Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn’t. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.
It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work…until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn’t want?
Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us’s Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time. (Goodreads)
Time After Time is the sequel to Stone’s debut novel, Time Between Us. The story is about Anna and Bennett, two teenagers who fall in love despite the fact that Anna is from Chicago in 1995 and Bennett is from San Francisco in 2012. Bennett is a time traveler and when he and Anna met, he looked for every possible way to stay with her–something he can’t always control. The way these two meet and fall in love is quite sweet and lovely. If you’ve not already done so, I suggest you start with the first book.
Time After Time picks up just after the first book. Here we get the story from Bennett’s POV. Aside from living years and miles from Anna, Bennett is dealing with the added problem of his actual time travel ability. It’s never been a problem in the past (and it’s obviously a gift), but there’s pressure that goes along with it. Bennett has an incredible power that can be wielded, not only for his own pleasure, but to change the course of other people’s lives. When he reads about an accident or tragedy, he wants to save the victims from that fate, helping without their knowledge. This is something Bennett’s father encourages him to do. On the other hand, his parents would kill him if they knew he was hopping back and forth between time for the love of a girl.
The other, more interesting dilemma (to me, the hopeless romantic, anyway) is the question of Anna. Now, Bennett and Anna must live by a schedule so that he can be certain to be there when she needs him. In a way, Anna is spending her life waiting for Bennett and Bennett, because he truly loves Anna, wonders if their relationship is something that hinders her. He wonders if, even though it would tear him apart, it may be better for her to live without him.
I really appreciate books told from a male POV, especially when it’s a romantic storyline. And I love authors who do it well. I think Stone has done a beautiful job letting us into the mind of Bennett, time traveling high school student in love with a girl who just happens to live in another decade. In fact, I think I actually enjoyed getting to know Bennett even more than I did Anna (and I liked Anna in the first book). Time After Time not only gives us a view of Bennett’s inner turmoil over Anna and what’s best for her, but gives readers the opportunity to get to know his parents and his life at home. Stone shows small glimpses his friends and how tempting it is for Bennett, despite his feelings for Anna, to stop everything and live a normal life. We’re able to see the blessing and the curse in his gift and sympathize with his struggle to do the right thing.
I liked Bennett more this time around. Initially, while I liked him in the first book, I was turned off by the fact that he had this incredible gift and really chose to use it only for seeing concerts and visiting cool places (both fun things I’d do as well). This time, I got to know the side of Bennett that truly wants to help others, that fears doing the wrong thing, and above all, wants to do what is best for Anna because he loves her.
Crush Intensity: 4/5 I actually liked this better than the first. I connected with Bennett and I loved that he was concerned with making sure Anna didn’t spend her life waiting on him. And the ending was just right.
Thank you to Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion for giving me an e-galley of Time After Time in exchange for an honest review.