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Both Sides of Time (Time Travelers #1)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,192 Ratings  ·  158 Reviews
Imagine changing centuries--and making things worse, not better, on both sides of time.

Imagine being involved in two love triangles in two different centuries. What if, no matter which direction you travel in time, you must abandon someone you love?

Meet 15-year-old Annie Lockwood, a romantic living in the wrong century. When she travels back a hundred years and lands in 18
Published (first published July 1st 1995)
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YA Time Travel Romance
35th out of 88 books — 80 voters
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Teen Novels of the 90s
91st out of 152 books — 68 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I can't remember the number of times I read this series. Over and over and over. I loved Annie because she was just like me - a little awkward, a hopeless romantic, and better fitted for a previous century. I was infatuated with Strat. I was addicted to every book when I first got it until I finished it. I spent every spare moment dreaming of being in the 1800s with the two of them. Cooney gave me an obsession and I'm so happy I had it...and secretly still do have it.
Feb 24, 2013 Jennie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Everyone in this book is an idiot. Which is OK, because most of the characters are teenagers and everyone knows that teenagers are idiots. I can say that, because I used to be one.

Both Sides of Time, by Caroline B. Cooney, is a book I read MANY MANY times when it came out, a book I loved because it contained NOT ONLY a sassy heroine, smitten hero, and love story, but TIME TRAVEL. My tastes? They have not changed much (see: Lost, Doctor Who, Safety Not Guaranteed, etc).

The only thing I really rem
Nov 13, 2011 rivka rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to rivka by: Lisa Vegan
Like all three of the books from this series I've read so far, enjoyable YA fare with interesting historical and interpersonal notes. The first two must be read together; the third is a nice addition but not necessary to complete the first two. And the fourth (why is there always a fourth with Cooney series? ;) ) looks interesting enough that I plan to get my hands on it.
Deborah Heal
Jan 17, 2012 Deborah Heal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annie is a “romantic in the wrong century,” but her boyfriend is more interested in his old cars. But one day at the derelict mansion outside of town, when “something was wrong with the day, or something wrong with her” she falls back one century and falls in love with Strat, a boy who is everything she’s been dreaming of—everything her boyfriend is not. He is handsome, honorable, and heir to the Stratton mansion and fortune.
The 1880s seem incredibly romantic to Annie, so much better than her ow
Mar 08, 2013 Sophia rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: hopeless romantics, middle schoolers, victorian era enthusiasts, readers with low standards.
I know a book is bad when after every single chapter I find myself thinking, "" That being said, I got this book when I was eleven and I really should have read it then, before I had any real concept of writing and character development. This is literally like a story I would have written for sixth grade english. It's not unbearable at first, but it becomes frighteningly pathetic very quickly. Cheesy, "romantic" bull shit practically oozes from every page. The plot is shallow, the char ...more
Abbi Davis
Nov 13, 2014 Abbi Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book! I got it because it looked interesting and one of my friends (zoe) told me she liked the author.It's about a girl that went back in time and had an amazing time!First,there was a murder mystery!Then,she met Strat, his sister Devonny,his stepmom,his dad,and his gf Harriet. Strat and the girl that went back in time fell in love,so Harriet is (obviously) heartbroken and is forced to go to desperate measures. I hope I've said enough to get you excited about it,but I won't s ...more
Feb 21, 2015 Hannah12102 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not gonna right a full review cuz this book doesn't deserve it. IT WAS AWFUL! It was ridiculously cheesey and there was so much instalove. The writing style was so bad it felt like a first grader wrote it. Just yuck ew
This is a time travel romance. Annie is from the year 1995. She has a boyfriend who doesn't even notice if she is around or not. Then she falls (literally) back in time to 1895. She becomes involved with people in that time and becomes involved in a love triangle. The problem is that she is hurtled through time without knowing why or how. Will she ever be able to stay in one time period?

