So, I guess I’ve been in a time traveling phase…Love the idea of YA time travel books. Seriously. It’s like I finished Sapphire Blue, and was like I will take time travel in any form now because that was so good! Also, there’s something so nice about this simple cover. Or at least there was until I realized the major character trait about the main character’s physical appearance is her extremely thick, curly hair…Model on the cover has fake curly hair. Seriously, it looks like someone with straight hair tried to curl it and then failed. And the only reason I mention this at all is because the curly hair is mentioned at least one million times in this book! And I could seriously relate to this character because I so know about thick, curly hair, but oh well…
Any way, this book is about Anna, a girl growing up in 1995. And clearly this author had a lot of fun talking about 1995. Between the bands, the cd’s, the clothing, etc you definitely felt the 90’s nostalgia (like Jay Asher’s and Carolyn Mackler’s The Future of Us). And more than that, it’s about Anna falling in love Bennet. Like as tends to happen in most YA romance, Bennet clearly likes Anna but pushes her away because he knows he’s no good for her.
Does this stop Anna? Absolutely not. The more she gets to know Bennet and the more she learns of his unique abilities and past mistakes, the more she can’t stop thinking about him. Bennet is unique because he has the ability to time travel. In fact, Bennet comes to Anna in Evanston, IL from San Francisco in 2011. Anna knows this to be fact because she witnesses him disappearing and reappearing and oh yeah, saving her life. She works at her father’s bookstore, and one night she is robbed. The thief holds a knife to her throat, and well Bennet has to think fast.
Bennet can also travel to anywhere in the world just by thinking about it (thought it usually follows with a migraine). And he can bring people with him. He doesn’t know the full extent of his powers, but he has a lot of rules that he has made for himself. These rules came into play after a colossal mistake he made involving loosing his sister in time…and he’s very careful not to break his rules, at least until Anna asks him to. The whole reason he’s in 1995 is to find his sister that he lost at rock concert they went back in time to see. And he never seems to miss his parents much. His mom want to fix him and his dad wants to use him (and does) to become wealthier.
Between all the building romance, is all of Anna’s normal life. She dreams of traveling the world because all she really knows is her small town and a few other places in the Midwest. And she runs. There’s a lot of track meets and a lot of running at the crack of dawn. She has some great friends and a guy best friend who’s in love with her, but whose feelings she does not return.
There’s amazing teachers, crazy homework assignments, robberies, time travel, traveling to different countries, music, rock climbing, first dates, lots of running, and a lot of growing up. It’s clear early on (due to another pre-story spoiler in the book) that Bennet won’t be able to stay in 1995 forever, even though he may come to want to. And then of course the couple will not only be living on separate sides of the country, but they will be many years apart in age. Anna knows this and Bennet knows this, yet they can’t seem to stay away from each other.
And when time is running out, both characters have a lot of decisions to make. Anna particularly has to decide some very important things. Does she wait for him, or does she live her life to the fullest/best she can in the mean time?
This wasn’t my favorite book. For starters, I hated that we saw adult Anna in the beginning giving a letter to young Bennet. It kind of spoiled any possible surprises from ever happening. Also, the Evanston Anna lives in, is not the Evanston I know and have lived in. It’s more like the fake Evanston from the movie Mean Girls. Seriously, Evanston is not all about Northwestern. There is more than one El stop in Evanston. And there some legitimate private schools, so why did the author need to make one up?
Also, I never really liked Bennet all that much. He kept lying and protecting Anna, a girl who does not need all that protection. Also, their love just always seemed more to do with fate then it did about actually falling in love. They clearly connected over a mutual sense of adventure, but it just wasn’t cutting it for me. It seemed too instant, to unreal. You never seriously get to know the mysterious Bennet. I did really like Anna’s character. She did seem real with all of her flaws and tendencies to get angry and stop talking to people for periods of time. I loved her relationships with her friends, and how she would risk anything (even the good opinion of Bennet) to help them.
I really connected to her curly hair and her location. I grew up in Evanston with the same hair! Yes. And I really loved how strong, independent, and hard she worked to keep her life on track despite the lack of someone. But, I just never really understood the instant love. I never got to know Bennet. And I was never surprised by any happenings of this book. Nothing really made it stand out against the other more unique teen time travel books I have read. I still really enjoyed reading it and I read it in about a day. It was sort of like a nice romantic comedy, something you know the ending to, but just want to watch to better your mood. I give it a 7/10.