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Friday, February 26, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: Into the Dim
Release date:  March 1st, 2016
Author: Janet B. Taylor
HMH Books for Young Readers

About the book:

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.      Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail,Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens

My thoughts:

4.5 “Bloody brilliant time travel” STARS

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, HMH Children’s Book Group!

Guys, I bloody loved this book – Yep, I’ll be writing/saying “bloody” until I’m over this book hangover. Yep, there is a book hangover, which means this book is as awesome as I just said it was. Now go ahead and get your copy so you can go through your own hangover. It’s worth it.

As you can see from the blurb, the story follows Hope’s journey from the fragile girl who’d just lost her parents to the brave heroine she becomes in the end. Before you start complaining, this isn’t a spoiler – it’s character arc. Every story should have it, and this one thankfully does.

When the book starts, Hope is living in the USA with her stepfather and they’re having a funeral with an empty casket because her mother’s body couldn’t be found. Even though Hope believes she’s still alive, her father was quick to move on and send her away to Scotland to spend time with her aunt (her mother’s sister). And here was when I knew I’d love this book…. Hear me out. Of course Hope doesn’t want to go (she’s never met this aunt and she just lost her mom), but dad-of-the-year tells her if she chooses not to go, she’ll have to stay with her “grandmother” (his mom); the woman who made sure Hope understood since she was little that she wasn’t part of the family because she didn’t share their blood. Nice, huh? Guess why she can’t stay with her dad? Because he’s going on a cruise with his new girlfriend. OMG. YES! THIS MAN…. I hated him right there and then. No excuse. No second thought. Just hated his guts.

Sure he was her stepfather, but the man acted as if he loved her and thought of her as his child. YEAH, RIGHT. What kind of father does that? Dude, you are a horrible human being. That’s all I’m saying.

So.. yeah… see? This is 5% in and I’m already having all these major feels! Over her stepfather, who’s… like… a minor character. Can you imagine how I felt reading the rest of the story?

Happy is a word to describe it well.

I was happy that Hope was the MC because I liked her a lot. Sure she was whiny sometimes, but she was also very smart (like "OMG, be my friend and teach me interesting things" kind of smart), she loved history (Eeeeee!) and she was brave even when in reality she was fearful of so many things (complicated, huh?).

I was happy that the damn love triangle was sooooo good. Look, if you suffer from love triangle phobia, don’t sweat. I don't think you’ll hate this one. Reason #1: this wasn’t really a love triangle. No spoiler, but it’s safe to say there’s a hint of it but the author chose to postpone it. Reason #2: Come on! She wrote two great LIs and I want Hope to choose them both. That’s how you write (or draw) a triangle, people. Well done. Collum wasn’t as well developed as Bran, but I found myself rooting for both. I desperately want to know more about Collum and I doubt I’ll ever get enough of Bran and his smart mouth.

I was happy that there was a lot of history involved and I got to learn a little bit more about some facts through the MC. It’s been a while since I’ve read something set so far back in the past, and I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoy these experiences.

I was happy that the time travel element was consistent and well-explained, which is rare among these types of books. The whole concept and ideas behind the time travelers, the stones and the rules made a whole lot of sense, so YAY!  

I am happy that I got to read this amazing book! It kept me turning pages, smiling and experiencing all kinds of feelings. This is a 2016 must-read, people! Don’t miss it.

One last reason why I’m happy? There’ll be more books in this series. Double Yay!

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