Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Published: October 9, 2012 by Hyperion
Received: On loan from a friend
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. [goodreads]
I first heard about this book at the Austin Teen Book Festival when author Tamara Ireland Stone was on a panel discussing the intriguing story of Anna and Bennett. I had never read a book before dealing with time travel, and so this contemporary YA that delved into the interesting concept definitely caught my eye.
The story of Anna and Bennett is centered around time. As the reader, from the beginning you don't know if this is the starting point of their relationship, somewhere in the middle, or even their potential future. I was immediately drawn to that aspect of the story. The concept of time travel is something that is fresh to my literature world. Yes, I've ventured into books that deal with a dash of moving backwards or forwards, but I've never read a story that centered around it.
A good chunk of the novel takes place in 1995. Oh what a time to revisit! I am a huge fan of the alternative rock music during that decade, so I really appreciated the author's attention to detail when it came to what music her characters were listening to -- and even mentioned a few concert venues popular during that time. Bennett's time travel has restrictions though. He can only go back to the year he was born, nothing before that. I thought that was a very interesting detail to add to this story. The scope of time travel could be huge, but the author has kept a restraint, which also helped guide the story along.
In my gut, as I kept flipping the pages, a feeling of something unsettling lingered ahead. There had to be consequences when toying with fate. By changing one detail, it has the potential to alter greater things that still lie ahead. I kept this in the back of my mind as Bennett welcomed Anna into his secret life. Their relationship was not built on the normal frameworks of trust and understanding. There were bits of adventure, protection, and the unknown that filtered their way in. Some moments were breathtaking based on Bennett's capabilities, while others tugged firmly at my heart strings.
Though I did not always feel connected to the characters, the plot kept me turning the pages. This type of storyline will definitely win over fans of contemporary YA. It has all the makings of a romantic love story that literally spans the test of time.