Friday, January 07, 2011

Backtracked (YA)

Backtracked. Pedro de Alcantara. 2009. Random House. 272 pages.

By the day I was born, April 3, 1990, I had already lived several lives. But I didn't learn about them until Tuesday, February 28, 2006. This is how it happened.

Backtracked is not a perfect novel. But. I enjoyed it for what it was. Tommy Latrella, our hero, isn't perfect and he knows it. He is TIRED of every one in his life comparing him to his older brother, Jimmy. His brother died a hero in 9/11.

Tommy has never felt like a hero. Not once. But. The subway system might just change all that by giving him three chances to be just that: a hero.

His first stop will see Tommy living in the tenements in 1918; the second stop will see Tommy living in Hooverville--before becoming employed by the Mafia--in 1932; the third stop will see Tommy training to fight in a war he's only read about in textbooks: World War II. Tommy does not control the time travel. The portal seems to change each time. In moments of crisis--great crisis--he goes backwards and forwards in time.

Backtracked is set in New York with a focus on Italian immigrants--Italian communities--in four turbulent decades. The novel is a bit uneven, perhaps, but I liked it all the same. Tommy's decisions aren't always the best decisions--and he can be difficult to relate to at times--but I always wanted to know what happened next. I was interested in these stories, these time periods.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Kate {The Parchment Girl} 2:42 PM  

Sounds like an interesting book. Great review!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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