by Elle Strauss
Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this --she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward.
Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness?
When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.
Which of course, she does.
I gotta say I had no idea what this book was going to be like. You know about time travel novels. Sometimes they can be very complex. And honestly, after the things I've been reading lately, I was in a mellow reading mode. I was not disappointed! This is not a confusing time travel novel. Casey travels back to the same place every time she travels back. She's got it down to a science. She even has a stash of clothes and a few other items that make life easier for her, or so she thinks. There isn't any rhyme or reason to why she travels back in time, but if you shake hands with her, you better be careful! She might just take you back to 1860 Massachusetts right outside of Boston. You all remember what was about to happen then don't you?? Well, trouble is brewing and the women are getting feisty wanting a say in voting, Lincoln is running for President. It's actually an exciting time, until you realize the Civil War is about to start.
Casey is a great character. She's like every high school girl. She and her best friend, Lucinda stay after school to watch the sports teams practice, because, hey, the guys are cute. She muses, "As usual, we were watching the yummy football players, rather than the scrimmage going on because really, who cared about the actual game?" (Kindle ARC) So true, Casey, so true! She's athletic and catches a football at the practice, Nate Mackenzie's Tom Brady autographed ball. But when he comes to get it she gets so nervous it triggers her "tripping". "Unbelievably" she thinks, "there are some things worse than puking in front of the football team." I loved her unflappable sense of self preservation. She just kept going. She'd go back in time and just resume her role as if she'd never left. There was an unusually kind family that always took her in so she knew she always had a place to go. She's extremely resourceful at finding clothing and food when necessary. She hated her hair (I remember those days) and her height (too tall) and the fact that her parents were separated, but when her brother got hauled home by the police, Dad came right over and laid down the law. So the parents are wholly in the story. There are even parents in the 1860's story, just not Casey's.
So, why should you read another time travel novel? It's easy to understand. Casey is just on a loop. She always ends up in the same spot when she travels back so she's never lost. She's at her home, only her home wasn't built yet. No she doesn't know why she travels, but there are a few clues later in the book.
Casey and Nate in the past are so adorable as a couple. Casey never feels sorry for herself. She does spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over Nate after they travel back in time, but I think I would too, mixed messages and all. It's the first in a trilogy. Great snippets of time in history and reminds you of all you have to be thankful for, like bathrooms! And central heat! And the writing was so easy and smooth. I only took a few hours to read this it was so easy to read. There were no love triangles! And for Casey with the great sense of humor and lines like "Pack your bags self pity!" and she wears Spongebob pants and monkey slippers! Read it! You will so enjoy this wonderfully quirky Casey and Nate story as they travel into the 1860's and navigate the waters of high school hierarchies. I loved it! I'm already reading the second book Clockwiser! Oh, and there are some very interesting twists that you won't believe just to keep things a little crazy! I'd definitely be friends with Casey, but I don't think I'd shake her hand.
I received a copy of this from the author as part of the Clockwise Tour! Thank you Elle Strauss and AToMR Blog Tours for the copy. My review was not influenced by participating in the blog tour nor by receiving the copy of the novel.