Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Official Summary: “Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility. As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back 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—and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together.
Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning and spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new talent in YA fiction.”
TIme Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone is a nontraditional love story. When Anna meets Bennett, she thinks he is just the new kid in town. He seems more interesting than most given that he has traveled the world and she has only ever been to four cities, but beyond this she assumes that he is just like everyone else their age. But then one day she comes to realize that he is nothing like everyone else and, in fact, he is not even her age. He has the power to travel through time and has actually come back in time from 2012 to her town in 1995. While they both realize that this complicates their emerging relationship, they decide to ignore the potential pitfalls. But, Bennett’s “gift” might be an insurmountable obstacle in the end.
While Time Between Us is at its heart a love story, it spends a lot of time considering many of the logistics of Bennett’s ability to travel through time at will. Beyond explaining how the trips feel for him and anyone he takes with him, Stone also explains the complicated moral distinctions Bennett has devised that are meant to keep him from using his powers in ways that will have unpredictable impacts on the rest of the world. Some of the limitations also go beyond his own choices and seem to be dictated by the physics of traveling through time, such as the fact that he can only truly travel to periods during which he was alive. This attention to detail gave the book an added sense of believability that many time travel stories do not manage to attain and allows the book to stand apart from many similar books, though those who have read The Time Traveler’s Wife will undoubtedly see some superficial similarities between the two stories.
The pacing of the book draws readers along as do the engaging characters that Stone has populated her world with, but I found that the story felt at times a bit like a disjointed series of events rather than a truly cohesive story. While it wasn’t a particularly short book, I think it would have benefitted from some additional explanation and more details about Anna and Bennett’s time together to make the book feel like a bit more cohesive. Overall though, the attention to detail and the entertaining story make up for the occasionally abrupt transitions and make this a fun and light read.
Note: Review based on ARC from publisher.