This book I had received for free because it was the 2013 Winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Grand Prize and Young Adult Fiction Winner. I had started reading it right when I first downloaded it last year, but grew bored shortly into the third chapter. The blurb spun this exciting adventure in the past at the World Fair in Chicago, and that description coupled with the award heightened my expectations through the roof. This time around, I read through it all, and found myself surprised:
If anything, this book should be rewarded for having the most confusing time-travel story ever told. Granted, I didn't have the patience to flip back through the book to put every step together, because I was too eager to get to the past. And this book kept me waiting like no other. I had come to expect of time-travel books that time travel would be the main focus, whereas in this book, it took the stand as a climax. Rather, the focus of this book was on the main character, Kate, dealing with both budding and disappearing relationships. I suppose I had come with expectations. Like if I go to a famous pie restaurant to eat the award winning pie, but I have to suffer through the other courses before they'll serve me that good ole key lime with graham cracker crust. The appetizer and the entree were fine, but not what I came for.
Now I'm hungry, even more so than when I was hungry for some action. This book sure knows how to lay the backstory on thick. Honestly, I think it would have been simpler if there was just a prologue summarizing all of the time-travel events proceeding the story, because there were so much time spent on conversations about the past. 2/3rds of the book were spent on set up, and the other 1/3rd was spent on quality writing.
Gosh, how I wish I could spend a day (or 6 hours of book time) at a World Fair. I do have to give credit for Walker taking a path different from the obvious, but it worked against the novel.The middle section did have a lot of heart in Kate's reactions to tough situations, but was easy to glance over waiting for the adventure. Once the story finally found its way to the past, I was captivated, and confused. Those two usually work hand in hand for a good story though. Now that this origin story is out of the way though, I think a sequel would meet the expectations I had for the first.
I'll keep this on the shelf, if only to remind myself to look out for the next book, which I expect to be much better.