Title: Space Hopper

Author: Helen Fisher

Pages: 351 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

This is a story about taking a leap of faith

And believing the unbelievable

They say those we love never truly leave us, and I’ve found that to be true. But not in the way you might expect. In fact, none of this is what you’d expect.

I’ve been visiting my mother who died when I was eight.

And I’m talking about flesh and blood, tea-and-biscuits-on-the-table visiting here.

Right now, you probably think I’m going mad.

Let me explain…

Although Faye is happy with her life, the loss of her mother as a child weighs on her mind even more now that she is a mother herself. So she is amazed when, in an extraordinary turn of events, she finds herself back in her childhood home in the 1970s. Faced with the chance to finally seek answers to her questions – but away from her own family – how much is she willing to give up for another moment with her mother?

Space Hopper is an original and poignant story about mothers, memories and moments that shape life.

The Review

I am not a fan of time travel stories. I should say this from the start. I love Back to the Future but even that makes my head melt with time/space continuum issues and once I start thinking about it my head gets sore. You are probably wondering why I chose to read a book called Space Hopper which is about time travel and I can only say this: I like roller skates and they were on the cover.

However, once I started reading the story I actually found myself enjoying it. I think the reason for this is that besides the science fiction element the story has an awful lot of heart. Faye’s desire to spend time with her mum is palpable. Her yearning for a relationship with her aches off the page and the reader connects with this element.

Yes, if you look at Space Hopper from a realistic perspective you are left with some questions such as the butterfly effect but Fisher navigates this well. If you are going to read Space Hopper it is best to suspend your disbelief and read the story as a heartwarming tale of mother and daughter.

Space Hopper by Helen Fisher is available now.

For more information regarding Helen Fisher (@HFisherAuthor) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster (@SimonsSchusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: Get Back

Author: Donovan Day

Pages: 270 Pages

Publisher: Park Slope Publishing

The Blurb

Imagine going back in time and befriending The Beatles at the height of their fame. Imagine seeing “the boys” interact onstage and off, hanging out with them in the dance clubs of London, visiting John & Paul at Paul’s house across from Abbey Road Studios.

Imagine all the questions they’d ask when they learn you’re from the future – questions about how music is recorded, whether their music will last, if anyone will people remember The Beatles. And then John Lennon asks the biggest question of them all – “What will become of me?”

That last question sets 17-year-old Lenny Funk off on the adventure of his young life with a goal that seems impossible – to stop John Lennon’s assassin, Mark David Chapman!

Lenny Funk (given name: Lennon) is able to time travel thanks in part to his grandfather’s old iPod Nano which is loaded with classic music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Together with new friend Yoko (yes, she’s named after that Yoko), Lenny “time slips” backwards to a world he thought he’d missed where he meets some of his musical heroes, including the Beatles, Jim Morrison and James Taylor, among others.

Lenny must make some difficult and heart-breaking decisions. Should he change the course of history or not? And what are the consequences if he does? Would John reunite with Paul? Would he remain married to Yoko and, if not, who would be his next wife?

The year 2015 marks what would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday and also the 35th year since his murder.

The Review

I love The Beatles. As a Liverpudlian – born and bred – I find books that are about the fab four to be really entertaining and I guess I find it titillating when my hometown is referenced. Alongside those reasons, I also thought the concept of Get Back by Donovan Day sounded interesting.

If you could go back in time and save someone, would you?

It is a question that people get asked but usually it is Hitler put as the subject of the question. Would you kill Hitler if you had the chance? Get Back is less dark that that, it is asking if you had the chance to save John Lennon, would you?

Most people would say, yeah sure, why not. It makes sense to do a good deed but like all classic time travel stories, by altering the present you create a ripple in the time space continuum that will impact on the real present day.

It is delicious time travel headache inducing science.

Either way, Get Back is a great story. I loved going back in time and seeing musicians that I know and love and sing along to and getting to imagine what they would be like on a more personal level was great.

What I loved most about Get Back is that Day did not make a cliché out of the fab four. The colloquial vernacular was great. As a scouser, I hate it when writers overwrite the way we speak. Day got the balance right.

Get Back by Donovan Day is available now.

For more information regarding Park Slope Publishing (@parkslopepub) please visit www.parkslopepublishing.com/books/

Title: The Square Root of Summer

Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

My heart is a kaleidoscope, and when we kiss it makes my world unravel . . .

