Book published in April 2011 by Orion Children's Books
Pages - 246
Aimed at 9-12 year olds
Book kindly sent to be reviewed by the publisher
'Stop the car!'
'What?' Dad swivels round in his seat. The car jerks into a swerve.
'Good grief, Tom! Mum squeals, gripping her arm rest as she pulls a was of tissues out of her bag.
'Stop the car!' I repeat. It's going to be too late in a minutes. I grab the tissues from Mum and shove them over Craig's mouth.
Dad pulls over just in time and Craig lurches out of his seat, runs to the gravelly path by the side of the road and doubles over.
The car stinks of sick for the rest of the journey.
Jenni Green is off on holiday with her parents to the same destination that they go to every year. Not that Jenni minds because she gets to spent the week with her best friend Autumn. Yet something goes slightly wrong with this annual trip and Jenni finds herself transported a year into the future, where Autumn's life has hit rock bottom. Something tragic occurred the year before which shattered the lives of Autumn and her family as well as ruining the long term friendship of Jenni and Autumn. Can Jenni figure out what happened to change Autumn's life so drastically and can she turn back time to stop whatever happened occurring.
If you are looking for an awesome time travel novel, then this is the book for you. Liz Kessler introduced time travel so smoothly into the story that I never doubted its credibility once. The author has managed to breathe reality into science fiction.
I know book reviews are not meant to be personal, but I cannot help but love a book that instantly catapults me back to my past and that first paragraph had me travelling in the back of the car with my parents on numerous long journeys to Devon. Not the best traveller and long before travel sickness pills came into fashion, I was Craig!
The book is written is present tense which I normally whinge about as it is one of my pet hates, but I cannot say it affected my enjoyment of the story at all. In fact, I didn't notice it after the first page, which is amazing for me. The story is extremely well written and highly polished allowing the story to just flow off the page.
This book may only be 246 pages, but it has a lot packed into it. I was completely captivated from the first page and ended up reading it in one sitting. I was desperate to discover how Jenni would deal with her unusual situation. There is no sign of predictability within this book and I found myself constantly surprised by the route the story took.
I loved all the characters within the book and instantly felt their anguish when their personal situations changed. Jenni was my favourite character and I loved how her desperation changed her character for the better and made her so much stronger. She dealt with the time travel situation thrust upon her with maturity and grace.
One of the main themes dealt with in this book is friendship; the author explores how a cross word can turn friendship to hate. The story provides a strong reminder of how we should treat the people close to us. Liz Kessler also focuses on the possibility of small random acts changing your future forever. The theme reminded me of a short story I read during secondary school which was called The Butterfly Effect, where one minor choice can have major effects on the future. The whole theory is quite mind boggling. This book will definitely make you look closer at the choices and actions you make in life and how little things can escalate into bigger issues.
This is the first book I have read by Liz Kessler and I can say with absolute certainty that it won't be the last. I love her descriptive style of writing. The way she conjured up nostalgic memories of my own childhood caught me by surprise. This book may be aimed at 9 to 12 year olds, but I found it to be ageless. I know without a doubt that readers in my age bracket will love it.
When you read this book, expect the unexpected and freeze reality for a while in order to believe in the unbelievable!
I have two copies of 'A Year Without Autumn' to give away over at Goodreads. So please do go over and enter if you would like the chance to win a copy.