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 comment:

Kate Scott said...

Sounds like an interesting book. Great review!