October 30, 2013

Latest Read: Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone

Here are the basics ...
Time After Time (Time Between Us, #2) by Tamara Ireland Stone
Publication date: Oct. 8, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary / Time Travel
Source: Purchased

Summary: 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? (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: What I love about this series is that it's not really about time travel. Strange to say but true.  Time travel plays an interesting and important role in providing conflict (Anna and Bennett give a whole new meaning to the phrase long-distance relationship) but at the heart of their story is choice.  Choosing what to do, who to be, and how to be with each other against the odds. What makes me feel invested in this series are Anna and Bennett themselves and the impossible love that they share.

I read Time Between Us over a year ago and I never expected there to be a sequel. It had ended on a hopeful, ambiguous note and even though a part of me wanted more, I was happy with the ending. Then, of course, I heard about Time After Time and couldn't help but be excited. I wanted to hear Bennett's side of the story and I'm so glad the author decided to tell it. It's a few months later and Anna and Bennett are determined to have some semblance of a normal relationship. Despite the time traveling side effects, Bennett travels back in time to 1995 over and over again. Never staying long but long enough for dates and overnight stays. It's not perfect but it's something. Inevitably all the back and forth takes its toll on Bennett, especially as he continues to push the limits of his "gifts" and he's left wondering if there truly is a future for him and Anna.

I loved seeing the flip-side of Anna and Bennett's relationship. It's easy to see how hard it is for Anna to be the one constantly left behind. But we get to see how hard it is for Bennett too. He literally wants to live in the past with her. This strange gift of his allowed him to find the perfect person for him but it's not enough to stay with her. Not enough to change things (part of his personal time traveling rules includes not changing what he sees; although, we know he's broken that rule before). We get to truly see how his gift can almost seem cruel at times. But then again, he can also close his eyes and imagine himself at any concert or any location he wants (you know I'd totally be in Paris or the Caribbean right now if I could).

(Super minor) reservations: There were just a few lulls in the pacing of the plot and it didn't have quite as much action as its predecessor. It's definitely a more quiet novel but still very enjoyable!

Do I recommend?: If you've already read Time Between Us, you'll enjoy seeing Bennett's point-of-view. And if you haven't read any of Tamara Ireland Stone's books yet, you should.

Happy reading!

2 comments:

  1. I haven't heard too many positive things about this sequel, which is why I've held off on tackling the first book, but you've convinced me to give this author a shot. Great review, Rachel! :)

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  2. What I loved most about Time After Time is that it gives readers a chance to see more of Bennett's feelings and thoughts. It was such an intriguing follow-up, and I'm actually really happy with the way Stone ended this duology.

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