Saturday 3 August 2013

Book ~ "Living Backwards" (2013) Tracy Sweeney

From Goodreads ~ Twenty-nine-year-old Jillian Cross refuses to believe that a pair of skinny jeans has led to her untimely demise. Life just isn't that cruel. But when an overly-enthusiastic attempt at squeezing herself into them leads her to fall and lose consciousness, she is faced with just that possibility. 

When she awakens with both a bruised ego and a bump on her head, she's not in her tiny apartment but her childhood bedroom circa 1999 - the spring of her senior year in high school. Jillian knows that time travel isn't logical. But then again, neither was her decision to wear skinny jeans. 

As she attempts to navigate her way through the halls of Reynolds High, walking the same path and making the same choices she made years before, she knows that any change she makes can have a catastrophic effect on her future. 

But when she strikes up an unexpected friendship with motorcycle-riding, cigarette-smoking Luke Chambers, can she pretend to be the same shy girl she once was? At least she has her pink sparkly flask to take the edge off. One little change won't hurt, right?

Jillian shares an apartment with her friends, Danielle and Megan ... they'd gone to high school together.  Danielle and Megan had been cool kids and Jillian wasn't so Danielle and Megan didn't really know she existed then.  They ran into each other during their first year of university and have been best friends since.

When Danielle plans a tenth casual high school reunion, Jillian begrudgingly says she'll go.  As she is getting dressed for it, she slips and bumps her head.  She wakes up in 1999 ... in her old bedroom and three weeks away from her high school graduation.  She's not sure whether she is in a coma and dreaming or is back in 1999.  Regardless she takes advantage of it.

Knowing it would be wrong to change the course of the future (more Butterfly Effect than Peggy Sue Got Married), with Joan her flask giving her courage, she thinks it would be okay to just alter minor things.  Since she'll end up being friends with Danielle and Megan in the future anyway, she speeds things up and befriends them.  She also gets to know Luke, a leather-jacket-wearing motorcycle-driving fellow student who didn't know her the first time she was in high school.  Not knowing if she'll ever get back to 2009, she has some tough decisions to make that could have repercussions in the future.

Was Jillian dreaming or did she truly go back in the past?  How did it affect her present?  You'll have to read the book to find out!

I like reading time travel stories so this one appealed to me.  I find it interesting to see how people from the present deal with going back to the past (especially their own past) and vice versa.  Will they act the same as they had to their future doesn't change or do they make changes?

I liked this story and where the author took it.  It wasn't as light as I thought it would be.  Things happen quickly and get intense fast.  For the most part, I liked the writing style.  It's a long book (almost 400 pages) ... I thought the writing could have been a bit tighter (it seemed to flow better in the second half).  It is written in the first person point of view so you really find out what they are thinking and feeling.  The chapters shift mainly between Jillian and Luke ... the name is at the beginning of each chapter so you know whose voice it is. 

I liked the characters. Each had their own personalities and quirks that worked well together as friends.  I was a bit surprised that Jillian wasn't more freaked out when she woke up and it was 1999 again.  With help from Joan, she carried on.  I did find it a bit icky, though, that 29-year-old Jillian was attracted to 18-year-old Luke when she went back to 1999.

I would recommend this book.