A YA romantic Groundhog’s Day? I will freely admit that time loop stories are hard for me to pass up but equally difficult to enjoy and this one ticked all the boxes!
Barrett Bloom is hoping college will be a fresh start after a messy high school experience. But when school begins on September 21st, everything goes wrong. She’s humiliated by the know-it-all in her physics class, she botches her interview for the college paper, and at a party that night, she accidentally sets a frat on fire. She panics and flees, and when she realizes her roommate locked her out of their dorm, she falls asleep in the common room.
The next morning, Barrett’s perplexed to find herself back in her dorm room bed, no longer smelling of ashes and crushed dreams. It’s September 21st. Again. And after a confrontation with Miles, the guy from Physics 101, she learns she’s not alone—he’s been trapped for months.
When her attempts to fix her timeline fail, she agrees to work with Miles to find a way out. Soon they’re exploring the mysterious underbelly of the university and going on wild, romantic adventures. As they start falling for each other, they face the universe’s biggest unanswered question yet: what happens to their relationship if they finally make it to tomorrow? from Goodreads
I love that we appear to be getting to the point in romance books where the emphasis is less on how people look and more on how they make you feel. I worry that the pendulum will swing back again but I am enjoying it while it lasts. Not only is Barrett a regular sized Jewish person with a lesbian Mom, but Miles is a Japanese American with ears that stick out instead of a lumberjack of a man with a perfect six pack. Both arrive at college with their own baggage and hopes of starting a new chapter, and instead are stuck in a time loop together.
Many of these time loop books are designed to teach the characters caught in the loop something. Sometimes the time loop is created to allow characters time to figure out a problem and, only then, stop the loop. Barrett and Miles just seem to be unlucky enough to swept up in some kind of time repetition. What the author did so well was show how both characters benefitted from their time in the loop while trying to get out but also, the lure of staying in the loop. I loved watching the layers peel away from Barrett and Miles as they shared their hopes and dreams for life, and also what they are worried will happen when the loop stops. It makes me think about all those times I wished I just had a little more time to spend with someone, or get something done, or watch television, or just sleep. The movement of time is essential and precious and time loop books remind me of this.
This book could easily have been a fluffy cute girly romance. Instead, it is a truly heartwarming story about moving on from your past, identifying what is important to you, and holding your loved ones close.
Tell me, please! Do you love a time loop story?