BBB/Book Review: Both Sides of Time by Caroline B. Cooney (Time Travel Quartet #1)

Both Sides of Time by Caroline B. Cooney (#1 in the Time Travel Quartet)
Both Sides of Time by Caroline B. Cooney (#1 in the Time Travel Quartet)

Welcome to the TalkingBookworm’s first Book Blast from the Past!

I chose Both Sides of Time as the book that would debut Book Blast from the Past because it was one of the books that started the process into turning me into the full blown bookworm I am today. Reading it for the first time in 10 years, I was shocked to see this was the type of book I loved to read when I was 12! This book has love, time traveling, murder, almost everything you can imagine without there being anything supernatural (like vampires, werewolves, etc.)

GoodReads Summary:

Imagine changing centuries–and making things worse, not better, on both sides of time

Imagine being involved in two love triangles in two different centuries. What if, no matter which direction you travel in time, you must abandon someone you love?

Meet 15-year-old Annie Lockwood, a romantic living in the wrong century. When she travels back a hundred years and lands in 1895–a time when privileged young ladies wear magnificent gowns, attend elegant parties, and are courted by handsome gentlemen–Annie at last finds romance. But she is a trespasser in time. Will she choose to stay in the past? Will she be allowed to?

What I liked:

Time Travel. I wish more books had time traveling in them. I was surprised to find myself enjoying a book that is written in third person because I normally tend to shy away from books that are in third person. Cooney brought up the issue of women rights and what is really expected of a woman. I applaud her for educating tweens on how bad it was for women in the past, and how far we’ve come to remedy those incorrect notions that society had of women. This book is really 90’s down to the core. I think that’s another reason why I love it so much. It’s a book that can take me back to my childhood.

What I disliked:

The first 80 pages of the book had me questioning why I loved this book so much when I was a tween. I disliked the fact that it took almost half of the book to finally get to an exciting, intriguing part of it. I think the first book in a series always suffers from this syndrome, the “let’s set everything up so the reader knows what I’m talking about in the future” syndrome. I prefer stories that have flashbacks instead of being trapped in the past for ages. When I think ‘time travel’ I think ‘excitement’, and the first half of the book wasn’t giving me the excitement I was craving. Even though Cooney did a good job with the background of Annie and Strat, it was still hard at times for me to sympathize with the characters. I think part of it was because the book was set in third person. I lost some of the connection with the characters because I wasn’t in their heads all of the time. Towards the last third of the book the silliness left and a serious more modern tone set in. I really loved the turn of events and how the last third of the book progressed.

Overall, I still love this book even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did ten years ago. At the end, I felt for Devonny, Harriet, and Florinda. Strat proved to be a better gentleman than most gentlemen in his time, and Annie finally did what she was supposed to do from the beginning. This book is a book everyone should read. It teaches the reader history, educates them in a style of writing, and brings enjoyment at the same time. I recommend this book to everyone. Young and Old. You’ll understand my love for this book once you’ve read it.

Rating: 4/5

Rating System:

1/5: I hated it

2/5: It had some redeeming qualities but overall, not a good book

3/5: I liked it (A fun read)

4/5: I really like it, but something was missing

5/5: I love it! It’s as close to perfection as it can get!

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