Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “time travel”

Jen K’s #CBR4 Review #18: Q

Time travel, love story, New York.  Definitely recommend this one, though don’t necessarily read it if you just want an epic love story in the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife.  While the love story frames the novel, there is also a certain amount of satire and humor.  Also, Freud and eel testicles.

Jen K’s #CBR4 Review #15: 11/22/63

The one where King effectively ends a novel.  Plus time travel, JFK and a klutzy love interest pulled straight from rom-com tropes.

The Scruffy Rube’s #CBR4 Review #22 Kindred

There’s something captivating about the first few pages of Butler’s book. Within moments, just as you get comfortable with the characters and 1979 Californian setting, you are hurled (along with the protagonist Dana Franklin) across time and space to an antebellum riverside where a young boy’s life is in jeopardy. Despite the inexplicable and jarring nature of this time travel, both the audience and the character must commit to the circumstances of this situation: hoping to save a life because our natural human impulses command it.

But Kindred has more than just a clever opening. As the story unfolds, Dana must consider the complex interplay of love for family and social justice. For a twentieth century African-American citizen to dive into the world of slavery with perpetual fear and palpable anger in every heartbeat–all for the sake of her white, slave-owning ancestor–is to experience history afresh. Butler manages to not just present or explore an often silently accepted splotch on our American history, but to live it, to battle it and to grudgingly appreciate parts of it.

Few authors have the skill to make this rigorous inhabitation of history (mixed with a healthy-dollop of science fiction) work, but Butler makes it seem effortless. Despite the extraordinary circumstances, the characters (both historical and contemporary) seem grounded in genuine humanity and they are easy to relate to, regardless of your own ethnicity. Our emotions are as conflicted as Dana’s, our experience as complex and uncomfortable. The deeper we dig into the book the better we can appreciate issues not just of race, but of honesty and ignorance, violence and love. That’s precisely the kind of work that both my students and I can sink our teeth into with relish.

CommanderStrikeher’s #CBR4 Review #25: The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

*Audiobook Review*

The premise of this book sounded intriguing.  In 1996, sixteen-year-old Emma Nelson connects her new computer to AOL.  A box pops up and she logs onto a website called Facebook.  Emma is able to see what she is posting on Facebook 15 years in the future.  She shows the website to her best-friend and neighbor, Josh.  Then they realize that the actions that they are taking in the present are changing their statuses in the future.  OMG you guys!!!

This book is listed as a young-adult novel, but I’m not sure if a teenager today would get all of the min-nineties references that this book beats into your head.  Seriously, they are always listening to Dave Matthews Band or skateboarding, or something else that says, “Hey, remember the nineties?”.  Frankly, it’s annoying.  Actually, there was a lot about this book that annoyed the crap out of me.  I hated Emma, the main female character.  Especially her narrator in the audiobook version.  I frequently rolled my eyes and complained to my roommate about how much I hate sixteen-year-old girls and their annoying boy obsessions.  There was wayyyy too much whiny romantic entanglements and not enough sci-fi.

2/5 Stars.

rdoak03’s #CBR4 Review #18: The Messenger’s Handbook by Pamela DuMont

The Messenger’s Handbook was not my first voyage into YA fiction…but it wasn’t my favorite, either. Read why bad form overshadowed good substance in this case–

Krista’s #CBR4 Review #5: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

11/22/63 tells the story of not only just the day of JFK’s assassination (that is not a spoiler – read the title and look at the picture!) but it deals with time entire concept of time travel. Jake is living in 2011 when Al, the man who owns a local diner, invites him to take a trip through time via a portal in the pantry of his diner. And boom goes the dynamite. What follows is part thriller and part love story. King looks at what the repercussion of time travel are, and also looks at our capacity for love and human compassion in the midst of suffering.

This book was a nicely written book, and my mind kept tripping out (in a good way!) on certain concepts  … but you’ll have to click over to find some specific examples!

— Krista

Malin’s #CBR4’s #10: The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

When Eva’s film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves her PR job in California and goes to Cornwall, where they used to spend their happy childhood summers, to scatter the ashes. Emotionally vulnerable and grieving, she stays with old family friends in the house she remembers so well, and tries to make up for the room and board she’s recieving by helping her friends, siblings Mark and Susan, to keep from losing their property. The house has beautiful rose gardens adjoining it, and while they used to have lots of visitors, interest has waned. Susan wants to open a tea room to bring in more tourists, and Eva agrees to help use her PR skills to assist her.

 While staying in Cornwall, Eva at first thinks she’s hallucinating from grief, as she hears strange voices in the house that no one else can hear. She sees an unfamiliar man, even talks to him a few times, and it’s only when she finds herself in her bedroom, wearing his silk robe, that she is forced to admit that she’s not going crazy, she just seems to be able to slip back in time to the 18th Century on occasion, and interact with the inhabitants of the house then. While sometimes days can pass on her visits to the past, no time seems to pass in the present while she’s gone. Soon Eva is falling in love with Daniel Butler, a Cornish smugler loosely involved in the Jacobite rebellion, who died centuries before she was born. How can she help her friends in the present, when she’s pining for the past, and how can she possibly sustain a viable relationship with a man when she keeps popping back to her own present?

 Susanna Kearsley’s last book, The Winter Sea, was also a combination of contemporary and historical fiction, woven together. In that book, both the narratives were gripping and kept me turning the pages. The Rose Garden, unfortunately, was much better when Eva was in the past. Her interactions with Daniel, his brother Jack and their friend and fellow smuggler Fergal (who pretends Eva is his sister to explain her sudden presence) were so much more interesting and compelling than her present day endeavours to get to grips with the loss of her sister, and helping the Hallett siblings get their business in order. I kept wanting her to spend less time focusing on the present and go back to the past. To be fair, Eva keeps wanting to return to the past too, so perhaps this is just a clever ploy of Kearsley’s, to emphasise how much more awesome Eva’s life is there, but I doubt it. Still, a perfectly enjoyable read, and the historical bits are excellent.

Originally posted on my blog:

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