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she’s hurtled through wormholes to her past and starts to experience strange blips in time…

Back to the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Back to last summer, when Gottie’s life fell apart. When her beloved grandfather Grey died and Jason, the boy to whom she lost her heart wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral.

This summer, still reeling from twin heartbreaks, Gottie is lost and alone and burying herself in equations. Until, after five years absent, Thomas comes home: former boy next door. Former best friend. Former everything.

As life turns upside down all over again, during one long, hazy summer, Gottie navigates grief, world-stopping kisses and rips in the space-time continuum as she tries to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last. Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide – and someone’s heart is about to be broken.

This is what it means to love someone.

This is what it means to grieve someone. It’s a little bit like a black hole.

It’s a little bit like infinity.

With time travel, quantum physics and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut UKYA voice Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

The Review

Ok, I won’t lie to you. I was a bit confused by The Square Root of Summer. It was a very good story of a girl dealing with grief but it has a mathematical time travelling twist that I struggled to get my head round. I am just that dumb.

The story focuses on Gottie who is dealing with the death of her beloved granddad, the break-up of her first real relationship and the abandonment of her best friend. Due to this she has become introverted and seems to have also managed to open up some wormholes. She believes that if she can figure out the math of the worm holes maybe she will feel a little less broken.

Reuter Hapgood has written a good story that deals with grief on a different level. At times you get frustrated with the time travel element – or at least I did but then I have issues with time travel in general – especially doing the same thing over and over again. However, it really is a good read.

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood is available now.

For more information regarding Harriet Reuter Hapgood (@hapgoodness) please visit www.iamnotashamed.bigcartel.com.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

the-last-beginningTitle: The Last Beginning (The Next Together, #2)

Author: Lauren James

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Walker Books

The Blurb

The epic conclusion to Lauren James’ debut The Next Together about true love and reincarnation.

Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives. But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history?

Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove’s investigation? For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future.

The Review

The Last Beginning is the follow up to The Next Together which was, personally, my most surprising read of the year. It was surprising because I never expected to really enjoy a Time Travel Sci-Fi Historical YA Romance but I genuinely did. I also loved the small novella Another Together that accompanied The Next Together. The third in the series is also pretty awesome.

The Last Beginning follows Clove, the child of Matt and Kate. Clove has no idea that her parents Tom and Jen are not her birth parents and when she finds out who her actual parents are a whole can of worms (wormholes) is opened and it is up to Clove to fix things.

I genuinely loved The Last Beginning. I loved it for many reasons; the first being that I don’t feel like James was flogging a dead horse. She did a sequel which introduced a new protagonist but claimed the original story thread. That is impressive as is the ability to plan ahead with a story. Time travel is a phenomenon that when I think about it too much my head gets all lost in the paradox but James addresses this and it all seems to work out. Huzzah.

Seriously though, The Next Together series is ridiculously good. It is clever, witty and engaging. If you like your YA fiction to be a bit different then you must read this series.

The Last Beginning (The Next Together, #2) by Lauren James.

For more information regarding Lauren James (@Lauren_E_James) please visit www.laurenejames.com.

For more information regarding Walker Books (@WalkerBooksUK) please visit www.walker.co.uk.

4-stars

 

the-next-togetherTitle: The Next Together

Author: Lauren James

Pages: 356 Pages

Publisher: Walker Books

The Blurb

A powerful and epic debut novel about fate and the timelessness of first love.

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. How many times can you lose the person you love? For Matthew and Katherine it is again and again, over and over, century after century. But why do they keep coming back? How many times must they die to save the world? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different.

The Review

Well knock me over with a feather. You know, for someone who reads as vociferously as I do it is hard to find something that feels totally new, fresh and exciting. With The Next Together by Lauren James that is exactly what I have found.

It is best described as a YA Historical Sci-Fi Time Travel Romance (try finding a section for that in your local bookshop) and it is unlike anything I have ever read before. To be honest, if someone had described The Next Together as I previously did then there is no way I would have read it. Sci-Fi is just not my thing but I am awfully glad I chose a book solely based on its cover because I loved it.

I was completely sold on Matt and Katherine’s relationship (no matter the timeframe) and I loved how little hints were peppered in the story for future books. The Next Together is just a gem of a book that I, for one, will be recommending to everyone to read.

The Next Together by Lauren James is available now.

For more information regarding Lauren James (@Lauren_E_James) please visit www.laurenjames.co.uk.

For more information regarding Walker Books (@WalkerBooksUK) please visit www.walker.co.uk.

4-stars