Book review – 15 minutes

This is a book review for 15 minutes by Jill Cooper, available here.

I really didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I downloaded it for free when an author friend mentioned it in my social network feed and it sounded up my street.

The basic premise of the story is that the main character wants to go back in time to prevent the murder of her mother and gets an awful lot more than she bargained for.

I found the book very confusing, to be honest. It leaps straight into the action which is fine, but the world building didn’t really ever catch up with the plot. In my opinion, so much was left unsaid that it was hard to keep track of how and why things were happening. I’m aware that this is a series and the explanation for why Lara can interact with her past where others can’t may eventually be explained, but it just added to the confusion of the latter parts of the book.

I kept waiting for the “inception moment”,  where everything would suddenly click into place and make perfect sense, but it never arrived. I stuck with it right up until about two thirds of the way through and then a series of events occurs where you don’t know what timeline or reality she’s in and I got completely lost. I don’t understand how she didn’t recognise herself from the future or how the notes happened with everything changing. I didn’t understand if she was genuinely changing the timeline or if it was all in her head.

Despite finishing the book, I’m still not entirely sure how it all worked out. In that regard, the book was something of a failure for me. I could understand what the author was trying to accomplish and applaud her bravery for trying something so difficult, but it perhaps needed a bit more development.

All that said, I think there was an overarching message to this book that’s maybe more than the sum of its parts. That message is that you have to be so careful for what you wish for. Hoping to change the past doesn’t mean that you’ll get the future you expect. You can’t mourn your past decisions or regret them because if you’d done something differently, you may have come off worse. You have to learn to live in the moment.

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