Author: Gaby Triana
Publication date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Back to the Future meets Fast Times at Ridgemont High when Haley’s summer vacation takes a turn for the retro in this totally rad romantic fantasy.
Summer officially sucks. Thanks to a stupid seizure she had a few months earlier, Haley’s stuck going on vacation with her dad and his new family to Disney’s Fort Wilderness instead of enjoying the last session of summer camp back home with her friends. Fort Wilderness holds lots of childhood memories for her father, but surely nothing for Haley. But then a new seizure triggers something she’s never before experienced—time travel—and she ends up in River Country, the campground’s long-abandoned water park, during its heyday.
The year? 1982.
And there—with its amusing fashion, “oldies” music, and primitive technology—she runs into familiar faces: teenage Dad and Mom before they’d even met. Somehow, Haley must find her way back to the twenty-first century before her present-day parents anguish over her disappearance, a difficult feat now that she’s met Jason, one of the park’s summer residents and employees, who takes the strangely dressed stowaway under his wing.
Seizures aside, Haley’s used to controlling her life, and she has no idea how to deal with this dilemma. How can she be falling for a boy whose future she can’t share?
So. Much. Potential.
Actually, its potential wasn't fully wasted because I liked this book for the most part. I stayed up reading it until way after midnight and thought about it for an extra 30 minutes or so. So where did it go wrong?
Well, first, I'll tell you where it was right. Gaby Triana's writing style and voice connected with me. Again, I had a problem nearing the end, but in all, Haley's narration sucked me in. She made quips and didn't bore me. I felt like I could picture the setting, both in the past and future. I knew from the beginning that I'd pick up another Triana book right away because her writing captivated me in a fun way.
Another plus was the first half of the plot, which kept me reading. I was interested to see the past and meet Haley's teenage parents and explore the surprise with her. I loved reading about how Haley was trying to deal with it all and I begged for more.
Unfortunately, that's where it ends. It might not seem like it, but those plusses weighed a lot in my mind so I don't consider this a bad book, perse. I just expected something different.
|The plot for me|
Let's get this straight real quick. Jason and Haley meet and she's in his era for a grand total of, I think, three days. In that already limited time, they're only together for about 50-75% of that because she's napping or on the run or he's at work. So they might share some "deep" information, but I personally believe it's still superficial in the grand scheme of things. Then Haley considers STAYING with Jason and this is where I'd like to remind you all once again that he is the same age as her parents. Same. Age. Yes, she only knows him as a teenager, but it's just...wrong. Her wanting to grow up with her parents is wrong. It's all wrong.
It continues to be wrong when THINGS happen at the end. Things that I can't talk about because it's spoilery. Basically, it made me very, very peeved. One of the non-spoilery things at the end that made me angry was the fact that familial issues were not resolved. I think the author made an attempt for resolution, but I wasn't fooled. More superficial things happened, but none of Haley's complaints and problems were actually addressed. Do you know what that makes me? Dissatisfied.
Verdict: Some people may love the direction it took, but I would have liked it a whole lot more if it was less romance and more family and exploration.