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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book Review: Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

So, I have a time turner. It used to be in my car, but since I got my mini, there is no place to put a dangly bit. So I took it to work. It is there as a reminder to me that I wish I had 48 hours in a day. That way, I could have my day, you know, the working 8, 9, 10 hours, chores, bath, bed, whatever, but also have the same day for me, to do whatever I want.

That's the sad part. I feel for the most part, I can't just do whatever I want. There's work, there's overtime (sure I get paid for it, but), there's household chores, errands, being Egg's lap when he's cold (which is pretty much September to July). While I always somehow manage to have the time to do the things I need to take care of, I don't always feel like I have me time or the time to do the things I really want to do, like reading more, writing, gardening, working out, traveling, etc.

How great would it be to have the ability to travel in the blink of an eye? Just think of it. You could go anywhere in the world in a moments notice. Oh, I'm feeling a bit chilled at the moment. I think I'll put on some shorts and nip over to the Fiji Islands. How great would that be? I could see my family instantaneously wherever they may be living. I wouldn't have to worry about rush hour traffic. I could show up for BEA when the doors open and not have to worry about gas or paying for parking!!

And what if you had the ability to not only travel in the blink of an eye, but could also travel through time just as easily? How awesome would that be? I would have been able to make it to that Madness concert in Fountains Casino back in '82 when they were here. I could go back and see the Ramones when they came to my college or see Nirvana live. I could go back and spend more time with people I miss. I could go back in time and see things that are no longer around, like CBGB's.

What if you had the ability to go back in time and change the course of the future? Would you? If you could do anything over, would you risk it knowing that you could end up making things worse? Would I?

Book Description (From Amazon):
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility. As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back 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—and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together.

My Review:
When you think about it, every day is made up of thousands of  tiny, little moments, one triggering another. How many times during the day could one of those moments, if done differently, change the course of the events in our lives? How could you identify what could become a defining moment, a crossroad, that if changed would take us left when we were meant to go right? How seductive would it be to know that if something didn't work to your advantage that you could just go back and change it?

The story opens with the narrator of the story going to a young boy who is skateboarding with his friends. She asks to speak privately to him and hands him a letter. She introduces herself as Anna and says, "It's too easy for me to say the wrong thing today, and if I do, we may never meet at all."

Anna thinks...
"What I just did could change everything, or it could change nothing. But I have to try. I've got nothing to lose. If my plan doesn't work, my life will remain the same: Safe. Comfortable. Perfectly average.
But that wasn't the life I originally chose."

I was hooked.

The story opens up with Anna out running, ending her run at the university track where she sees a boy in the bleachers watching her. She is a little creeped out by it as he seems to be watching her. When he notices her looking his way, he gives her a shy smile which she returns, but when she looks his way again, he is gone. Anna goes home and gets ready for school. When her best friend, Emma, picks her up, she is told there is a new kid starting at school that day. When she sees the new kid at school, she realizes it is the same boy she saw at the track, only he doesn't seem to recognize her. When he is confronted about being at the track, he tells her he wasn't there and that she must have been mistaken.

Bennett is a boy that has the ability to travel through time. Anna is a girl he should never have met and yet he does meet her in 1995. He took his older sister to a Pearl Jam concert, but it was before he was born and he lost her in time. He ended up being bounced back to when he was born and he stayed there, knowing his sister would show up eventually and then he could take them back to 2012.

Anna is drawn to Bennett, but he seems to want to be left alone. She sees him one night in the park when she is walking by and he seems to be in agony. She tries to help him by going to get him some water, but when she returns, she finds he has left already. He misses school for a few days, so she finds out where he lives and goes to see if he is alright, but he is down right rude to her.

Bennett shows up at her dad's book store where Anna works part time to apologize for his behavior at his house, which is actually his grandmother's house. He invites her for coffee and he walks her home and then says good night. She feels confused, because she thought that Bennett was going to kiss her and then when she sees him over the next several weeks, he is distant and aloof.

Anna is working at the book store by herself one night when I man walks in, locks the door behind him and holds Anna at knife point. He takes her into the back room where the safe is.  As he is attempting to open the safe, she sees movement out of the corner of her eye which she realizes is Bennett. He crouches down next to her, takes her hands in his and then she finds herself under a tree in the park with police sirens heading to the book store.

Bennett tells her part of his secret, that he can travel between places by just thinking about where he wants to go. He proves this to her by taking Anna to a little island of Thailand were they frolic on the beach. Once she learns of his ability, she wants to learn more about him and what the rest of his secret is.

He then confides in her that he can travel though time and he can do over events. As an example, when she was held at knife point, Bennett was actually in the shop with her, but he popped back a few minutes in time, which erases the previous event and replaces it, so that he could go back and call the police earlier. She would not remember the original event, though, only the do over.

There are rules to time travel though. He can only travel within his lifespan, so not before he was born or into his future. He also cannot change any events as that could have catastrophic repercussions. He is challenged to follow these rules when Emma is involved in a car accident that leaves her in critical condition. Anna realizes Bennett could go back and change the course of the day, but he refuses. He won't play God, but she refuses to understand if he has the power to change events why he won't use that ability to go back and stop the accident. They have a bit of a falling out, but she won't relent.

I understand her desperation out of grief for her friend, but she becomes so absorbed in her own feelings of loss that she can't see anything from Bennett's perspective. It's not that he doesn't want to help, but he knows that if he goes back and changes the events of that day, that he might be changing things for the worse. Anna refuses to see that and she just badgers him about it.

And that's the catch. Events transpire in one way. If the events were to be changed, even one brief moment changed, the original event is wiped out and replaced. If it is a worse situation, there is no cancelling out the do over. Could you risk it? I'm not sure I could or would.

Bennett does have more secrets, but they are not mine to tell.  I thought this was a captivating, thought provoking story that had me wondering up to the end just exactly how this was going to end up.  Does Bennett go back and change the course of events that prevent Emma from having the accident?  If Anna didn't have the life she chose, what did it end up being?  And how does Bennett fit into her present and her future.  Do we have the ability to alter the course of our lives and if so, how do we know the moment when we get there?


  1. Great review! I was doing some blog hopping and found yours. I am now a follower! I would love it if you would stop by for a visit and follow back if you would like! Here's the link: MaMa's Book Corner I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! :)

    1. I am so happy you stopped by and decided to follow my page! I did a run by over at your blog and left you a comment. It is always great to meet new friends!
      Hopefully you'll stop back for a visit sometime and if you get a chance and want a sweet, romantic story, this would be a good candidate.

  2. Great review! I would love to be able to travel like Bennett! But you're right, it could be risky and who knows how things would turn out. Sounds like a great read!

    1. I really did enjoy this book. I know you got a copy at BEA as well. If you like the whole time travel element, you should make time. It's just a sweet, quick story.