Friday, August 5, 2011
Sixteen-year-old Gwen lives with her extended - and rather eccentric - family in an exclusive London neighborhood. In spite of her ancestors' peculiar history, she's had a relatively normal life so far. The time-traveling gene that runs like a secret thread through the female half of the family is supposed to have skipped over Gwen, so she hasn't been introduced to "the mysteries," and can spend her time hanging out with her best friend, Lesley, watching movies and talking about boys. It comes as an unwelcome surprise then when she starts taking sudden, uncontrolled leaps into the past.
She's totally unprepared for time travel, not to mention all that comes with it: fancy clothes, archaic manners, a mysterious secret society, and Gideon, her time-traveling counterpart. He's obnoxious, a know-it-all, and possibly the best-looking guy she's seen in any century...
This is the time travel book I have been looking for. It has everything I love in a time travel plot, lots of crazy time mix-ups, people seeing themselves in unexpected years and places, and a timeline that is decidedly NON-linear. All that, plus this has all the charm of a contemporary teen story and is incredibly funny. I laughed out loud multiple times. It all takes place in London and the setting is wonderfully described (especially during London's different time periods). The story is deliciously detailed and has a fabulous air of mystery to it. The characters are awesome, especially Gwen. The biggest problem is that this book feels like 1/3 of a story (makes sense seeing that there will be two other books in the series). Sapphire Blue comes out early next year and I can't wait. This isn't one of those series where each book stands alone. This is a series where I read it feeling like, "Wait, there aren't very many pages left and I still haven't figured out this, this, and this... not to mention THIS!!!" Aahh!! I wish the whole story was all in one book.
This series was originally published in German and as I read it I felt like the cadence and rhythm of the words reminded me of a Cornelia Funke novel (Inkheart trilogy). I figured that was because they were all translated from German, but turns out this novel was translated by the exact same person who translated Cornelia Funke's novels. Makes sense!
Anyway, I loved this. It's exactly my kind of book.
(This is the point where I sigh and complain about how long my to-buy list is getting...)