03 September, 2015

#BookReview :: All the Butterflies in the World by Rodney Jones

With her senior year looming, Tess McKinnon has two goals: hanging out with her best friend, Liz, and avoiding her judgmental, alcoholic mother. Then yummy John Bartley arrives—to tell Mrs. McKinnon that her daughter is dead. Distinctly still alive, Tess is baffled by John’s tales of 1800s time travel, rewritten lives, and love. She knows she’s never seen him before, but her feelings refuse to be denied.
When Tess and John discover an aged newspaper clipping that indicates John’s uncle was hanged for Tess’s murder in 1875, John decides to return to his time to save his uncle’s life, but when Tess checks the article after John’s departure, she is horrified to discover that John has been hanged instead.
Armed with determination and modern ingenuity, Tess must abandon her past and risk her future for a chance to catch her own killer and find her first love for the second time. 

Goodreads I Amazon

I did not realize that this was a sequel until I logged on to goodreads to mark it under current read. When I had read the blurb on Netgalley and applied for a review copy, it seemed like a standalone to me. I wanted to mention this right at the beginning because, it may be that your experience of this book maybe a bit different from mine if you have already read The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains. 

The story starts in the year 2009 – the time John has travelled to in order to meet Tess’ mother about Tess’ death. However, he finds Tess alive and well with apparently of no memory of having ever met him. Determined not to let this chance pass by, John tries to win back Tess, only to find evidence that says that John’s Uncle was hanged for Tess’ death. John travels back in time to save his uncle only to end up being caught for the same crime. With John gone, Tess realizes about her feelings for John and follows John back in time. She hopes to be able to save both John and his uncle and has no plans of returning to her current life.

I found it difficult to get into the book at the beginning. Frankly, John’s familiarity with Tess creeped me out a bit in the beginning. But I guess that is because the author had laid the foundation of the story in The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains. The same factor played a role in my experience of some of the characters who it seemed like I should have known some details about, but actually had no clue to. That actually hampered my experience in the beginning. But I have to say that the blurb of the story was interesting enough for me to take that time with the novel and go ahead with it nonetheless. And once I got into the groove of things, I quite enjoyed the story. Except for the character backgrounds, this book could actually stand as a standalone as once I finished reading the book, I realized that I had in fact quite enjoyed the story. The narration style gets to you real easily and has a set rhythm of the flow of the story. Then language used is plain and simple. With certain details about the setting, the story helps paint a picture in the reader’s minds.

Review Copy received from NetGalley

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