Sunday, July 21, 2013


This book was provided to me as an Advance Review Copy at BEA for an honest review.

by Rachel Carter

   Published: July 2, 2013 by HarperTeen
   Format: Hardcover and e-book
   Source: Advance Review Copy from author at BEA
   Genre: Young Adult
   My Rating:

This Strange and Familiar Place is a book that I received from Rachel Carter at a book signing at BEA 2013. I was so intrigued by the story that I got the second book even though I didn't own the first. I bought and tore through the first amazing installment in this series in a very short amount of time and was very grateful to have the ARC copy waiting on my night stand so I could dive right back into the amazing world that Carter has created.

The So Close to You series revolved around Lydia and her grandfather, who was obsessed with the rumored Montauk Project. In the first book, Lydia discovers that all her grandfathers "facts" -- that she'd mostly taken with a grain of salt -- were not only real, but even bigger than he imagined. After she descended into the Montauk Project's headquarters and found herself taken back to 1944, she struggled with whether or not to help her family, so save her grandfather from a fatherless childhood or to leave the timeline intact.

But when she reemerges from the Montauk Project and attempts to return to 2012, she realizes that the timeline had indeed been altered, and she finds herself in a life that is most certainly not her own. A life where her parents barely speak, where she is an emo and sullen teenager, with a boyfriend she would never have chosen in the life she once led.

When Wes, a member of the Montauk Project, finds her after a gruesome separation back in the 1944 timeline, she decides to leave with him, pose as a member of the Montauk Project, and return to the 1980s to help pinpoint where the timeline changes. Once again, she comes up against family members who are hers ... yet, not hers. And once again, she and Wes find their relationship to pulled in all directions and challenged by the fate that Wes knows is coming -- death, as a result of too much time traveling.

Carter's second installment is even more gripping than her first. I was unable to put the book down and it had to come with me wherever I went. In less than 48 hours, I'd devoured the whole thing ... and was left with a slight book hangover, because I'm dying for the third installment.

Carter's writing and the research that goes into each of her novels floors me. Her carefully crafted world and even more carefully crafted conspiracy theory blow me away. Watching her characters run across decades past is fascinating and thrilling. And she concludes the book with the perfect cliffhanger, leaving readers hopeful and excited for the final book. The third book, Wes and Lydia's final chapter, cannot come soon enough.

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