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. Text and Image from Goodreads
This book could have gone so many ways. It could have been a time-travel book with a little romance. It could have been a look into the world of 1995. It could have been a cultural comparison between 1995 and 2012, sort of a timeless vs. trendy. It could have explored the moral dilemma about what, if anything, you should change when you can change history. Honestly, I kind of wanted a bit more of the above. While it explored all of these a little bit, it is basically a cute romance, with a little bit of everything else thrown in. Don't get me wrong, I like romance. In my opinion, every book should have at least a sprinkling just for fun. I just wanted a little bit more of the other stuff.
Still, this book is a great read. First off, I liked visiting 1995 again. I wasn't as old as Anna is, but it was fun to remember life without cell phones or ipods and to revisit the music of the time. I admit, most of it I didn't recognize because I was a too young, but some of them I did, and others I looked up. What's the fun of traveling back to 1995 if you can't immerse yourself in the world? It also made me grateful I wasn't in High School in 1995. I can hardly imagine planning a trip without the internet.
Yes, this book made me desperately want to travel. I totally sympathize with Anna, who has her tiny clump of pins stuck in a map on her wall, while she dreams of seeing the world. Plus, now I want to visit all the places Anna and Bennett visited (basically, Bennett can visit anywhere in the world and take anyone with him. Yes, I am jealous). They sound amazing.
Beyond the setting, I really liked all of the characters. I loved Anna's parents, who were always there for her, and her best friends, Emma and Justin. Then there's Anna and Bennett. The best part of their relationship and characters is how they complimented each other. Anna wanted what Bennett always had, and Bennett longs for a life more similar to Anna's. Bennett is the one with the power, so it could have easily been tilted in his favor, but as their relationship progressed, it rarely felt that way. From the beginning he tried to give Anna a choice, and I appreciated that.
What probably frustrated me most about this book was the ending. Not the ending, ending. that was perfect, but the climax leading up to the ending. I won't give it away, but it seemed a little contrived to me. I understand Tamara Ireland Stone wanted Anna to be put in a certain situation and grow from it. That's great. I like what she learned and became because of it, and I think it was important. However, I still don't quite buy how it was set up. No reason was given for why things worked out the way they did, both for good and for bad. Plus, I felt the story line with the sister needed to be fleshed out a bit more. It gave Bennett an excuse to be where he was, but it was too easily resolved (dismissed).
All in all, this book was a fun 3 star read. Stone is a good writer, and I look forward to reading more from her. I loved the time travel aspects and a view into the world of my childhood (wanted more of them). I liked Anna and Bennett's relationship, and I loved the very end. Just go into it knowing this book is 3/4 high school romance and 1/4 time traveling adventure, and you'll love it.