Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review: TIME BETWEEN US by Tamara Ireland Stone

Author: Tamara Ireland Stone

Publication date: October 9, 2012 

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Source: an ARC given through ARCycling

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.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.

I was just bemoaning the fact that I had been going through "pokeable" and disappointing books, leaving me in a book rut. Thanks to ARCycling, it changed!

Since I'm having a hard time explaining my thoughts clearly (I've written this review about three times so far), I'll try to do it in list form. Hopefully my thoughts will be more organized.

  • The beginning - Anna is older and is working up the nerve to hand younger Bennett a letter. She does and then we're presented to younger "present" Anna running on the track with a smiling Bennett watching her. For me, it was a great opener because I was instantly intrigued. 
  • The secondary characters -  I enjoyed reading about the British Emma, the music loving Justin, and her parents were a definite bonus. While I would have liked more Justin and depth to him, I liked him and Emma, Anna's best friends. I was confused at the part of them saying Justin and Anna were best friends. I didn't see that. I could definitely see them being friends and they said they had been since they were younger. But best friends? Eh, wasn't clicking for me, but I'll get more into that in the negatives. Anna's parents though were great! Another married set of parents, still alive, and not going through divorce. We didn't see much of her mother, but her father was present and protective, supportive too. Yay for great families!
  • Time-traveling + teleporting - Time-traveling in itself is awesome to me. I was a bit afraid that it would hurt my head and at times, it was a bit confusing, but it reminded me of The Lake House and although I haven't read or watched it, it sounds similar to what I've heard about The Time Traveler's Wife. Added to that, Bennett could teleport himself to anywhere in the world, bringing Anna with him. I found both of those aspects fascinating, a power I wish I could possess. 
  • Bennett's rules - I liked that Bennett had set rules for himself. He limited himself and didn't want to destruct the world by changing big events. However, while I liked the rules, I was displeased on how everything turned out. This will also pop up in my negatives.
  • Time-sucking - While this could be possibly a negative since you find yourself only wanting to read and nothing else, I love when a book captures me in and doesn't let go. Some people complained that it was slow and confusing and they didn't like it. I'm in the other category of people who was captivated. I can see it being slow and possibly too confusing, but I liked when they explained things. I liked the progression of things. I found myself staying way too late for my own good and while I love my sleep, I love that I'm reading a book that makes me want to actually keep reading. I had been getting in a reading rut so it was quite refreshing. 
  • Anna and her secondary relationships - She called Justin her best friend. But what I saw was a girl using her long-time friend's crush on her for her own musical pleasure. Justin worked at a record store so she got free music all the time, even gaining some tickets now and then. When Justin gets in a relationship with someone else, she's surprised and a little hurt, I guess you could say, that he actually didn't have a crush on her. She had been thinking that whole time that he did so she would keep their conversations short. I get it. I just couldn't resist yelling, "HA!" to the page because I felt like she should get taken down a notch. I liked Justin. 
  • Bennett's rules - I liked Bennett's rules. I didn't like how he proceeded with them. He was so tough on them, but eventually gave in to Anna. Backbone, Bennett. 
  • Anna with Bennett - When she finds about Bennett and something tragic happens, she begs for him to do a do-over like any normal person. Then he repeatedly says no and she starts saying accusatory things. I couldn't see why Anna could just pause a moment in her strife and realize that NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT HER. Also, why didn't Bennett just go forward a couple weeks to see if everything would be alright? While I liked their romance in parts, the critical side of me kept thinking that Anna was just using Bennett for his powers. She was disappointed at first when he didn't take her to another country, she grew bitter at the thoughts of not going anywhere and him going everywhere, she manipulated to change the past and go to the future, and the list seems to continue. I hate users so this especially bugged me. In addition, I have to ignore the fact that they seem to have not been together long before they started proclaiming that they couldn't survive without each other.
  • The oh so many open ends - I can't even list the open ended questions because there are spoilers. It feels like there are tons. I know that there's a second book coming out (yay!), but after reading a book, I don't want to be left with lots of questions. While the book was enjoyable to me, I started thinking about it more and felt like there was too many question marks and not enough periods, which didn't settle well with me. 
After writing the review, I know it looks like there were more negatives than positives, bigger issues to be dealt with. However, I did like this book. I thought it was captivating and interesting. I know I will be anxiously awaiting the sequel, I will be hoping that the negatives in the first book will be remedied in the second though.

