I found this book to be SUPER underwhelming. I read it because the movie was coming out and Mandy Moore is in it and it has such a high star rating on Goodreads. Honestly, I just feel like I read the book too late. If I had read it about five years ago not long after it came out, I think I would have loved it. As it is, I felt like the book really dragged and the characters weren’t super interesting to me. The author didn’t really explain anything either, but maybe that comes in the later books?
I found the romance to be cringey at best and eye-rolly at worst. It verges on insta-love and the love interest is this perfect specimen of a teenage boy. Literally, his only flaw is that he cares too much about the little guy. The main character’s motivations seemed extremely fluid and didn’t make for a very concrete character. I will say that the secondary characters of Zume and Chubs were a nice addition, but they weren’t enough to save this book.
While there were a few plot points that genuinely took me by surprise, overall this book was predictable and much, much longer than it needed to be. It took me almost an entire month to read simply because there was nothing drawing me back to it.
While the cliffhanger was surprising and, honestly, completely wrecked me, I do not plan on reading the rest of this series. Or watching the movie tbh.
Overall Rating: 3
Sexual Content: Mild
On the night of Etta’s most important violin recital, she learns a secret about her family that promises to change everything. Her mother has been kidnapped and it’s up to Etta to find the one thing that can save her life. As it turns out, Etta has the ability to time travel and the thing she’s been sent to find could be hidden anywhere, anytime. As she races against the clock, she tries to ignore her growing attraction to her traveling companion, Nicholas, a freed slave turned (legal) pirate.
I’ve heard some really mixed reviews about this book. I’ll just start off by saying this concept is very confusing. I’ve started to realize (through reading Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray and The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry) that this whole time travel/alternate reality travel is very confusing to me. I don’t really get all of the repercussions that they talk about by changing things and meeting yourself and all of that…it all goes over my head. I tried so hard to understand things, but that last chapter or two was very, very hard for me to comprehend. Just…what? What happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen? Anyway…I don’t want to give any spoilers but just know that I’m very confused.
The characters themselves were fine. I didn’t feel any particular affinity towards either Etta or Nicholas. They weren’t particularly unlikable, but they weren’t particularly likable either. Maybe I just felt like they were both a little too self-sacrificing? Or maybe that I didn’t feel like they’d thought through their motivations all the way. I don’t know. Something like that.
That being said, I felt like the author did a fantastic job with each of the different settings and time periods. I mean, it’s hard enough for an author to do a good job describing one setting and one time, but I felt like Bracken did a great job putting the reader in each new time period and each new location.
Overall, the writing was good (nothing stellar, but good) and the characters and plot were fine. I liked it and plan to continue with the series but I could see myself souring on it depending on how the second book goes.
Overall Rating: 4
Sexual Content: Moderate. One scene in particular, not explicit.