I love time travel romances and this one is a pleasant one to read. It does leave a lot of questions that I h
Somewhere between a guilty pleasure and a childhood favorite. When I was a kid I thought this book was so sweepingly romantic and believed that Annie and Strat's love was so true and heart-aching. But...they know each other for a total of, like, a day. If that. He also doesn't actually have much personality aside from being perfect and in love with her. She, meanwhile, is really narcissistic, selfish, and condescending. There is slightly a message about how romance is not the be-all end-all of l ...more
Aug 25, 2013 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I kind of bad-mouthed Caroline B. Cooney in my review of Lois Duncan's Down a Dark Hall, and now I feel bad because this book is so good!! Well, when I said she wasn't as skilled a writer as Duncan, I was really thinking of the Christina series, of which I read book one. I didn't like it, and it wasn't as good as other books I've read by Cooney. This book definitely redeems her in my view.
Annie, Devonny, Strat, Harriett, Bridgett, they're all well-written, realistic, sympathetic characters. The
Viktoria Jean
Oct 28, 2007 Viktoria Jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: COONEY FANS!
[Giving romance stories a second chance:] I was partly influenced by my best friend to read this book, for I'll never read pointless romance for I had once read a really mushy one that made me sick, with pointless sweet nothings in addition. Both Sides of Time. As if Time was a person with two faces, someone who can hear your cries, and hear your pleas and will then cruelly decide whether or not it shall fulfil your plea, which, after reading the book, I felt that it must have been what Annie Lo ...more
Aug 04, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of "Somewhere in Time"
Recommended to Lisa by: Marlena
Why my thirteen year-old time-travel obssessed self never came across this inter-century adolescent romance when it was first published in 1995, I'll never know. But, I'm sure that I would have loved "Both Sides of Time" as much then as I do now. At times, I felt that Cooney was trying too hard to make sure that her book was a "historical" novel that was also "educational" (stressing and re-stressing, for example, the resticted role of women in 1895 and the dominant power of men). At times, too, ...more
Oh, the ridiculous time travel melodrama of my youth! This was actually better than I remembered. Yes, Annie and Strat do find TRUE LOVE at FIRST SIGHT, and yes, the ending’s a bit abrupt and not terribly well set-up. But I liked that Cooney kept this away from being total fluff by emphasizing how hard it would have been to be a woman—of any class—in the 19th century. Wow, books for teenage girls used to actually have empowering, feminist messages in them? Too bad that’s gone out of style. *coug ...more
Jan 17, 2015 Skyril rated it really liked it
Review originally published on Tsundokuholic.

I chose Caroline B. Cooney’s Both Sides of Time as my first Flashbook Friday because I probably read this more than any other book in middle school. I LOVED Caroline B. Cooney because she mastered both romance and suspense, in my eyes. I’ll probably wind up reviewing more of her books so I’ll hold back on gushing over every book of hers right now. I’m talking heightened ERMAHGERD levels of praise here. Caroline B. Cooney is one of the QUEENS of 90’s Y
Nov 09, 2011 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very simply written but beautiful. I can't recall how many times I have reread it. I must have started reading the series between ages 12-14 and now, at 22, I still love to read them.

The idea of a true love/soul mate existing generations before, in another time and space, is wonderfully portrayed in this series and beautiful. One of my favorite love stories :)
Mrs. Baker
Jan 29, 2014 Mrs. Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this series when I was in middle school, so when I saw it in the library of the school where I teach, I had to pull it off the shelf and read it again. Lucky for me, it brought back the same fuzzy feelings about the main character and her predicament.

Annie is graduating high school, but her grease monkey boyfriend is not at any of the events, preferring to work on some old cars. Annie, who craves the epic romance of 100 years ago, wants to try to change him. She visits him at the old man
Jul 22, 2014 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: time-travel
I loved this book, one of the few modern time-travel books that I've thought was very good (since, say, the 1960s). Characters are funny and show hidden depths (or, as the case may be, characters are truly creepy). The writing is occasionally a little overwrought, but there are some real gems of sentences in here. Period details seem good to me.
Jun 21, 2014 Jobe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally found this series from my preteen days after much searching. All I could remember was the heroine traveled back in time by using a water pump handle or something. .. and something about stairs in a mansion. Apparently, the pump isn't until book 2 or 3. Anyway. This book was grossly lacking in any plot line or character development that actually makes sense and abundant in angsty teenagers whose minds change in the blink of an eye. But it included a ridiculous love story and a murder my ...more
Dec 28, 2015 Jaclyn rated it liked it
Ding dong me thought a magazine would be enough for the long holiday weekend at my folks. NOPE. So I went in the basement and dug through boxes of books (including in the crawl space) and found this gem, which I read the first time when I was maybe ... 14? I loooooved Cooney as a girl, and I still like her as an adult though, to be honest, I forgot all about this books! (I thought, and think, of her as the "Girl on the Milk Carton" author.) Anywho, this is the first book I've read in a single da ...more
L Marie
I liked Caroline Cooney when I was younger, but apparently I should have read all her books then; this doesn't hold up for me.
I found this book on a bookshelf and needed something to read, so I picked it up. After reading the summary on the back, I didn’t think I’d particularly like it. I was right. Both Sides of Time kept me entertained and I’ve always loved the time period it was based in, but the plot was kinda boring. It was also written in an older style that I don’t like reading. Some characters were more developed than others and some didn’t seem to react normally to some events. In the end, though, I recommend ...more
Amy Schmalbach
Jul 09, 2015 Amy Schmalbach rated it really liked it
This one was hard to rate. I read this book as a kid and was instantly in love - I remember tearing through the other two books in the series and then anxiously anticipating when the fourth and final installment would come out. This series has a special place in my heart and to this day I still have very fond memories of it and remember it as the pinnacle of time travel romances.

