Reading Is Good For You

Book Reviews, Literary News, and Thoughts on Life

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

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.

I never thought I’d have a chance to use that tired old line “It’s not you, it’s me” but now I have an excuse to. You don’t know how excited this makes me feel.

When I think time travel, what comes to mind is the dramatic, harrowing, often death-defying adventures of the Doctor and his companions (I’m talking about Doctor Who, for those of you who are not in the know)and the books I’ve read recently on the subject (Hourglass and Tempest) have lived up to that concept. Time Between Us is not that sort of story. It’s quieter, more intimate, focusing on the effect time travel and the choices one makes has on a handful of people, rather than whole planets and galaxies.

With my expectations and pre-conceived notions of what a time-travel tale was supposed to be like, I kept waiting for the bang, the big gut-wrenching climax and I confess I felt a bit let down when it never really happened. That’s not to say that Ms. Stone has in any way released a poorly crafted novel, because nothing could be further from the truth. She’s created great characters in Bennett and Anna — their relationship has some rocky bits like any relationship has, but they talk it out like mature people and move on. Those moments are offset by some really lovely swoony bits, because every teenager needs an opportunity to make-out like, well, teenagers. I particularly enjoyed their first date together, as I too learned to rock climb at Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin. Brings back memories of my camp counseling days.

Speaking of bringing back memories, Ms. Stone managed to make reference to a  bunch of  great nineties bands, like Pearl Jam, in a way that didn’t seem forced and actually served a purpose other than showing off her knowledge of all things pop culture (I’d say ‘ah, the good old days’ but I’d actually take my Mumford & Sons and Ben Howard and co. any day over that stuff). But do you know what the best thing of all was about this book? When tragedy strikes and Anna is separated from her man, instead of pulling a Bella Swan and going catatonic for the next six months, she has her period of grieving like any normal person who is in love and then she goes out and lives her life. Can I get an amen?

Should I choose to reread this book,it will be with blinders off, so to speak,  so there’s a good chance I will discover a greater appreciation for the sweet, honest sort of relationship that Bennett and Anna cultivated in this novel. I reserve the right to change my rating at that time.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a galley of Time Between Us from Net Galley and was in no way, shape or form paid for this review (just doing it for the fun of it, kiddos). Get your copy when it’s released on October 9th, 2012.

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