Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Year Without Autumn (MG)

A Year Without Autumn. Liz Kessler. 2011. (October 11, 2011). Candlewick Press. 304 pages.

"Stop the car!"
"What?" Dad swivels around in his seat. The car swerves.
"Good grief, Tom!" Mom squeals, gripping her armrest as she pulls a wad of tissues out of her purse.
"Stop the car!" I repeat. It's going to be too late in a minute. I grab the tissues and shove them over Craig's mouth.

Time travel. Need I really say more?! For me, that was enough--more than enough--to seek out this one! Jenni is best friends with Autumn. These two friends are quite different from one another, but they have a few things in common. They both have little brothers. Jenni is big sister to Craig and Autumn is big sister to Mikey. Though the two don't attend the same school anymore, they've sworn to be best friends forever. And they mean it. Of course they mean it! What could ever come between them?! It does help that the two see each other every year the last week of August. The families vacation together at the same place, each has a time-share condo. The vacation is just getting started when IT happens...
Jenni impatiently decides to take the old elevator up to visit her best friend. She saw the owner fixing the old elevator, so she's relatively sure it's working again. But the truth is this old elevator has been out of order for many decades and it isn't really for guests' use. It takes Jenni a few hours to realize the truth of the matter...she learns it when she arrives back at her place and everyone--including herself--is a year older. Where did the year go?!

A Year Without Autumn is dramatic, very dramatic. For SOMETHING happens in that 'missing' year that changes everything. Jenni will have to put the pieces together herself--for the most part--because asking questions may not be an option. The more she tries to explain about what happened, the crazier she sounds. Can Jenni find the answers to her questions? Can she find a way to go back in time? Can she get her life back?

As I said, A Year Without Autumn is dramatic. It's a very compelling read. I think Jenni is a LOT braver than I would be in that elevator. Especially once she learns the truth of it--what it does. But she's determined and loyal and I can't help liking her for that.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kailana 11:17 AM  

This sounds rather good. I don't read a lot of books with time travel but what I do, I usually enjoy...

Anonymous,  1:45 PM  

How funny you should review this - my daughter is reading this at the moment for her school reading book, and is loving it. She's up to about pg 123 at the mo and can't wait to finish it :-)

Kate 6:20 AM  

I like how the book cover kind of goes with your header. I've seen a lot of good buzz about this book, might have to get this to read with my niece!

Liz Kessler 11:52 AM  

Thanks for the lovely 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
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  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

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  • 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.

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