I am working on reading every time loop book ever published, hence why I preordered this book.
This book was a lot of fun. There were several aspects I am working on reading every time loop book ever published, hence why I preordered this book.
This book was a lot of fun. There were several aspects I enjoyed:
- The references/allusions were a joy (see below) - I love Nephele's character. It's not a perspective you seen often, and she is lovable in a very distinct way. - The humor is fantastic. I was laughing out loud constantly while reading. - The time loop mechanics were innovative. Most YA time loop books follow the same template, but this book was a new take on it. - I loved the inclusion of the knot diagrams. (That being said, I'm not a knot theory expert, but aren't the diagrams shown actually links, not knots? Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.) - I like the wink about how Nephele, in a different timeline, might have met herself as misanthrope Marla. It gives the impression that this universe is more complicated than the author is revealing.
A few things that could have been better:
- Nephele made a few comments which were jarring and out of character, which made it hard to me to make her a real person in my mind, e.g. about the size of the carpet in the classroom and the use of the metric system. Likewise, the combinations of fields of math she liked were odd, and kids (and adults) who like math as much as Nephele does do not talk about math in the same way she does. - The plot would suddenly change based on something the reader didn't know was in the realm of possibility in the book's universe. None of the major plot points could be predicted by an attentive reader, because they used features of the world which were made up on the spot to allow the plot point, e.g. Dirk Angus having a soul. Some people like this style of writing, but it's not my cup of tea. - I have a hard time understanding the ending. How was she hurting her parents by going back in time rather than helping them? Will they continue to have absence seizures for the rest of their lives? How will she survive with no access to her birth certificate or knowledge of what year it is? While it may be best not to make the time machine public knowledge, why not at least consider doing some good with it before destroying it? How would she be hurting people if they wouldn't remember her? And why was it framed as a moral positive to give up on helping society in exchange for kissing a 14-year-old who is too ashamed of her to introduce her to his family?
Overall, though, my favorite part of this book was all the hidden references/allusions. My favorite was the nod to Ken Grimwood's Replay through the William Blake poem. However, the most creative one I noticed was the solfege reference: "Fi" in solfege is an augmented 4th, i.e. a tritone, the most pleasing form of dissonance. Besides the fact that tritones are music's stimplest example of a Hofstadter-style "strange loop" (which the book claims gives you a soul), tritones are central to jazz music.
I don't normally write reviews, but I was curious what other references people found, and wanted to encourage people to chime in with comments on other references they noticed. I know there are lots I missed, so I'm curious what other people found....more