Publishers Weekly Review
Eddie Dane's life in the British town of Wellcome Valley is as predictable as it is dull: ride the bus with his friend Angus, take care of his depressed grandmother after school, feel slightly sorry for himself for having grown up without a mother, and repeat. When a redheaded girl named Scarlett shows up in town, strange things start happening, and suddenly Eddie is pulled into a repetitive loop of an entirely different kind: he starts "echo jumping" back to the same Thursday when Scarlett first arrived. In some of the altered time lines that follow, Eddie's mother is alive; in others, Eddie is murdered. Skipping between Eddie's story and a future in which so-called echo technology has reshaped life, Jones (Constable & Toop) offers a roller-coaster of a story that drives forward one moment, then yanks itself backward again. This playful time-bending saga twists in, out, and around so often that readers are forced to stay on their toes, but the effort is well worth it as Jones introduces heady ideas about memory, reality, and existence. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-Eddie Dane and his best friend, Angus, are convinced Wellcome Valley is the world's most boring town, but things perk up when Scarlett White boards their bus one morning. Eddie feels drawn toward Scarlett, and isn't even annoyed when she starts asking questions about his mother's death or his relationship with his bipolar grandmother; in fact, he's intrigued enough to accompany her on an unexplained trip to a remote farmhouse. There, he witnesses a murder, and when the gun is turned on him, he suddenly finds himself back on the school bus the same day he met Scarlett. Stuck in a repeating time loop and unsure of whom to trust, Eddie pieces together the puzzle of the world as he knows it and the world as he doesn't. This work is high on suspense, sucking readers in from the first page. Alternating perspectives give glimpses into the future, hinting at events that may or may not take place, though never revealing enough to give away any secrets. Characters, even those with demons, are likable and authentic, realistically portraying the challenges of loving one's family through difficult times. While the ending feels a bit rushed and unsatisfying, overall it's an interesting look at time travel and fate that never strays into didacticism. VERDICT A mind-bending time-travel novel good for general purchase.-Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, La Crosse Public Library, WI © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Eddie lives with his unstable grandmother in seriously sleepy Wellcome Valley, where every day is basically the same. When beautiful Scarlett appears on his school bus one morning, however, everything changes drastically. Scarlett is from a version of Eddie's future, sent back in time to prevent a murder, and when Eddie gets caught up in her mission, he, too, is accidentally sent back in time. As he relives the past couple of days, he tries to piece together the increasingly complicated truth, with the help of messages in his copy of Frankenstein, and figure out his role in untangling the rapidly accumulating time lines. In the process, he discovers secrets about his past, his mother who, in his time line, died when he was only a baby and his relationship with Scarlett, which sweetly unfolds in reverse. Though Scarlett is conveniently duty-bound to keep most of the complex mechanisms of time travel a secret (a device Jones perhaps relies on too much), the cinematic pacing, intriguing mystery, and believable emotional stakes keep the plot engaging.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2015 Booklist