Thursday, January 17, 2013

Time Between Us

Time Between Us, by Tamara Ireland Stone.

"I thought it would be safer to explain in writing." My next words are the most important. After all my practice, I should have this part perfected, but I think through each word in my head again, just to be sure. It's too easy for me to say the wrong thing today, and if I do, we may never meet at all."

His head springs up, and he stares at me, wide-eyed. No one's ever said anything like that to him before, and with that one statement, he knows that I'm in on his secret.

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
When I saw this book on the library shelf, I immediately thought of The Lake House, the movie with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reaves, where they both live in different years but are able to communicate via a "magical" mailbox. The difference with this book, however, is that Bennett is able to time travel - he lives in 2012 San Francisco, and Anna lives in 1995 Evanston, Illinois - and that is how they meet. So the book is more like The Lake House combined with The Time Traveler's Wife, in a way.

17-year-old Anna has never really gone anywhere, and 16-year-old Bennett has gone everywhere - he can time travel to wherever he wants and whenever he wants. The only rule is that it must be within his lifetime - March 1995 to present-day for him, 2012. He tries to travel to 1994 with his sister, Brooke, to see a concert - he loves using his gift to see concerts of his favorite bands back in the '90s and 2000's - but something goes wrong, and Brooke gets lost. He then travels to 1995 Evanston to recoup and stay with his grandma, Maggie (though she thinks he's a Northwestern student) and try to find Brooke. It's there that he starts a relationship with Anna, a high school student, and he eventually lets her in on his secret.

The book starts when Anna is in her 30s, in 2012 San Francisco, when she gives a letter to Bennett (see quote above), but the rest of the book takes place in 1995 Evanston, for the most part. Although I loved the book, I would have liked to have known how 34-year-old Anna was able to find Bennett, and what eventually happened to them, but the author has told me that there will be more of them in a future book, and so I suppose I can wait for that one to find out more about them. Bennett also shares Anna's letter with her 1995 self at one point (in present-day events, he received the letter before he met the "past" her), and it changes the whole trajectory of her life; she decides to take more risks and travel, and at the end of the book she goes on study abroad to Mexico.

Time travel is crazy to think about, but most of the (fictional) books I've read about it, including this one, have all been done very well. Time Between Us has also been optioned by CBS Films for a movie version, and I think that could be an interesting film if done properly.

4 stars out of 5.


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