Time Between Us
Tamara Ireland Stone
October 25th 2012
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.
As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to 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, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.
Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.
I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about Time Between Us when I first got it and started reading it, because as far as time travel is concerned, I generally prefer to be a bit more on the sci-fi side, but I think that's just because I've never read more contemp approach to it before. After reading this, though, I think I'm a lot more open minded, and I'm definitely thinking about giving The Time Traveller's Wife more of a chance. Though from what I hear about that book, this one definitely had a happier ending.
I really liked how Bennett's time travelling was handled, because it was timey-wimey enough without going to far for it to still be considered a contemp, and I think the fact that it was told from Anna's perspective really helped with that because it gave us the outsider's perspective on his power. I thought from first glance that it'd be told from Bennett's POV or from both of their perspectives, but I think it all being Anna's story really worked.
Anna was great, too. And yeah, I know I say that about basically everyone, but it's my blog and I'll say what I want. I think that her reaction to Bennett's ability and her relationship with Bennett and her reactions to some of the things that he'd done were all really realistic and I felt I could sympathise more with her that way than if she'd been more eager to forgive him for things that no one should do even if they have the power to do it. Then again, the exact same thing could be said about what he did for Emma, so the morals behind his timey-wimey powers are more nuanced than one might think. Still, I kind of think it's fundamentally wrong to change someone's timeline a) without their permission and b) for a reason any smaller than stopping them dying (though that could end EVEN MORE HORRIFICALLY Just don't mess with time, guys. Don't do it. Never ends well.) I was really proud of her, though, when Bennett left (kind of not really a spoiler) and she carried on with her life after realising that this whole time had been the do-over of the first time she'd been with him (again, time - don't mess with it). I really admired he decision to start to move on.
I liked Bennett, too, and seeing how he dealt with his power. Though I enjoyed the focus on Anna and how Bennett had changed her life, I think I would've liked to have seen a bit from his perspective too, to see even more how she had changed his life. I think it was really important that they both gave each other what they wanted, for Anna, her life to become a 'daring adventure', and for Bennett, his life to be normal and to have a close knit group of family and friends who love him. To properly have a home. I think that the balance struck between those two in the book were done really well, and that they've both come to appreciate what they already have as well as the possibilities that being with each other could bring to them. I have no idea how they're going to make their relationship work long term, but I hope they do/did work it out.
The only thing that I had a slight problem with was that I didn't get the feeling that it was set in 1995 at all. Maybe that's just because I, well, didn't exist then and no idea what it was like, but apart from the occasional mention of a Walkman and a shit ton of Pearl Jam, I found myself forgetting that it wasn't set in the present. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but for a time travel book where the main problem is that she's from 1995 and he's from 2012, forgetting that's it's not 2012 could minorly get in the way. But I don't really know how she could've made it more 90's or anything, and it didn't bother me too much, I just had to occasionally remind myself when it was set, is all.
I really liked Time Between Us a lot, and it's definitely convinced me to have a more open mind about time travel and whether it can really fit well into a contemp style setting (and yes, it's not technically contemp, but I can't really think of any other way to describe it). Even if you don't think it sounds like your cup of tea, I still think you should give it a go, because it's just a really sweet love story with a tiny bit of time travel thrown in. Really, who's going to argue with that.