptions of the gorgeous costumes that they get to wear, and the pretty candlelit rooms. Gwen gets a little drunk on a “secret” punch, and makes a fool out of herself. I loved it!

At the end of Ruby Red, we met a small little gargoyle demon named Xemerius who is very excited that someone can finally see and hear him after so many years of being invisible. I really did not like his constant presence at the beginning of Sapphire Blue. I was annoyed with his interruptions. I grew to really love this little guy, though! He is quite funny, and adds a lot to the story. I looked forward to having him show up.

We learn a lot more about time travel, and what role different characters play in it. We learn more about the past, and why certain things have happened the way they have. Finally, we also get to form a lot of new questions that I’m hoping will be answered in Emerald Green, which I really can’t wait to start! Definitely read Sapphire Blue, even if you were not the biggest fan of Ruby Red. It’s exciting, a little romantic, and full of rich historical elements that will have you dreaming of elaborate balls and poofy dresses.


Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (Book Review)

October 7, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 8 ★★★★

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (Book Review)Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Series: Ruby Red Trilogy #1
Also in this series: Sapphire Blue, Emerald Green
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on May 10, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 322
Format: Hardcover
Source: Won in a giveaway
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4 Stars
Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

You know a book is bound to be awesome if it was translated from German to be published in the USA! I was really excited about Ruby Red when I found out, and even more excited when I discovered it’s all about time travel. As alway, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I was really impressed by the translation. We all know how easily wittiness and the beauty of descriptions can be lost in translation. Not so with Ruby Red! The writing is beautiful, the characters witty, the current way of speaking taken into account without seeming out of place. I can only imagine how amazing the writing is in German, if it is this good after translation. I applaud the translator, and I applaud the author for writing a story that is amazing even in another language!

2. I’ve got this thing with real people in history being woven into fictional stories. It brings a completely different kind of awesomeness to the table, and makes a story so much more believable if people like Sir Isaac Newton are brought into the story. He plays a significant role in Ruby Red, even though he is not a character in the book. It made things really interesting.

3. I loved the clever, witty dialogue between the characters. Lesley, Gwyneth’s best friend, is particularly fun to read. She knows all about Gwyneth’s ability to travel through time, and watching her drink it all in is pretty great. Gwyneth’s ghost friend, James, is also highly amusing. He died years ago, but does not know it. So he hangs out around the school and teaches Gwyneth about how things are in his time, mostly regarding manners and how to be a proper lady. I love that Gwyneth can see and talk with ghosts. It allows for a lot of side stories to come into play, like with Robert, the little boy who hangs around his dad all the time.

4. The entire cast of characters is great, but I really like Gideon. He’s a snarky, experienced time traveler who is a complete nuisance to Gwyneth. At the same time, though, she blushes when he’s around. She hates that. Hopefully we get to learn more about him in the next few books.

5. The approach to time travel is pretty cool. Across history, there are 12 time travelers (all born with a time traveling gene), all of whom are called a different precious stone. Gwyneth, the ruby, is the 12th and final stone in the circle of twelve. The main goal of the characters in this book is to go back in time to get a blood sample from each time traveler so they can read it into the chronograph (their time machine, essentially) and unlock a secret. Some people want to unlock it, and some feel it would be very dangerous to do so. Gwyneth and Gideon get to travel back together, meet old ancestors, try to figure out what’s true and what’s not, and deal with some obstacles. It’s really exciting, mysterious, and full of history that is totally believable.

Basically, Ruby Red blew me away in a subtle way. The more I think about it and let it marinate in my mind, the more I discover I really liked it! I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. :) Definitely read this if you’re looking for a unique spin on time travel. I see romance in this series’s future as well, so that’s another plus for it!


All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (Book Review)

October 4, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 10 ★★★★★

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (Book Review)All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Series: All Our Yesterdays #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on September 3, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
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5 Stars
"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

I almost passed on All Our Yesterdays, just because I had not heard very much about it, but then I learned it’s a time travel book and that changed my mind completely. I love time travel books. Love them. And… Oh. My. Gosh. You guys! It’s amazing!! AMAZING! My mind was blown, and when I closed it I immediately thought, “How in the world am I supposed to review this?” I’ll do my best, but I can’t guarantee it won’t be just a bunch of fangirl. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. The story itself is so amazingly unique, and I can’t tell you why because that will spoil everything. There are so many twists and turns, each giving you bits and pieces of information until you figure out what’s going on. And once the picture is completely painted, and the blanks are all filled in, you will look like this:

There’s really no better way to describe my thoughts on the book, actually. Your mind will be blown, and your eyes will get huge, and your brain will try to comprehend it but it’s really wacky. And amazing.

2. I loved the explanation of how time travel works, and the paradoxes and all that great stuff. I kind of felt like Sheldon Cooper was teaching me a science lesson at times, and it was really fun to read all the ins and outs.

