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“Maybe Bennett was right—testing fate, toying with it, may not have any obvious impact at first, but eventually something has to backfire,” Anna. –Time Between Us
Time Between Us
by Tamara Ireland Stone
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet. She lives in 1995 Chicago, and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space sends him into Anna’s life, and he brings with him a new world of adventure and possibility.
As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.
Anna is an extremely relatable and likable character, who hopes to travel out of the small town she has always lived in. Then she meets Bennett, who at first confuses and frustrates her. Bennett makes it clear that he is not interested in getting to know Anna, but fate has other plans. Bennett’s ability to time travel complicates matters because his future self appears to Anna before his present self has met her. Despite this, Anna and Bennett fall in love and engage in a sweet romance that will leave readers smiling.
Time Between Us is a story about family, friends, and falling in love. But it also explores the timeless question: what would you do if you could go back in time and change events? When two of Anna’s friends, Justin and Emma, are in a terrible car accident, Anna wants Bennett to go back in time and change the day’s event. This dilemma threatens to tear Anna and Bennett apart as they debate whether changing history is the right thing to do.
Teen readers who want a heartwarming romance will enjoy Time Between Us because of the likable characters, the relatable conflict, and the added interest of time travel. Readers will also fall in love with Anna’s friends and family who are warm, supportive, and protective. The story has the perfect blend of high school scenes, family life, and suspenseful time-jumping action. This easy-to-read romance will have readers wishing they could step into Anna’s life. Readers will be excited to read the companion book, Time After Time, which focuses on Bennett’s point of view.
- Anna’s mom tells her a story about “one of the nurses who got caught kissing an EMT out by the ambulance bay.”
- Anna’s best friend, Emma, teases her about a boy. Emma says, “You wanna shag Shaggy!”
- Bennett and Anna are talking about their plans for the future when Bennett “reaches forward and slowly traces the line of my [Anna’s] jaw to my chin. I close my eyes as his thumb slides towards my mouth and brushes my lower lip. . .I wait for the touch of his lips. But the kiss never comes.”
- While at the beach with Bennett, Anna thinks about “him pulling me into a kiss and rolling around in the sand like we’ve just been dropped into a photoshoot for some cheesy designer cologne. . . I can’t bring myself to touch him.”
- Bennett and Anna kiss several times. When Bennett decides to stay in Anna’s time period, he “scoots in closer and brings his hand to my face, and I fall back into the bookcase as he kisses me with this intensity—like he wants to be here. . .”
- While on a date, Bennett “kisses the back of my neck. . . he kisses my neck again and I lose my train of thought entirely.” Later in the date, Bennett “pulls me tighter and kisses me, warm and sweet and long and slow and never ending, and I know this is what I want.”
- One night, Bennett uses his ability to appear in Anna’s room. “Without even thinking about it, I grab his arm and pull him down on my bed, and he lands sprawled out next to me, looking a little surprised. I roll over onto his chest and smile down at him. . . His hand finds the back of my neck, and he kisses me, harder than usual.” The scene is described over a page.
- Bennett uses his ability to take Anna to Italy. He “takes my face in his hands. Buried deep in his kiss is a new kind of promise for our future. . . We spend the rest of the day in the Cinque Terre. And then we spend the night there.”
- Before Anna leaves for a trip to Mexico, Justin (Anna’s best friend’s boyfriend) kisses her. Anna isn’t “quite sure how to stop it. I feel trapped between his mouth and the wooden CD bin. I turn my head so fast that when our lips brush, it’s an awkward, almost accidental movement.” Anna calls Justin an idiot, and he apologizes.
- After being unable to time travel, Bennett appears in Mexico. When Anna sees him, “I feel tears slide down my cheeks. . . within seconds he’s right next to me, and all I can feel is his fingers on the back of my neck. His kisses land everywhere on my wet cheeks and my forehead, on my eyelids and my neck, and finally on my mouth, and we pull each other close, neither one allowing even the smallest gap between us.”
- A robber comes into the bookstore while Anna is working. He demands money. Anna’s “attention is on the shiny metal knife he pulls from his baggy jeans. He points it straight at me. . . I keep my gaze on the floor and try not to think about the cold steel of the blade on my neck or his heavy breath in my ear.” Bennett uses his abilities to relocate himself and Anna. The scene is described over three pages.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Profanity is used rarely. Profanity includes ass, crap, hell, and pissed.
- “Dear God,” “Oh My God,” and “Good God” are occasionally used as exclamations.
- Bennett can travel through time. “Bennett can disappear. And reappear. He can make other people disappear and reappear.”
- Bennett can also “do over minor details in the past to affect the outcome, but you can’t erase an entire event. You can travel to any place in the world and into other times, but only within certain dates.”
- Bennett loses his sister Brooke in the past. They traveled back to 1994, but Bennett “couldn’t stay because I didn’t exist in March 1994. . . Brooke did. She was born in ’93.”
- After Bennett uses his abilities to take Anna to a different place, she becomes sick. She prays, “Please, God. Please don’t let me throw up in front of him. Please. Just this one thing.”