The reason I read Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone was that Allison came over, looked at my obnoxious wall of books and decided she wanted Time Between Us when I was done with it. Knowing myself and how I constantly procrastinate, I decided to read this one like within a week of Allison coming over. You see, I love giving books to my friends who live locally because it is way easier than going to the post office and mailing something out. And so, I picked up this time travel young adult romance book and read like the wind. Honestly, you guys, initially when I think about time travel, I don’t like it as a theme, but when I am actually reading it, I’m okay with it. Thus, I am okay with Time Between Us, a book that I really liked overall.
Time Between Us opens with a middle aged lady, Anna, in the now, giving Bennett, a skater boy teenager a note. She’s kind of a stranger to NOW-Bennett. Then we flash back to 1995, back when discmans were cool and before Y2K which you guys I LIVED through. Main character Anna lives near Chicago and is a teenager who goes to a prestigious private school. She’s a dedicated runner. So, basically she’s running when she notices a guy creepily staring at her from the stands (Bennett). The next day she goes to school and he’s there, a new kid at school. Anna and Bennett are attracted to each other and slowly begin a relationship. Only, there’s a problem. They are from different times. Bennett is from the future and Anna is from 1995. So, their love is kind of an impossibility. OH and Bennett’s sister is like trapped in another time. Will Anna and Bennett overcome time? Dude, have you seen SOMEWHERE IN TIME? Then you can make your guess now, or read this book and find out how it all plays out.
As I have a chip on my shoulder from growing up working class, I am forever excited when books star characters who are not of the privileged elite. You guys, Anna is a poor! Just like me! She doesn’t spend the book name dropping famous designers whenever she goes clothes shopping. Her parents are struggling to pay the bills. Granted, they have enough money to send Anna to private school BUT they struggle to do it however they really value her education. Besides Anna’s economic status, she’s got wanderlust pretty bad and I just loved reading how badly she wanted to travel and how passionate she was about other countries. I liked that she maintains a strong friendship with this English girl, Emma. I also liked that Anna seems very un-pretentious and that she’s not a genius or anything. She just works really hard. So, yeah, I definitely was feeling her character.
I want to talk briefly about Stone’s world building in Time Between Us. Basically this book is mostly set in 1995. As someone who was 8 in 1995, I can remember quite a bit of what the 90s were actually like. For the most part, I think Stone gets it right — especially the world without cell phones part. Y’all, this book actually made me nostalgic for that time. Like, goodness I totally remember going to the library and using BOOKS for research instead of EBSCO Host. Also, there are discmans in this book, which I do not miss because my family was cheap as hell so I always ended up with the kind that skipped or like, the battery ran out and so it was out of commission for months. Sigh. The 1990s. I also liked how the time travel had rules, but I felt like it wasn’t as explained as I hoped. I wish that there had been more of an explanation of how and why.
As for the romance, it’s sweet. It gets to be a bit all consuming which is a turn off to me. However, I liked Anna and Bennett together. They’re a sweet (I know “sweet”-overkill) couple who feel deep teenage feelings. I mean, it gets intense kind of quick, but yeah, I get it. I remember being totally melodramatic as a teenager and I totally did not ever have stakes like this couple, ever. If you show up to books for the kissing and the warm-feels, you’ll dig Time Between Us.
Now, as for the ending of the book, I understand that there is a sequel. Speaking honestly, though, I think that Time Between Us stands perfectly on it’s own. Like, I didn’t feel a burning need for a sequel. Eventually I might get around to reading the sequel, but I don’t feel as though I WILL DIE IF I DO NOT READ IT. That’s not to denigrate this book. Instead, that’s me saying I liked this book well enough on it’s own.
Disclosure: Review Copy Obtained At BEA 2012
Other reviews of Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone:
Consumed By Books – “buy yourself a latte and curl up with Time Between Us“
YA Love – “a wonderful debut”
Alexa Loves Books – “comes across as more contemporary, than science fiction”