3. All Our Yesterdays goes back and forth between the past and present/future. We read all about Marina and her life with James and Finn before the world took a turn for the worst. I loved the sweet relationships between Marina and James. To me, it kind of felt like Corey and Topanga from Boy Meets World. They grew up as great friends, leaning on each other during hard times, and then things start to change into something on the more romantic side. James is so unbelievably caring, and Marina is devoted to a fault and secretly insecure. And then we have Finn, who is just like Sean–the goofy friend who tags along with James and drives Marina crazy.

We also get to read about Em and Finn, who are from the future. I liked Em a lot. She’s strong and realistic. And Finn is daring and romantic. They have been through a lot, and are out to save the world no matter what.

4. James is a very complex character. He’s a prodigy, comes from a wealthy and famous family, and seems to have everything going for him. But there’s just something in there that’s not quite right, and he ends up being a ticking time bomb. He fights with his emotions, is scared about his future, and wants everything in the world to be perfect. His intentions are good and true, but he teeters on the edge of insanity because he does not know what to do with himself. He captivated me, and I was very interested in his story.

5. The romance was so special and unique, even though it was a very small part of the story. I can’t give much away, but I loved seeing different relationships changing in different ways throughout the book. Romance blooms, romance fades, new feelings grow, old feelings are explored. People flip flop. Lots happens. In the midst of all of it, the characters learn a lot about themselves.

6. I loved the constant feeling of hope that was presented. The future is dark and dreary, the present is a little crazy, and through it all everyone is optimistic that things will turn out for the best. I loved that. So often, books like this tend to be downers. All Our Yesterdays is a book that makes you wish good things on everyone, even the villain.

7. So. Much. Action. I could hardly handle it, but I loved every second!

8. Cristin Terrill tackled a majorly hard subject for her debut, and did an amazing job! I’m not sure I could wrap my head around writing a book like this one. With shifts in time, shifts in characters, and shifts in emotion, I never got lost. I always knew who I was reading about and what was happening. That’s true talent, right there. Her writing is amazing, too.

All our Yesterdays is an amazingly wonderful and unique addition to the time travel genre. Things felt fresh and exciting, and the writing was perfect. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would, and I cannot wait for the next book! Luckily the cliffhanger is not too heart stopping, since I have a while to wait!

 


Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone (Mini Book Review)

September 23, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 6 ★★★★★

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone (Mini Book Review)Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
Series: Time Between Us #2
Also in this series: Time Between Us
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 8, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
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5 Stars
Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn't. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.

It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work...until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn't want?

Time Between Us was one of my absolute favorite books last year, and kept me thinking for a very long time. I loved the unique take on time travel and the wonderful characters. I was immediately hungry for more of Anna and Bennett’s story, but did not know yet that there was going to be a second novel! I was delightfully surprised to learn of Time After Time, and was even more excited when I received an eARC from the publisher. It’s an amazing story, and I am so happy I got to read more about what’s in store for these two love birds.

This time, we get to read the story from Bennett’s point of view. I have always loved books that place us in the hearts and minds of the male character, so this was a treat. Bennett’s voice is so strong and full of emotion and longing. I love the lengths he will go to for Anna, and the sacrifices he makes to make her happy. Even though traveling has become even more of a challenge both physically and mentally, he is committed to spending as much time with her as he can. The love these two feel for one another is so sweet, and the fact that it can withstand the parameters of their relationship is amazing.

Because Bennett is doing the narrating, we get to learn a lot more about his life in 2012, his family, his talent, and how he feels about everything. He has to make some pretty serious decisions for himself, and I loved the bewilderment he went through as he tried to decide what was right and what was wrong for him. We get to travel with him a lot more, and we are with him when he witnesses an event that makes him question everything he thinks he knows about his an Anna’s future. This deep insecurity and doubt he feels is so real and so heartbreaking! I just wanted to give him a hug and tell him everything would be ok. The turmoil he goes through is tangible. I also loved the tender moments he shares with his dad and his sister, two characters who really grew in Time After Time. I ove Bennett so much more than I did in Time Between Us, and appreciate that Anna was taken out of the spotlight this time around.

The romance is sweeping and swoony. We still get to travel to exotic places and read romantic exchanges between Anna and Bennett. At the same time, though they know this entire relationship is unconventional and has its risks. They are realistic, and act very mature about the trials the relationship is causing them. They are forced to make hard choices. I appreciate that the author did not make things all rainbows and sunshine for them. Struggle builds character, and I really respected both of them as they worked things through.

I loved the ending. Everything ends up as it should, and I’m fully satisfied. :) Definitely pick up Tamara’s books, especially if you love time travel and amazing romances!


Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (Book Review)

November 8, 2012 Book Review, Young Adult 8 ★★★★★

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (Book Review)Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Series: Time Between Us #1
Also in this series: Time After Time
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 9, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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5 Stars
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

I was SO excited when I got to meet Tamara at ALA. She’s super nice, and told me a little about her book. I was already sold on it, but she made me even more excited. I love time travel and romance. This book was everything I could have hoped for, and so much more. Rarely, and I mean rarely, does a book make me feel the things this book made me feel. I adored it, and I know it will stick with me for an extremely long time. I wish I hadn’t had to wait so long to read it! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I loved the idea of this novel. A romance that sweeps across two decades, with travel and mystery and all the emotions that come with the fear of time separating them once again. It’s dangerous to get invested into a relationship that has so many unavoidable loopholes. I just loved it!

