Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.
Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.
Marina has loved her best friend, James, since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it… at least, not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.
Initial thought/Reaction by Sophie
This book has shown me how utterly childish I was to think young adult books can’t be as powerful as other books. A neat little box wrapped in a bouncy red ribbon. Maybe that sound a bit weird but what I’m trying to say is: I am brilliantly satisfied.
“I stare at the drain in the center of the concrete floor. It was the first thing I saw when they locked me in this cell, and I’ve barely looked away since.
…when I saw the drain, I started to scream…I could only conjure the most gruesome scenarios for why they’d need a drain in the floor.”
It took me about 5 hours and 30 minutes to finish this book. Time Travel. Murder. Assassinations. Child Prodigy. Three best friends. Lies. Trust. Loyalty. Friendship. Love. Suspense. Government. Paradoxes. Puzzle piece of events unfolding.
Usually, I have this hole and a sunken feeling after reading a book for two reasons. One, I want more. Something more because it’s missing something. Something so profound, the hole lingers and strains. Or two, I need more. I need it because the first book was so great. The journey can’t end. The characters have so much more to give and experience and I need to experience it or witness them experiences it. This time, it is different.
No, this book did not change my life or have a profound effect on me. I’m not going to go scrounging on forums for theories or canon. I’m not going to lay awake at night wishing for more. This doesn’t not mean you should doubt this book. One of the reasons I’m so satisfied with this book is the way Ms. Terrill handled the theme of space-time.
Note: I’m walking on eggshells trying to not use words that might clue you in on how the book played out.
Thoughts about characters
If any of you read the book, you would think I want talk about Marina, Em, or Finn. But I’m confident the book will give you everything you need to know.
[Just note, Marina is not as insufferable as she seems.] She is a strong girl. She evolves and even Em admits that Marina is probably stronger than her. She is naive, clingy at first but she has sense. I’m glad Em said what she needed/wanted to say to Marina.
One of the things I found interesting was the way one of the characters realized what needed to be done. The character evolved in those split seconds and gave me hope for change. I’m surprised out of few versions [timewise] of the character, the character finally broke. I mean no one should die like that, but it happened anyway and the character died. And it will forever change things. The ends justifies the means, right?
Scene(s) I Like
What is one thing you would tell your present self to make you trust that a future version of yourself is real and needs your help?
“When you were little,” he says, hovering in the doorway,”you had an imaginary friend named Miles. He was a purple kangaroo.”
I bolt upright. “What?”
“Come on. We have to go.”
Also, almost every scene Finn spoke. I’m kidding. But really. Finn is awesome.
So, does Connor still get a happy ending?
I always get a bit troubled or bothered by the thought of different versions of a character. I hated misunderstandings, manipulation, unexplained plot developments, and clones or characters who take over and pretend to be one of the main characters.
I mean, give credit where credit is due. I get annoyed when someone else tarnishes another person reputation/plot. Luckily, this does not happen in the book.
Though I do feel bad for [SPOILER/ highlight] Em and Finn or at least the version of them that died. They’ve been through a lot. I mean, technically final version of themselves got a happy-ish ending. But technically, its not REALLY them. You know?
A wholesome/ satisfying 5/5. [I will definitely dust off the cover one day and re-read just so I can relive, the plot, the relationships, the characters.] [4.5/5 if I’m really picky for the POV jumps and the ending where my final thoughts (above) explains]
I have always thought about a time-traveling book and how things could play out. Something like Doctor-Who episode but bigger plot? I never imagined there would actually be something like that. But it’s this book.