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With a similar kind of concept to The Time Travellers Wife, Time Between Us was a moving and captivating YA read that despite a few hiccups, I ultimately enjoyed. Told from the point of view of sixteen year old Anna, Time Between Us is a story of love and adventure, all mixed in with a twist of the impossible.
Inexplicably drawn to Bennett, the new guy at her school Anna can't help but feel like there is something 'different' about him. Therefore when he saves her from knife point by teleporting her into the past, she realises just how different their lives really are.
Bennett is a time traveller and Anna knows that realistically, they were never meant to meet - yet she can't help but fall in love with him. Born nearly 17 years apart between two different times, Anna and Bennett must find a way to keep Bennett from returning to the future, but fate is determined to pull them apart. The only question is, is their love strong enough to beat the divide of time and space...?
I enjoyed this book but felt like it got off to a slow beginning. There were also times where not everything made sense, but I assure that this is one of those books that if you persevere, everything will eventually fall into place and the story does pick up after the first hundred or so pages.
Anna is a very level headed main character. She has a loving family and great friends, slightly above average grades and a future all planned out. I liked that she is just a normal kind of girl. Bennett on the other hand wasn't your typical mysterious, good looking type. Sure he had elements of mystery but apart from the whole time travel thing he was mostly a, 'what you see is what you get' kind of guy which I really liked.
I enjoyed how the romance between the two developed and their relationship was sweet and believable. The trials and conflicts Bennett and Anna had to face as a couple were harsh and I was quite often surprised by how the storyline played out. The ending was also not at all what I expected - but in a good way.
The secondary and supportive characters such as Anna's best friend Emma were also really well written, some of the characters even having small storylines of their own. I also enjoyed how Bennett was careful with his gift, knowing that changing the past in even a small way, can have huge consequences in the future that at first you don't see at all. These little consequences made for some great plot twists.
So overall I thought Time Between Us was a pretty good read, although my main hiccup with the book was that the pacing could be rather slow. However I will also say hands up that this isn't the type of book I typically go for. Therefore my rating is 3 stars!
About the book
Time Between Us is the debut YA novel by Tamara Ireland Stone. It was published by Doubleday on 25th October and the book is 384 pages long.
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.
(Taken from Goodreads.com)
What I thought
Before I started this book, I was a little nervous. The first book that I read about time travel was Julie Cross' Tempest and I loved that book. I didn't want this one to be too similar. Luckily, once I started it, I realised I was going to be reading something completely different.
Anna and Bennett were both fantastic protagonists and I loved them both. It made me so happy to see that they both have normal names. Instead of being thrown together and having an instant fall in love moment, Anna and Bennett have the kind of relationship that takes time. They have to get to know each other and to understand each other before there can even be a relationship. I really loved the build-up and the exploration of Anna and Bennett's feelings for each other. Both characters are extremely down to earth and quite normal for the most part which is part of what made them so likeable to me.
Bennett is in fact the one who is only quite normal due to the fact that he can jump around the world as and when he likes and time travel. Unlike a straight forward time travel story, Bennett's ability has quite a few restrictions and this made him even more fascinating to me. The way that his ability is revealed and explained was great as it allows readers to really get their heads around what is going on slowly, exactly like things are for Anna. The travelling aspect to this book was a huge plus for me as it made for some very interesting reading.
Anna has a fantastic relationship with her British best friend Emma. A lot of girls in YA novels are bitchy towards one another and there is often a sense of jealousy or love triangle rivalry going on but that is not the case in this book. It was refreshing to see two girls so close and stay that way throughout the story. As much as I liked Emma as a character, I wish that British-isms had been used more. Emma could have become a bit of a quirkier character that would have provided a bigger contrast with Anna, which would have been nice.
The thing about this book is that it's a stand-alone which is a nice change compared with how many series there are at the minute. However, while this was a nice change, the ending wasn't perfect enough for me. While I was happy with how certain things were wrapped up, it all seemed a bit rushed. The build up to this part is quite exciting and intense at times so to have the ending rushed was a slight let down. I wanted to know more about what happened but this wasn't what I got.
Even though the ending wasn't really what I wanted to read, this is an amazing book. Characters, plot and pacing are all spot on and I couldn't put it down as I was so fully invested in Anna and Bennett's relationship. Time Between Us is thrilling, romantic and daring - the things which make a great YA novel!