PURCHASE:Amazon | Book Depository
At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.
After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.
Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.
But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Time-traveling has never been as fun.
I’ve always loved time traveling, ever since I read a romance book that had it as a central theme many, many years ago. The possibilities are just endless, you know? Who wouldn’t be fascinated with going back in time, and then possibly affecting the past that would eventually change the future? I mean, I myself would want to change a lot in my past… I’d kill to go back in time, shake my past self silly, and go, “Why didn’t you study for that exam?! Why did you have to eat so many salty potato chips that your kidney had to be affected?!”
Oops, wait, that wasn’t supposed to be disclosed…
In any case, I’ve always wanted to read a time travel book again, but since that book, I haven’t really found anything that satisfied this craving of mine aside from Cristin Terrill’s All Our Yesterdays, and that was a year ago (which in book blogging years sounds like… a lifetime ago. Seriously) . When I chanced upon Loop by Karen Akins, I could hear wedding bells ringing in my head. I mean, sure, I was a bit hesitant at first (crashed and burned too many times, baby. You become cautious after a while), but the other positive reviews just strengthened my resolve.
I’ve finally finished it this morning, and while I wasn’t completely enamored, I certainly was entertained. Dude, I don’t always laugh while reading books, but this one made me chuckle more than twice!
First, let’s talk about the narration style. It’s fun. It’s told in the first person perspective of Bree Bennis, a Shifter from the future who can travel through time. She undergoes missions all the time from her school, but a recent accident involving her mother forced her to accept a shady mission from this dude called Leto (the name itself already gives me that “he-is-not-to-be-trusted” vibe). From then on, she commences a meaningful journey (and a mystery) that takes her across time and space (man, that sounds way cool).
The main reason this novel is fun is because the main character can be fun and it shows a lot through the narration. She’s funny, reckless, can be self-deprecating in an honestly awesome way that you won’t feel guilty laughing at her jokes, and she’s even sarcastic to boot. You’ll never get bored reading the book because she always has something to say that would make you snort (in good humor) and giggle. What’s even better is that even though she is this way, she has her moments of weaknesses and self-doubt, too, making her a really relatable character. When she thinks of her mom, when she thinks of her friend, Mimi, when she thinks about all the web of lies she’s in because of her predicament, when she ponders about the bad treatment she receives from other people due to what happened to her mother… these instances fleshes her character out and gives her a lot of depth.
Although I have to say, there were moments she annoyed me, too. Yeah, she’s funny and adorable in her own way, but goddamn, when she’s being secretive to Finn (the love interest) about certain things using lame excuses like, “I was trying to protect you!” I would feel my blood boil because not only is that cliché as fuck it’s rather overused, too, and only leads me to feel the conflict is dragged and unnecessarily so. The icing on the cake was when other characters had important information for her and she refused to believe them on the basis that they were “impossible to happen”, and I’m like, “WTF DUDE INSTEAD OF PUSHING THEM AWAY WHY DON’T YOU HEAR WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY?!”
Other than that, it’s not really uncommon for me to love and hate a main character the same time… I’m just really nitpicky in general. *bows head in shame*
As for the science part and the explanations of how the world and system works… let’s just say… they are pretty confusing. I’m not sure if I’m just slow in picking up the pieces or what, but I just couldn’t 100% get it. There are some “We don’t really understand how this works but it is what it is and we just accept it!” and there are some explanations that seem to go around in circles. Honestly, I think this aspect was the weakest (the world-building in general) because it just doesn’t make it simple for the reader (especially with all the references to the Chicken-Egg thing) and it’s simply just the most confusing thing ever. I shit you not that I can’t count the number of times I scratched and tilted my head trying to understand what the hell did certain explanations mean. Sometimes, I look at them paragraphs and the words start swirling around. I am not kidding.
The same can be told about the mystery. It’s easier to understand than the world-building, but since it also depended on the world-building and the explanations of how time-traveling and stuff worked, it was a bit muddled to me as well. And all the revelations were disclosed in one big reveal near the end, and were mixed with some of the heavier time-travel explanations, so it kinda resulted to one huge mindfuckery (in a really… confusing, confusing way). Hopefully, things will be clearer in the second book…
The romance is pretty good, though! If you like the “hate-then-love” trope, you’ll find yourself having a treat. I felt the development between the two lovebirds was realistic and sweet; you can really see and feel the moments that happened between them that would justify the eventual romantic feelings they’ll have for each other. Their banter and interaction can be great and funny, and I found myself looking forward to scenes that have both of them in it. Plus, Finn is an awesome character! He’s not there to just be the love interest; he has his own role in the grand scheme of things and provides great insight that would help the main character in her quest to find the truth.
All in all, it was a very decent first book to a promising time-travel series. The characters are awesome (oh, the best friend character was hilarious! She was a sweetie pie through and through), and the romance is a treat, but I was left not as satisfied when it came to the world-building and mystery. Despite the problems, however, I see a lot of potential in this series and I am definitely looking forward to book 2. (Plus, who wouldn’t want to read more about the nerd who finally gets the girl?! Yee-haw!)
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