I haven't read many time travel novels (Seriously, I just read A Wrinkle In Time) and discussions of plot holes and such within timelines typically turn me off. I just...don't care enough to try following the thought along.
So, I saw a pretty cover with an interesting blurb that was worth a shot and entered to win the first two So Close to You novels. (I assume, I've lost all track of how I procured the book. Sorry!) It took awhile to get to read but I'm glad I did. Now I'm really glad the second one is signed.
One thing that does bug me in and out of time travel novels is the lack of consequences. Using it as a get out of jail free card would've caused me to quit. Thankfully, that didn't happen.
Instead, I was greeted with a turn I wasn't expecting. Even with the gut punch and cliffhanger, I was happy. Because what happened mattered. It had an effect which wasn't erased to make it "happy". I fucking loved the ending and it is the reason I continued the series.
Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the strange things that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and people who've disappeared over the years. Stories about people like her own great-grandfather. When Lydia stumbles into a portal that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, she discovers that all the stories she's heard about the Montauk Project are true, and that she's in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history. Alongside a darkly mysterious boy she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the Project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to questions all her choices - and if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them... and herself.
Series: So Close To You #1 Genre: Sci-Fi, Historical, Mystery, Romance Age: YA Format: Hardcover, 313 pgs. Source: No Idea Rating: 4.5 Stars Recommendable?Yes
|The Good||The Bad & The Other|
|Actions have consequences instead of being erased for feel good ending||Insta-love with angles|
|Solid protagonist||Cliffhanger, though not the worst kind|
|Loved the historical setting that takes up most of the book, makes it come alive||Conspiracy theories=Meh but whatever|
|Romance wasn't too drawn out and heavy||Would've been nice to see Lydia thinking about journalism beyond idealistic dreams|
Since time travel isn't my topic, what did interest me was how historical it leaned. Instead of lovers hoping around, it had a mystery taking place in 1944 and went back to investigate.
The conspiracy theory is an eye-roller as they always are but I was able to let that go. Maybe I'm more willing to suspend disbelief with teenagers, I don't know. YA is the only category where I can remember letting it go. Besides the complete balls to the wall, shut your brain off City of Dark Magic.
The young adult heroine, Lydia, helped with bringing in my favorite reading age group, admittedly. She's a pretty, typical, good girl but with a stubborn streak a mile wide and no annoying habits. I liked reading her and her perspective though it was nothing extraordinary.
I was wondering how an inspiring journalist would turn out. There wasn't any ribbing, defense of the profession or determination to be better. No worries of job prospects or career.
In the beginning, her journalistic drive was brought up a lot. Not that there was really much time or place for it after that, but it'd be nice to see a teen conscious of such considerations. They do exist but /shrug.
The Always Included Romance
I wasn't too happy with the love angles sprouting up. I knew one was coming but still, I wasn't looking forward to it. Since Lydia corrected one side and the other side was tied into the mystery, it didn't drag the book down. There wasn't much hemming and hawing about it.
|Mandatory Gif. Oh, yeah.|
There were some moments of "What are you doing?" and "Get over it!", mostly tied to Lydia's ditzy romantic side. But...I got over it and so did she.
Okay, so I've also got a thing for dark, mysterious and brooding. I blame Angel. It's still insta-love. And no, I wasn't swept away like Lydia. I wasn't repulsed either. Just...added it to my list for suspension of disbelief. Usually that doesn't work but it did here.
Why call it TM and then try to be coy with saying it stands for "Telsa's Machine"? We all know it's a time machine, ffs. If they didn't want to label it such, they fucked up with the initialism. Make it different or make it standard, half-assing it sounds and feels like some weird knock-off shit.
4.5 stars for the ending above all else, for the historical mystery and for time travel that didn't turn me off or give me a headache.
YA lovers, especially historical and time travel fans.
Note: I cannot find any information on how I received this book. It's gotta be a giveaway win or something, but nothing is coming up in my search. It's been so long, before the second one was even published since that one's an ARC. I'm so sorry! Please let me know if you're the person I got it from and I'll update ASAP.