I promise this happened accidentally. Now, I do sometimes read books with a theme – on purpose. This time it was accidental.
I discovered I had read three books in a month’s time that all had to do with time travel.
Then I picked a fourth book and started listening to it and…it was also a time travel book. I’d love to hear what you think about this type of book and especially the five books for this month! (The fifth book is my all-time favorite time travel book. I didn’t read it lately, but you should!)
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In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
This sweet little romance book will capture you from the beginning! Dannie is a lawyer that has just been in an interview for her dream job. Of course, she is asked where she thinks she will be in five years. She expects to do well in her new job. She is also expecting her boyfriend to ask her to marry him. She has a wonderful best friend named Bella. All seems right in her world.
Then she wakes up in an apartment she does not recognize with a man she doesn’t know and it is five years later. How on earth did she get to this point? And why does she have some intense feelings for this man who is a stranger?
After some puzzling moments Dannie wakes up back in real time and for a few years, she just wonders (often) about the apartment and the man. In the meantime, Dannie and her boyfriend, David, do get engaged. It should come as no surprise that the mysterious man of Dannie’s dream reappears as Bella’s boyfriend.
Such drama! And then there are going to be some twists to the story that you will not see coming. It ends up being entirely about the relationship between Dannie and Bella and their love for one another. And, of course, those two men!
I think you will enjoy this book. It has some fun moments and some very sad moments. It might be a little unbelievable at times, but you will want to see it all play out. I give it 4 stars!
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
The two lives for Lydia are the two she must bridge together and continue existing- in both worlds. The back-story is that Lydia and Freddie have been together since they were very young. Lydia also has a childhood friend, Jonah, that has been her best friend forever. The book opens with Lydia excited about her birthday and then she finds that Freddie has died in an accident on the way to her party. Jonah was with him, but Jonah survived.
Lydia is devastated and spends the next couple of months trying to come to grips with this horrible change in her life plan.
Enter a magic pill, a new sleeping pill. She is given the pill as a way to rest and quickly discovers that when she goes to sleep she wakes up with Freddie. He is alive and they are living their life in an alternate world. How will Lydia fare with these two worlds- because she does wake up back in the real world. What will happen when she runs out of pills?
The book does take on the levels of grief and survivor-guilt for Lydia and Jonah. Their friendship is strained and when secrets are revealed it will change them. Will their friendship remain intact?
I will say this was a chick-lit book, but with some interesting twists and details that made it interesting. I give it 4 stars. I loved the time travel aspect and was happy with the way it all played out in the end!
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
What a remarkable premise this book has! The story of Oona begins on New Year’s Eve in 1982 when Oona is about to turn 19. She has big plans for the next few years including traveling and deciding to pursue a career in music. Instead, she begins to feel faint, passes out, and wakes up to find that she is now 51.
Her mother helps her understand that this happens every New Year’s Eve. Every year she wakes up at a different age. She is literally living her life out of order. She also discovers she is quite wealthy and reasons for that will be revealed in the book. Of course, the world has changed. It is 2015 and there are computers, the internet, and cell phones. Just as Ooona is getting used to all these changes the year is over and she wakes up at a new age.
At every wake up she remembers things from the year before, but she is also faced with new challenges. There are friends she doesn’t know and situations she must learn about. I cannot tell you much more about this book without revealing all the things that happened from year to year!
This was quite a fun book. I also did not want it to end. I wanted her to keep leaping from year to year to find out how everything turned out. I give this one 4.5 stars because I wanted it to continue! I am wondering if there will be a sequel!
Recursion by Blake Crouch
I will start by telling you two things. First, this genre is way out of my carefully curated favorite book genre list. Science fiction is usually not remotely on my radar. Second, I listened to this book and I am glad I did. The book is full of jargon belonging to the time travel aspect and I don’t think I would have plowed through all of it.
So, the book opens with Barry Sutton, a New York police detective arriving at the scene of a suicide in progress. A woman is seated on a tall building ready to jump. As he talks to her he finds that she has FMS- False Memory Syndrome. This disease makes people have memories of a lifetime they have no knowledge of and memories of tragedies they cannot remember. Suicide is an act many of them attempt to block out the painful reliving of events that don’t seem to be possible.
Okay, that was an intriguing way to start a book! From that point you next meet Helena who long ago dreamed of making a time travel chair method in which people could be taken back to memories they have lost- like an Alzheimer’s patient. The chair was supposed to be a remarkable way to gain back that which you have lost.
However, if the chair and its methods fall into the wrong hands, what kind of havoc can follow? What if you can use the immersion tank and chair and repeat the best year or month of your life? What if you can use the chair to change the course of history? The underlying thread of all these occurrences is this: when the course of your life is altered and you return to present-day you will have changed. And, you will have memories of what happened before those changes. It is mind-boggling to think about how your brain can handle this emotional overload.
Now, you see why I am glad I listened to this book! I give it 4.5 stars for its absolute creativity and thought-provoking premise. I did tend to get a little lost in the passages full of scientific vocabulary about the time travel. Give it a listen!
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I cannot even tell you how many times I have read this book. I first posted a review of this book in 2017, but I read it ten years prior to that. I am sure, by now, that you have heard about this series. I have read the book and listened to it more than once. I would highly recommend this as an audio book! The narrator is magnificent!
Outlander is the story of Claire who is vacationing with her husband in Scotland in 1945. They explore a remote countryside and find a hillside with standing stones. The next day Claire decides to go back to the stones to find a special flower she saw. While there, she explores a little more and then hears noises, apparently coming from one of the stones. Puzzled, she approaches the stone and places her hands on it. Moments later she awakens, dazed, and quickly discovers she has been transported back in time- to 1743 Scotland to be exact.
What follows is a grand adventure as Claire tackles life in Scotland – amid Scottish clans and British soldiers. Claire was previously a nurse and her ability to heal comes in quite handy. She is more forthright than women of that time and this does get in her way, and then…
Claire meets Jamie Fraser and the book takes off as these two form a magical bond.
This book series has been adapted for television and can be viewed now on Starz. The fifth season is amazing! The TV series is excellent, but, you absolutely must read the books. (There are currently 8 in the book series and a 9th is being written.)
This is a book I definitely give 5+ stars! Read it!
My rating system: 5 stars means perfection- the book was written well, held my attention, and I did not want it to end. 4 stars- the book was really good, but I had questions or concerns about parts of it – usually the way it ended stupidly. 3 stars- the book was okay, but I just didn’t like it much. 2 stars- I skimmed most of it. 1 star- I could not finish it.