The Loop, by Shandy Lawson.
"I'm sixteen years old. I don't want to die in a Walgreens."
She smiles, sad and sweet. "It won't be the first time, Ben. And hey" - she lets go of my arm and takes my hand - "maybe this is the one. Maybe we get it right this time around."
"Maybe." But I don't believe it.
I'm a sucker for any books involving time travel or manipulation of time, and The Loop definitely pulled me in. It's similar to Groundhog Day, except that instead of just experiencing a series of embarrassing events each day, Maggie and Ben are on the run - and their lives depend on the decisions they make and if they are able to resist the pull of Fate from the very beginning.
Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal days—both the best and worst of their lives—they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man destined to kill them.
As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate’s clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie’s only shot at not dying is surviving apart?
This book was definitely interesting. The reason that they are being stalked and eventually killed in each loop is both that they won a ton of money at an OTB establishment (off-track betting), and also because their murderer, Roy, is also in a Loop, and he feels that he must kill them each time in order to get out of his loop.
I would have liked more explanation as to why they ended up at OTB in the first place, but you can probably just chalk everything up to Fate. I did like that the book partially takes place in New Orleans, as I visited there in 2011 and was able to know some of the landmarks that Ben talks about throughout it. Maggie eventually makes a few small changes that affect their outcome, and the way these are set up are very interesting and also smart.
I'd recommend this book for fans of Groundhog Day or time travel (The Time Traveler's Wife, for example) and it will definitely keep you hooked throughout the novel.
The Loop will be in stores on April 30th. 4 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I received a NetGalley of this book to review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.