Monday, September 22, 2014

More Time Travel--to read and to write!

I am on a quest to find a good time travel book written for teens. And the reason is...our Teen Read Month writing contest! Yep, this year it's all about the time travel. It can be a contemporary story, historical fiction, science fiction, romance, or what have you, as long as it somehow incorporates...

The contest starts October 1, and the stories are due October 31 by 5:00 p.m. So limber up your fingers AND your brains and start thinking about where YOU would travel if you could "Turn Dreams into Reality." Would you go back to medieval times? or would you go back to last week for a do-over? Would you go forward three days to see if you got the part in the school play you wanted? or would you go forward 25 years to see how your life turned out?

In Time Between Us, by Tamara Ireland Stone, there's romance, there's a bit of mystery and yes, there's time travel. It's a "time-slip," rather than straight "time travel"--the blog reader who gave me that term distinguished them thusly:

Time travel is scientific, uses a machine or device, and anyone who wants to risk it can do it. (Think Dr. Who and his Tardis, Marty McFly's DeLorean, etc.) A time-slip is where someone has some special ability or power to time travel, but no one else can follow his or her example.

This book would be the latter.

Bennett is the time traveler, and Anna is the girl he meets while hanging out in her time for a reason he doesn't disclose at first. The story is definitely a romance between the two, but the author wisely doesn't make the romance the entire focus of the book. I also like that she adheres to some basic time travel rules--citing the Butterfly Effect, and also sticking to limitations about when, where, and how Bennett can travel. I really hate it when authors simply make it up as they go along, when there is a long history and tradition of time travel that they will be flouting by doing so! Bravo, Ms. Stone, for not doing that.

I liked the characters very much. They were real and believable, and the author avoided insta-love while making their relationship work within the context of the story. She also (thank you!) didn't make Anna a wimpy swoony girly-girl who sits and waits!

There were still a few problems for me about the vagaries and contradictions inherent in the time travel, but it is a good story!

If you would like to read this or other time travel books as preparation for writing your own story (or just because you like them), we have a YA LIST. There is also an adult time travel LIST, but it is quite incomplete, so don't stop there--search the catalog! Get hints and tips about that, as well as some further suggestions, at the bottom of my previous time travel-related post. If you're more of a research-oriented person and want to know some of the rules of time travel, someone has written a fantastic exposition of this on Wikipedia--check it out!

If you read this book, you will also want the sequel,
Time After Time. Yes, we have that at BPL too--yay us! (Although you might not be able to get it right away, because a certain librarian took it home this weekend...)

Finally, if you think Tamara Ireland Stone is your kind of author, you will have the opportunity on October 9 to take a workshop with her on writing time travel, followed by an author event with autographed copies of her books! Email to sign up for this workshop, which will be from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the Buena Vista branch!

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