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All Emery Land wants is to be like any other 17-year-old—to go to school, hang out with her friends, and just be normal. But for as long as she can remember, she’s suffered from seizures. And in recent years they’ve consumed her life. To Emery they’re much more than seizures, she calls them loops—moments when she travels through wormholes back and forth in time and to a mysterious town. The loops are taking their toll on her physically. So she practically lives in the hospital where her scientist father and an ever-growing team of doctors monitor her every move. They’re extremely interested in the data they collect when Emery seizes. It appears that she’s tapping into parts of the brain typically left untouched by normal human beings.
Escaping from the hospital, Emery travels to Esperanza, the town from her loops on the upper peninsula of Michigan, where she meets Asher Clarke. Ash’s life is governed by his single-minded pursuit of performing good Samaritan acts to atone for the death of a loved one. His journey is very much entwined with Emery’s loops. Drawn together they must unravel their complicated connection before it’s too late.
Well, this started out really interesting. Emery is in the hospital having seizures when she sleeps in which she visits the past or the future according to her. It's been happening all her life. It's how she knew her mom's childhood dog lost his leg in a car accident when her parents told her mom it lost it to cancer thinking it more humane. Her mom didn't even know this information. But dad, dad is a scientist and can't find the science behind this theory. What's worse, mom is dead and there is no one to protect Emery except herself, which isn't very easy. There is a team of doctors and none of them believe her "loops" as she calls them. When she took a book light with her and left it there, she came back and didn't have it with her. This isn't given any notice by the doctors, the "team". What spurs Emery into action is when her father starts discussing removing a part of the skull from the "subject", not even daughter anymore. And the fact that her best friend, the one that she used to think was the only one that believed her stories, made fun of her and admitted to not believing her story. Anger and desperation sends her to Esperanza, a town one little boy that she keeps seeing in the loop says to her.
Then the story gets weird to me. It stops making much sense to me. A boy named Ash is there and she has some kind of instant connection to him, but she pushes him away, almost angrily and irrationally. There are a lot of coincidences in Esperanza. Things that were in her loops appear there. But the one thing I couldn't buy was the relationship between Ash and Emery. It was the only thing that made the story off for me. And considering where the loops were leading her and what they were doing to her, that was the fate she was born to? Why be born at all?
I know some may think what a beautiful love story and it is a story of redemption and she finally gets some happiness. But I just didn't like the way it seemed that even as a little girl she seemed to be born to lead her to Ash to go through the loop.
I didn't like Emery as a character. She was wishy washy about Ash. Even when she knew she liked him, she pushed him away. I understood her loops were weird and hard to explain, but considering everything, she had nothing to lose. And Ash, remained an enigma the entire first three fourths of the books. I felt like we needed to know them rather than have them stumble over their past pain and regrets and not understand them for such a long time. I will say, Gia, the best friend that lost her belief in Emery did redeem herself. And the townspeople of Esperanza were absolutely wonderful, warm hearted, generous, protective people. I'd love to know the people that protected Ash and Emery and took care of them.
In all, I thought this was an odd story. I didn't buy the romance so it left the story kind of lacking for me. I do think teens will find it enjoyable and probably have an easier time suspending belief when they read this story. It's a very clean read.
Thanks to the publishers Random House for an e-ARC of this book through NetGalley. I did not receive any compensation for my review. All opinions expressed are my own.