Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Review: Time Between Us

Time Between Us
Published By:  Hyperion
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
Page Count:  384 pages
Source:  Book Purchased by Reviewer
  Audience:  Mature Young Adult Fantasy
I will admit that I was expecting my head to hurt a little while reading this book! Time traveling-type stories often tend to confuse me (The Time Traveller's Wife comes to mind) -- what with the usual complicated parameters of time travel within that particular story and going back and forth in time itself, altered time lines, etc., would sometimes leave my brain hurting by the time the conclusion rolled around.  But not so with Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone, which was fairly easy to follow and didn't leave me getting hung up on many of the details. 

Time Between Us is more than a star-crossed lovers's a story that answers the question we often pose to ourselves -- what if we could have the power to do things over?  Most of us would jump at that opportunity a time or two in our lives, but when you are faced with the repercussions of doing such a thing that seems innocent and well-justified enough at the time, only to find it changes things in the altered time line -- it makes you wonder.  It's about making decisions for someone else, unknowingly, and how it affects their lives, even with good intentions at the heart of it.

Bennett Cooper was sort of like a time-traveling-tourist.  Having discovered at a young age that he had the unique ability to travel back in time with the only rules being that he could only travel in the time frame where he exists...he could not go further back than the day he was born and could not travel into the future past his REAL present time in 2012 San Francisco.  He, for the most part, was having fun with his gift.  Traveling back in time to concerts he always wanted to go to, helping his father with stock tips and just visiting exotic locales...what was not to like about such a gift?  But when something horrible went wrong during an 'experiment' in time traveling with this sister, he was left to correct his mistake...and while fixing this mistake, he meets Anna 1995...the year he was born.  There is a lot more to their chance meeting but that would be giving too much away, and I have to say that half the fun of this story was fitting the puzzle pieces together as their time-traveling adventures unfolded.

Despite Bennett's huge presence in this story, Anna was actually the protagonist and I quite liked her.  She was smart and confident in herself.  She questioned things that I would have questioned and that made her relatable to me even though she was a competitive runner...which I'm not!  But she also dreamed of traveling the world, which is a dream many of us have.  She had a great and supportive family and a two really awesome best-friends...Justin and Emma.  There was a hint of a 'more than best friends'-type of relationship with Justin but it wasn't a major theme in this story, of which I appreciated.  Sometimes love triangles are not necessary...but the way this one played out was perfect for this story.

Bennett was adorable, sweet, romantic and sexy all rolled into one.  His shaggy dark hair was what Anna noticed about him first...which, many of us would remember not being one of the hairstyles in the 90's.  He does his best about keeping the advancements from 2012 out of Anna's realm, and does try to play by 'the rules' he imposes on himself for his time traveling adventures.  However, he has a hard-time resisting impressing Anna, though.  And he also has a hard time saying no to her, too, especially when she is so distraught and he has the power to take that pain away.  Without giving away too much detail, Anna's request wasn't unreasonable...most of us would ask for such a thing in those same circumstances...but poor Bennett was put in an impossible situation on more than one occasion.  But he always had the best of intentions no matter how things turned out.  I loved that about him.

The love story between Anna and Bennett itself was wonderful and sweet and complicated...and they were fighting time itself to be together.  It really felt quite hopeless at times...but there was always a ray of hope that they would find a way.

I was anticipating visiting a lot of exotic locations along with Anna & Bennett after their first 'trip' but there weren't as many as I might have liked and I sort of felt let down a little...however, I could reason that if there was more of that, it might have cluttered the story unnecessarily, so in that light, it was forgiven.  But when they did travel to places like a small island off of Thailand, or a little fishing village in was magical and it felt like I was there too with the author's descriptive writing of those scenes. 

Much of the story was told from the perspective of being in 1995, and I found that fun to revisit some of the culture from that time.  For example, when Anna was leaving for the summer, she told her parents she'd write them...not TEXT or email them!  Popular groups from back in the day like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and 'some pissed-off Canadian chick singing about breaking up' (guessing Alanis Morissette) brought back memories for me. 

Overall, this was a wonderful story!  And I love it when a stand-alone book has a satisfying ending and comes around full circle.  There is some mild references to sexual situations but there was nothing overly graphic.  I think most will enjoy this story quite a lot!


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.


  1. Well, I have heard a lot about this. And I absolutely love time-travel stories. From Lauren Kate's Passion to Grace Brannigan's Once Upon a Remembrance. They are enchanting but they need a lot of work from talented authors. I love the cover of this book and your review makes me wanna read it right about now!
    LOVED your review, Michelle B
    Your reader,

    1. Thanks Soma! I hope you enjoy it, too! I think you will! :)


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