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Book Reviews

Review: “Time Between Us,” Tamara Ireland Stone

November 22, 2013
Review: “Time Between Us,” Tamara Ireland StoneTime Between Us (Time Between Us #1)
Written by Tamara Ireland Stone
Published October, 2012 by DoubleDay
362 pages
Provided by: Random House Australia
Genres: Romance, Time Travel
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four-stars

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.

What I found most charming about Time Between Us was the fact that Tamara Ireland Stone managed to make this book feel like a great little contemporary romance novel. While time travel was a huge part of the book, it WAS easy to forget that time travel wasn’t a normal factor in a relationship.

Anna and Bennett’s relationship was indeed very sweet. I’ve seen other reviewers comparing the early stages of their relationship to ‘old school’ Twilight, and I must admit that I thought this at times, too while reading Time Between Us. But rather than that being a bad thing, it gave me flashes of what I originally cherished about Stephenie Meyer’s series before it became a madhouse.

Being a part of 1995 was fantastic. I was only six at the time, but I definitely felt the nostalgia there in the pages. Things like Walkmans are something that have been so instantly forgotten and it’s easy to get caught up once again in the great music of the 90’s, which features quite prominently in Time Between Us.

The time travel itself was interesting, but Tamara Ireland Stone utilises it in a way that isn’t too confusing or complicated. Sure, there are some basic rules, but we aren’t overstuffed with facts as readers. We’re left to enjoy the relationship between our two leading characters, which I can appreciate. At times things were predictable – such as Anna seeing Bennett on the bleachers as a stranger originally and him insisting it wasn’t him (DUH! It’s a future you!) You think a seasoned time-traveller would have made this assumption.

I’m also a little let down that the whole ‘Brooke is missing’ (Bennett’s sister) story arc was summed up in one little sentence like it was no big deal toward the end. I want to know the details that accompanied Brooke’s journey, and I felt like this issue was swept under the rug after it had served it’s purpose of delivering Bennett to Anna’s doorstep.

Anna was an enjoyable narrator, although I did have some minor problems with her. Mainly that she was quite the hypocrite at times, especially when it came to meddling in other people’s affairs by using Bennett’s time travel. The case in point: her friend Emma’s accident. I understand that she would do anything to save her friend, but I guess she didn’t count on completely squashing her friend’s love life along with it. That made things complicated with Adam (I think that was his name??) towards the end of the novel.

I will be reading the next book in the series – Time After Time – to continue this sweet little story. I do hope, however, that some aspects of the first book are improved upon. Although I enjoyed Tamara Ireland Stone’s debut book, I can understand why some readers had issues with its simplicity.

Recommended to: A less-complicated journey into time travel with a great romance backdrop for anyone wary about the genre. Time Between Us could also fit snugly into the contemp YA genre.

About Tamara Ireland Stone

Tamara Ireland Stone is: Blissfully married. Occasional superhero in the eyes of two remarkable small people. Animal lover. Avid reader. Gadget freak. Music addict. Dreadful cook. She writes YA fiction about fun stuff like travel, music, romance, and normal people with extraordinary talents

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