"When did you manage to cut your hair anyway?" 
He shrugs. 
I lean in and whisper, "You traveled?"
He moves even closer to me and whispers in my ear, "No. I went to Supercuts."

Verdict: A time-sucking novel with negatives, but I feel that the positives outweigh them.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I really liked it and I can't wait for the sequel!


  2. I love time-sucking books and you are making me more interested in this one. They often actually make me more productive because I can promise myself reading time as a reward for doing homework or some other menial task.

    It also sounds nice that the author xplained things because this premise leaves plenty of opportunities for plot holes. Anna and Bennett's relationship dynamic seems annoying, though. Maybe I'll have to read this one and see what I think…

    1. Oh, I need to do that then!

      You really do and let me know what you think!

  3. I've been really interested in this one. Glad to hear you liked it!! :)

  4. Hmm... I think I would wait until the next book came out to pick this up. I don't like open endings. This sounds like such a different read with the time travel and I'm afraid of what Bennett wouldn't change. Great review, Sunny. :)

  5. I'm glad that there is a sequel planned at least, as I know I can't stand unanswered questions! This sounds really good overall though, despite the problems you had with it. Time-travel is one of my favourite topics, and although it does more often confuse me than not, I love getting my head around different concepts and figuring it all out. Great review, Sunny. :)

  6. Any time I see that speed-reading baby GIF, I know I need to read the book. :) I've been wanting to check this one out because I lurve time travel books. It sounds kind of like it'll leave me a little frustrated like Tempest by Julie Cross did, but maybe the positives still outweigh the negatives? I'm willing to give it a shot, anyway, thanks to your review. :)

    1. I hope the positives will outweigh the negatives for you!

  7. I thought it was interesting as well and it got my attention. I agree about the open ends, but I am excited for the next book.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  8. Super happy you liked this one, Sunny! It was one of those I clicked with immediately. Anything time travel and I mean ANYTHING, is something I'll read, and usually end up with a lot of feelings about.

    (P.S. You used a Time Traveler's Wife gif but you haven't read/watched? Get on it! It's an AMAZING book, and a decent movie.)

    I had a few quibbles with this one too, like some of the stuff you brought up about Anna and Justin, and about Bennett's rules. I'm really looking forward to Time After Time!

    Great review, Sunny!

    1. I know, I know, I have to watch and read it! I keep meaning to...but forget :)

      Thank you!

  9. I liked this one too! My issue was that the ending was way happy, and I was geared up for a sad ending. It was slightly disappointing, to say the least. LOL. Awesome review, Sunny! (For some reason, I almost called you Sybil. o.O)

    I agree, Anna was perty full of herself-- but the worst part was where she was using Justin. I didn't see the best friend thing either, sadly. All in all this was a good read, though! :D

    1. Yes, I was too! Ha, well, Sybil from Downton Abbey was very pretty and nice, so I can take it ;)

      I'm glad you agree! I don't like feeling alone in my thoughts!

  10. I enjoyed this, but I also didn't like Anna too much. Your reviews are always so well written and funny! I also love the quote at the end. I'm still excited to read the sequel to Time Between Us :)

  11. I'm glad you found a book to get you out of your reading funk Sunny! I've had this book for a while now, but was really unsure of it because of the mixed reviews that I had seen about, but I think your review has convinced me to give it a try sooner, plus I love books with strong secondary characters! Great review Sunny! :)

  12. I have this on on my shelf, and plan to read it at some point. Really happy to here that the positives outweigh the negatives. Though Anna doesn't sound all that likable (or at least she sounds rather selfish). I though this was a standalone, so if there are lots of loose ends, glad there will be a sequel. Hopefully I can read this before it comes out.

    1. She seemed very selfish to me, but all I had to do was think about the things I did like and I was fine.

  13. Ooooh, that opening sounds really good! This was my most anticipated fall release last year and guess where it's sitting now? On my shelf, unread. *sadface* Hopefully I can deal with those negatives and enjoy the story. :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  14. I agree with many of your criticisms, but like you I really enjoyed this book overall, too! It's one of those premises that could go so badly wrong, but I thought the author did such a good job with making it feel emotionally true that I'm now a fan. :) Can't wait for the sequel! Great review.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden