Title: 15 Minutes: A Time Travel Suspense Thriller (The Rewind Agency)
Author: Jill Cooper
Published: June, 2013
The future can be a dangerous place when you changed the past….
15 minutes is all the Rewind Agency gives a person when they travel to the past, but for Lara Crane it’s enough for her to race through the city, find her mother, and stop her from being killed in a mugging that happened over ten years ago.
But the story she’s been told all her life is a lie. When Lara takes a bullet meant for her mother, her future changes forever. A new house, new friends and a new boyfriend turns Lara’s life upside down. She thinks if she can save her father from prison, reunite him with her mother, everything will be fine.
15 Minutes is an edgy high octane YA thriller where the people Lara trusts change in an instant. She is in a timeline she doesn’t understand, and is about to make one fatal mistake as she faces an enemy so familiar, he’s family.
Characterization and badassery
Lara is a sophomore in high school, but she’s not full of snark or angst. She just wants her mom back. And who wouldn’t? She has her own brand of toughness, given that she risks everything she knows to go back in time and prevent her mom from being murdered. She adjusts, adapts, and keeps going every time the world shifts under her feet. She’s tenacious. She’s quick-witted. I like her.
Plot and pacing
The blurb above isn’t kidding about being high-octane. This book has more pivot points than a . . . thing that pivots a lot. Rats. Simile fail. Anyway.
There’s barely time to take a breath and get your bearings before a twist happens and you’re down the rabbit hole again. Which I really loved about this book. Once the story peaks, it’s non-stop until finally it hits the end of the book.
Prose and editing
Good. I like the author’s voice and rapid-fire way of setting things up. There’s absolutely nothing slow or pedantic happening in this book. There were some editing issues, minor things mostly, nothing too bothersome.
Hmm, trying to remember. I don’t recall laughing or being particularly amused. So I’ll say “not funny” but this book doesn’t try to be. That doesn’t mean the mood is super heavy, though. Definitely not a gloom and doom kind of book.
This was a quick read, both because it was short and because the action moves so quickly that I kept reading to see what happened next. I liked the interesting treatment of temporal mechanics surrounding time travel. There were just a couple things that I felt a teenage girl wouldn’t be able to do, or that were too easy to do, but I was able to ignore those details in favor of the quick action and interesting twists.
I like the book’s concept. Who wouldn’t want to go back and save a loved one from dying, especially a mother you barely knew? A teenager would very understandably be blind/ambivalent to the risks in her desperation to get her mama back. Then she recognizes the loss of the life she’d sacrificed in order to get her mother back. A paradox, in a way. A very relatable one that pretty much anyone can relate to. I like how this story has that fantasy element grounded in very believable bedrocks of real life.
I found this book extremely enjoyable, and I don’t say that very often.