As an adult, the book has lost some of its luster, but not much. The writing style is very simple and somewhat juvenil
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 28, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been looking forward to this book for a long time. When I was a kid, I saw a movie about a girl and an elevator, and when she pressed the buttons a certain way, it took her back in time. When I googled searched that movie, this book popped up. But at the time, my library didn't have it and I couldn't seem to find it anywhere. It just seemed so great. I feel like almost every little girl (and I'm sure a fair amount of little boys) has felt at one point or another that they were born in the ...more
May 19, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worst-books
This book was... okay. Not by any means great, but it was easy to follow and you could tell what the intention was. I felt that this book should've been longer so they didn't make another book; this kind of book isn't made for sequels. Overall, I don't feel like this book met my expectations. I really enjoy Cooney's work, but "Both Sides of Time" didn't cut it for me.
There is nothing about this book that stands out for me. The character development was good, but I felt like they had too many cha
Feb 26, 2015 Turtle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA Romance Fans
Recommended to Turtle by: The Second Book in the Series
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
BJ Rose
This is a review of Both Sides of Time & Out of Time. I picked up these two YA time-travel books thinking I'd do some light-hearted reading. The beginning of the first book focused on Annie's wish-fulfillment of living in a time when women were sheltered and treasured and men had elegant manners. But then the books turned darker, showing the other side of life for women in the 19th century - their total dependence on the men in their lives & the lack of any real ability to choose, especi ...more
Jul 05, 2010 Jessica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: given-up-on
I was really looking forward to this book--I'm a huge fan of time-traveler books (Jude Devereaux's "A Knight in Shining Armor", among others) and after hearing a friend dote on this series I couldn't wait to try it out.

I made it a little over halfway through before I just couldn't stomach another word. Not only are the characters shallow and barely constructed, but their thoughts sound like the words of a four-year-old enamored with her favorite TV show. The story itself--the setting, the resear
This book in one sentence: A teenage girl travels through time and instantly falls in love with a boy that treats women as weak and incapable creatures in need of control by men, and she has no problem with it.

The MC is frustrated with her current boyfriend because he largely ignores her. She believes he is a terrible person for treating her that way and he probably is. Then she falls into the 19th century where her intelligence and virtue are constantly insulted by the people she meets, but she
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Caroline Cooney knew in sixth grade that she wanted to be a writer when "the best teacher I ever had in my life" made writing her main focus. "He used to rip off covers from The New Yorker and pass them around and make us write a short story on whichever cover we got. I started writing then and never stopped!"
When her children were young, Caroline started writing books for young people -- with rem
More about Caroline B. Cooney...

Other Books in the Series

Time Travelers (4 books)
  • Out of Time (Time Travelers, #2)
  • Prisoner of Time (Time Travelers, #3)
  • For All Time (Time Travelers, #4)

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“People think they own time. They have watches and clocks and digital pulses. But they are wrong. Time owns them. 61 likes
“I'll take you to Mickey D's," said Sean. "I'll buy you a hamburger."
Annie was not thrilled. Sean's offer did not compare to offers made in other centuries.
"And fries," Sean said. "And a vanilla milkshake."
Annie remained unthrilled.
"Okay, okay. You can have a Big Mac."
Romance in my century, she thought, is pitiful.”
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