Author: Karen Akins
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub. Date: October 21, 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Rec. Age Level: 13+
More by this author: Twist (forthcoming)
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Time traveler Bree Bennis' life is a mess. Her mom's in a coma, she's being blackmailed, and she's just failed her solo mission midterm. Just when she thinks things couldn't get any worse, she accidentally brings an annoying and entirely too attractive guy from the 21st century into the 23rd. Things get even more complicated when Bree learns Finn isn't just some guy, he's in love with Bree - well, a future Bree. But Bree has bigger things to deal with... Bad things are happening to time travelers, something her future self is trying to prevent. Bree grudgingly teams up with Finn to unravel the clues she's left herself and save the people she loves most.
I just have to say, it took a lot of effort to keep my description of Loop from being ridiculously confusing because it so easily could be. Karen Akins has created a time travel world in which two (or more, I assume) versions of a character can exist at the same time. Which makes describing the premise a tad confusing. That said, I never felt confused during the actual reading of Loop. Akins did a fantastic job of creating distinct identities for all of the characters, including the multiples that existed simultaneously. After all, we all change as we age and experience different things, so the Bree from now and the Bree from the future are different characters, despite sharing a history, personality, etc.
While the romantic storyline within Loop is definitely significant, it wasn't what drove the story. I liked that Finn was in love with Bree (and that future Bree was in love with Finn), but that the Bree the reader knows takes a while to warm to him. Instalove might have actually worked here, since we know that the two characters eventually fall in love, though the time line is completely confusing and convoluted, but Akins doesn't go there. Instead, the characters struggle with their feelings for one another, romantic and otherwise. My one issue with the romance, which is really just a personal pet peeve, is the use of pet names. There's actually a secondary character that uses pet names for Bree more often than Finn and I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me.
The mystery elements of this novel are really well done and compelling. The inclusion of time travel kept things interesting; when things had happened - or would happen - was never certain. Okay, that sounded confusing again, but it's not I swear! I suppose you'll just have to read it and see for yourself.