2. I loved the unique take on time travel. It’s hard to explain, but I really enjoyed reading all about how Bennett does it, and how he can take people with him.

3. Anna and Bennett are wonderful characters. I was pulling for both of them, and I really got attached to both of them. Usually I care more for one member of a romantic duo over the other, but I honestly can’t tell you which person I like more in this one. Anna is strong and confident and willing to take risks. She’s so relatable and normal. Bennett is impulsive, a wanderer across continents and time. I want to date him and I want to be her. 

4. The travel aspect of Time Between Us was amazing and unexpected. All Bennett has to do is hold Anna’s hands, close his eyes, and “poof” them both to some exotic island or secluded village. I loved reading about where they went, and what they did. I’m a lover of all things travel and exploration, and I just soaked those flawless descriptions of Italy and Mexico and Thailand in like a sponge. Tamara is amazing at world building and placing you in each location right along with her characters. 

5. The romance was so simple and sweet, yet deep and believable. I love the way Anna and Bennett danced around each other and their feelings. I loved reading about their inner thoughts, and how they were scared and excited and both longed for each other for so long before actually doing anything about it.

6. Anna’s friends were wonderful! I love her adorable British best friend Emma and her longtime childhood pal, Justin. They added so much to the story, and brought out the best in Anna. I also really liked her parents. I love books that depict parents as friends rather than a hindrance.

7. I have an even greater lover of the 90’s. I loved all the references to 1995. The music, the way people talk, the hair. It was so great to go back and visit!

8. This book made my heart happy. I don’t cry while reading. I hate it, my eyes get puffy, and then I can’t see… and I have to put the book down. It’s a messy sight. But I cried! The ending is just so beautiful and perfect that I shut the book and cried. And then I just sat there and wished I could go back and have a “do-over” and go back and read it all over again! 

9. This book keeps you thinking long after you’re finished. As I reflect on my experience reading it, little nuances in the storyline jump out at me and make even more sense than they did before. More pieces of a puzzle I thought I had already completed keep falling into place, and it makes me love the book even more.

Basically, you need to read this book. Any book that leaves me in tears, looking for a time traveling stranger out my window, and wanting to go and take risks and throw caution to the wind is a book you neeeeeed to read. I really loved it so much, and writing this review has made me love it even more! Time Between Us has jumped to the top of my leader board for 2012, and it’s going to be really hard for any book to beat it at this point!


The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum (Mini Book Review)

March 18, 2012 Book Review, Young Adult 4 ★★★★★

The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum (Mini Book Review)The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
Series: The Hourglass Door #1
Published by Shadow Mountain on May 1, 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought it!
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5 Stars
Abby's senior year of high school is going according to plan: good friends, cute boyfriend, and college applications in the mail. But when Dante Alexander, foreign-exchange student from Italy, steps into her life, he turns it upside down. He's mysterious, and interesting, and unlike anyone she's ever met before. Abby can't deny the growing attraction she feels for him. Nor can she deny the unusual things that seem to happen when Dante is around. Soon Abby finds herself drawn into a mystery whose roots reach into sixteenth-century Florence, and she uncovers a dangerous truth that threatens not only her future but the lives of those she loves.

Wow! I loved this book so much that I finished it in less than 24 hours. Lisa Mangum’s writing style is beautiful. I found myself re-reading passages because they were incredibly captivating and magical. She described everything in such intricate detail and left me feeling like I was actually there. The plot is extremely interesting and mysterious. It had the potential of being extremely confusing, but Lisa wrote it in a way that every detail was explained, leaving no stone left unturned. And her take on time and time travel is original and exciting. I loved reading about it.

Dante is a swoon-worthy love interest. I mean, he’s Italian… and he’s romantic, and he’s been around for quite a while. He’s got a very interesting past, including being Leonardo Da Vinci’s apprentice. His concern for Abby is sweet, not obsessive or stalkerish. The love story between the two of them is slow and believable, and beautiful. You can just feel them fall in love, and I savored every minute of it.

I really only have one complaint: several of the characters speak to Abby in Italian and there’s no translation anywhere. I had to have my laptop with me so I could translate the lines. Let me just say right now free internet translations frequently make no sense.

I read this series as the books came out. I was one of the first in line for this book, and each one in the series ends in quite a cliffhanger! Well, except for the last. Haha. All three books are out now, though, and all three are favorites of mine. This is one of my very favorite romance stories, and I definitely think you should read it if you’re looking for an exciting, romantic, time traveling story with a mysterious Italian inventor and the modern-day girl he sweeps off her feet. The world they explore together is unique, intriguing, a little dangerous, and utterly magical.