Saturday, 18 February 2012

A Year Without Autumn

A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler
Paperback, 244 pages

Published September 1st 2011 by Orion

My shelves: arc-or-review, books-i-own, fantasy, read-in-2012, sci-fi, young-adult, read-in-2012, realistic-fiction, title-appeal, young-adult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:
The author of the best-selling Emily Windsnap series spins a gripping tale about a girl who stumbles into the future--and must change its course to save a friendship.

Jenni Green’s family vacation has finally arrived! Even though she has to deal with her annoying little brother, her slightly overbearing dad, and her very pregnant mom, she gets to spend a week with her bestest friend in the world, Autumn. But twelve-year-old Jenni’s world turns upside down when she takes an old elevator to visit Autumn and discovers that everything has changed: not only is her friend in a different condo, but tragedy has struck Autumn’s family, Jenni’s mother has had her baby, and everyone is a year older. When Jenni realizes that the elevator caused her to skip a whole year, she tries to go back, but soon finds that fixing things won’t be as easy as pressing a button. How can she alter the past and keep her family and Autumn’s from falling apart? With honesty and insight, Liz Kessler explores how the bonds of family and friendship can endure through time.
My thanks go to Orion for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

I liked the premise of this book, but I was also quite weary about it when I first heard about it. I thought the idea behind it was interesting, but I'm always a little apprehensive of time-travel novels (I can find them very confusing) and I think that this book is aimed more towards middle grade children rather than young adults. However, I found it surprisingly enjoyable!

I admit that, at the start, I didn't think that I was going to enjoy this book as much as I did. Our protagonist, Jenni, is 12 years old and so talks quite immaturely, but this should be expected. She is quite excitable and the overuse of exclamation marks did start to bug me a little. However, as things start to change in Jenni's life, when she finds a lift which can transport her through time, her attitude, outlook and emotions quickly begin to mature, which I was thankful for. I'm glad that she didn't completely mature though - it was definitely as though it was a young teenager communicating with us.

I'd say that this is probably aimed more towards 9-12 year olds, but as the book progressed, I think some of the issues discussed and the story in general could appeal to young adults. I actually liked the simple style that it was written in. The time travel idea wasn't made to be complex, and as it was straight forward, it was really easy to follow. It is, despite some serious subjects, a light and easy read that a lot of people may enjoy. 

Jenni tries to visit her friend Autumn one day, and finds that she has travelled a year into the future, where we learn that something disastrous has happened which has destroyed Autumn's life and that also threatens their friendship. I found the way that Jenni handled herself and the situation to be both believable and interesting. I didn't really find the sub plot, where Jenni meets a woman who has also travelled into the future, to be particularly interesting but it was a good attempt of adding something extra to the story and I can see why people would enjoy it. 

The story flowed well and it was certainly a page turner at points. I found myself to get quite absorbed into Jenni and Autumn's story, wishing I could help. As I was so enthralled, it didn't take me very long at all to finish this one. The story unravelled at a good pace and it wasn't very predictable, especially towards the end, which I really enjoyed. Everything was summed up by the end, and so there was a satisfying ending. If you find reading about changing and developing friendships, you'd probably enjoy this. Don't be put off by the sci-fi idea, even if you're not usually a fan - this is a simple, quick and enjoyable read.


  1. This book sounds rather cute! I'm going to add it to my wish list!
    I'm like you when it comes to time travel, it can be confusing, but I also think that if it works it's great.

  2. Thanks so much for visiting me at Create With Joy! I enjoyed your book reviews and hope to catch up on posting a few new ones on my site soon as well!

    This week I'm hosting Friendship Friday and we're discussing Blog Awards - hope you'll stop by and share your thoughts!


  3. I was wondering whether I should burrow this book from the library a few months back and although it had this amazing plot to it, I wasn't exactly itching to take it home. But if it recieved a four star from you, then who am I to judge?

  4. I saw this a while ago and thought it sounded good... your review definitely makes me want to get it even more. Thanks! Great review. :)

  5. This reminds me of me with family on vacation!

  6. I just bought this book from amazon. I should be getting it today or tomorrow. I cannot wait to read it.


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