Book Review: Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Posted May 5, 2014 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland StoneTime Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Series: Time Between Us #1
Published by Hyperion on October 9th, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Time Travel, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to 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.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.

2.5 Stars

As a time travel geek, I was intrigued by Time Between Us, but at the same time I knew not to expect too much from it. Instead of a heavy sci-fi adventure, I was more expecting a fluffy romantic book, not unlike The Time Traveler’s Wife, which would hopefully give me a punch in the feels. Sadly… That didn’t happen. I enjoyed this read, but I’m not entirely impressed by it.

So basically, Anna meets Bennett and, in the vein of a paranormal series, immediately realizes something’s off about him. She does some snooping, of course, and then eventually finds out that Bennett is a time traveler. He’s here from the future. In fact, Bennett went back in time to “find his sister”, who he lost when time traveling to historic rock concerts in the past, as one does, and he was pulled back to his time involuntarily, leaving his sister in the past. (He’s the only one who can time travel.) He has this restriction on when he can travel to – he has to have been born at the time, and that concert was before his birth (see how good we are at obeying set-out rules here). But okay, so he returns to the past, after his birth, with the hope of finding his sister and transporting her back to her time.

And you must be thinking, that’s pretty noble, right? Well, nope. He just sits around and does nothing. He seems to think that she will come to him, just pop up. He could have, with good sense, gone to the concerts they would likely have visited together, or to their house in San Francisco/Sacramento/wherever. Logical places where she could be. But noooo. He thinks by staying at his grandmother’s house, she’ll come to him. So that excuses him to do nothing but hang out with Anna and make heart eyes at her.

*sigh* I wasn’t expecting a plot to blow me away, guys, but I hate half-assed things more than anything. This whole story makes me hate Bennett. He’s lazy, and his relationship with Anna trumping the search for his sister? Mehhhhh. Basically there was too heavy a focus on the romance. It really toed the line of instalove. And while I wasn’t expecting a sci-fi time travel masterpiece, the theory behind the time travel was ALSO filled with holes. The paradoxes did not resolve themselves in a believable way, and yes, that is a difficult thing for time travel novels to do, but Time Between Us made an attempt to explain things and then did a half-assed job of it. It would have been better if they didn’t try it at all.

While I don’t really like Bennett, I did like Anna. She was realistic, even though she didn’t really sparkle. I could relate to her in a way, with college woes, ambitions, and dreams of traveling. The traveling concept was probably the best part of the book. She feels locked into her life, having only seen a small slice of the world, so when Bennett turns up with not only time traveling abilities, but also teleportation (#logic), it opens the doors to lovely wanderlust-evoking passages of visiting different countries and cultures. In theory, they could go off to Paris to shop, and then come back with no time having passed. I mean, think of all the potential there! BUT. Again, a but. The only traveling that’s done is to remote locations nobody really knows, where Anna and Bennet sit and have a talk for a while about the drama llama in their lives. I wanted to really feel these settings, fall in love with the places, and gain a desire to visit them myself, but alas. Let down again.

I will praise the secondary characters, few as they are. I loved the friendship between Anna and her best friend, Emma. The way they relied upon each other and really cared about each other was seriously beautiful. I loved their conversations together. And I enjoyed the relationship between Anna and her father. But those kinds of relationships get to my black heart more often than not 😛

Summing Up:

So overall, it’s fair enough to say that this book had its ups and downs. Every time I thought I liked an element, I was soon met with a caveat. It was definitely an entertaining enough adventure, which managed to put a smile on my face at parts, but when I stop to analyze it… I’m not blown away. I wanted more beautiful traveling. I wanted heavy romantic feels. I wanted a not-half-assed plot and time travel concept. But… Alas. You can’t have it all, I guess.

Would I read the sequel? Maybe. Still, maybe. Now that the sister storyline is out of the way, I might like it more? But I’m not rushing out to order it. Most likely the only way I’ll read the sequel is if I borrow it or if someone gives it to me as a gift.

GIF it to me straight!


Recommended To:

Romance-readers who can ignore some plot inconsistencies.

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3 responses to “Book Review: Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

  1. I enjoyed this book, but I understand what you are saying. I think that I ended up thinking about the series differently after reading Time After Time from Bennett’s POV – it made Bennett more bearable.

  2. I didn’t love this one, either, although perhaps I enjoyed it a smidgen more than you. I think I gave it three stars. I actually liked Bennett more than Anna. Well, I liked Anna a lot more in the beginning, but then I didn’t like when she demanded Bennett go back in time to save her friend, when Bennett said it would be a bad idea. I mean, I understand that she wants her friend to be okay, of course. But . . . I felt like she manipulated him bit. And I don’t understand how he was able to make it back to her in the end. That didn’t make any sense.

  3. I pretty much agree with your review, and also with much of what Quinn said. Like you, I just really expected more of this book than a mediocre romance!