Saturday, 3 October 2015

Book Review - If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison

Amazon UK
Title: If I Could Turn Back Time
Author: Beth Harbison
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 28th July 2015
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Thirty-seven year old Ramie Phillips has led a very successful life. She made her fortune and now she hob nobs with the very rich and occasionally the semi-famous, and she enjoys luxuries she only dreamed of as a middle-class kid growing up in Potomac, Maryland. But despite it all, she can't ignore the fact that she isn't necessarily happy. In fact, lately Ramie has begun to feel more than a little empty. 

On a boat with friends off the Florida coast, she tries to fight her feelings of discontent with steel will and hard liquor. No one even notices as she gets up and goes to the diving board and dives off...

Suddenly Ramie is waking up, straining to understand a voice calling in the distance...It's her mother: "Wake up! You're going to be late for school again. I'm not writing a note this time..." 

Ramie finds herself back on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, with a second chance to see the people she's lost and change the choices she regrets. How did she get back here? Has she gone off the deep end? Is she really back in time? Above all, she'll have to answer the question that no one else can: What it is that she really wants from the past, and for her future?

I had been a bit apprehensive to read this, as I often am when I suddenly realise that the book I am about to read, involves some sort of time travel. I prefer my books with a firm grip on reality, so this was a bit of a challenge. That being said, I did enjoy the story, even if I, like Ramie was constantly wondering just why it was she appears to be reliving her last days of high school. 

Unfortunately I guessed just over half way the reasoning behind this time travel, and when it was revealed, just for once I was correct, but I found the whole ending of the book a bit flat and rushed, and just not as detailed as the rest of the book. 

This is the first book I have read by Beth Harbison, and I loved the writing style, and the way she told the story. I was very interested in knowing what happened next, at least for the whole of the 18 year old section. 

There is just something quite different and intriguing of having the mind of a 38 year old, while in the body of an 18 year old past version of yourself, while reliving the same moments, and knowing on some level this could be a chance to make different decisions to influence the future. 

If I Could Turn Back Time is a great mix of tender loving moments, being able to have another chance with your first love, and all those more adult mannerisms, that Ramie keeps using, despite everyone around her thinking she is 18. 

I would happily read more books by the author, and really liked the majority of this book. 

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martins Press for this review copy. This was my honest opinion.

1 comment:

  1. It's certainly an intriguing idea, Rachel. I'd love to have been able to influence my 18 year old self. But would you do anything differently is I suppose the question. :) xx


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