This timeslip romance is full of smart, sassy, well-observed dialogue. The conversational bounce between the four principal characters feels authentic and immediately engages the reader. Jack and Jillian have always been best friends but Jack has begun to feel much more for her. He can do nothing about this, however, as she is dating Jack’s other best friend, Franny, who has both great physical strength and emotional vulnerability. His father has been in prison several times and never shows his son affection or praises him for his many achievements. Jack, Kate and Franny are inseparable and fiercely loyal and so Jack knows he must say and do nothing about his romantic feelings.
Then events completely change Jack’s feelings-he meets Kate and falls profoundly in love. The feeling rapidly becomes mutual, but there is a serious problem: Kate has sickle cell disease, which can take her life at any time. Jack is determined to save her and this propels the narrative into a Groundhog Day loop as he formulates one solution after another to the problem. Reynolds deftly juggles tension, comedy, love and friendship using effective tools-smart, sassy, well-observed dialogue; rounded, convincing characters and, until the final se ction, credible plot construction.
This is fast and furious stuff, threaded through with strong emotion which avoids the trap of sentimentality. Reynolds is an accomplished and inventive writer, which makes the rather strained final section rather a disappointment. Nevertheless, I relished reading this book and was sorry when it ended.