Time After Time, by Tamara Ireland Stone.
Exactly like last time, I speak in hushed tones, telling her all about Maggie and the reason there's a photo of the three of us at the zoo, Emma and Justin's breakup, and how the Greenes let me crash on their couch the first night. She sips her coffee, hanging on every word, and after I've given her a play-by-play of practically the entire trip, I lower my head and say, "There's more."
I tell her about the two kids who were killed in a fire in the Tenderloin.
And then I tell her how they weren't.
All I have to say about this book is one word: AHHHH! (in a good way)
I read Time Between Us, the first book (which was from Anna's point-of-view) last January, and was hoping there would be another; Time After Time is the sequel, and is written from Bennett's POV. When I saw that NetGalley had it up for grabs, I was very excited; and when I was approved to read it, a whole four months before it comes to stores, I was even more excited. That excitement, my readers, was not for naught: Tamara Ireland Stone once again delivers.
Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn't. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.
It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work...until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn't want?
Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us's Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.
First off: this story can partially stand on its own, but you need at least a basic background of the events from Time Between Us to fully enjoy it, so I'd recommend reading that first. In TBU we were introduced to Anna and Bennett, who have a unique long-distance relationship: he lives in San Francisco and she lives in Evanston, Illinois. Oh, and one more thing: his present is 2012, and hers is 1995.
They meet while Bennett is staying with his grandmother in 1995, and looking for his sister, Brooke, who got lost in 1994 at a concert they were attending.
TBU is from Anna's point-of-view but TAT is all Bennett. I wasn't sure if I was going to like that, but it was interesting to see inside his head. To Anna's parents, Bennett is the long-distance boyfriend who always disappears - figuratively, not literally - but Anna knows its the other way around, and that he can't always control his travels. Their relationship is tested even more in this novel, since Anna has been away all summer in Mexico.
I have so many questions about this book, and time traveling, or at least how it applies in this book. At the beginning of TBU, Anna in Bennett's time (2012) is about 31 or 32 years old, and she approaches him with a letter, right before he goes to Evanston and meets her for the first time. Yet Anna and Bennett are in love in 1995, when they are both 17. So I wonder if 2012-Anna and 2012-Bennett will ever date? (maybe when the age difference isn't as much?)
We do know that one of the rules of time traveling is that if current-Bennett sees any of his selves in the past, he gets kicked back to his present (2012 San Francisco), and this is emphasized later on in the book, in a scene that was cute and that I also figured out the first time it was presented. (you'll see what I mean ...)
I really, really hope that Tamara Ireland Stone is doing a follow-up to Time After Time ... if so, the wait is on! TAT gave me more Anna/Bennett but I'm a greedy reader and I want even more. I think overall I did like TBU a little better, but TAT was very interesting as well, as we get to see what makes Bennett tick and how much his sister and parents know about his time travels. Time Between Us has also been optioned as a feature film by CBS, which I would definitely go see in the theater ... it's interesting to think about who I would cast in that as well.
Time After Time will be in bookstores on October 8, 2013. 4 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.