ARC Review: Clockwise by Elle Strauss

ImageCasey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this—she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward.

Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness?

When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again. Which of course, she does.

My Rating: 2 cupcakes

I have mixed feelings about Clockwise.

The formatting was easily my biggest problem with the book. I read the ebook version and found it difficult to read: there were no paragraphs, and it was difficult at times to discern which character was speaking.

The book started off fairly slow and lacked a lot in terms of drama. There also wasn’t much in the way of character development – aside from Nate and Casey, all of the other characters seemed very one-dimensional. For example, Lucinda is Casey’s best friend and she has a crush on a boy named Josh. Apparently that’s all that the reader needs to know about her, which made me feel as though the other characters were only there to make the high school portion of the plot seem realistic.

Around the halfway point of the book, Clockwise slowly started to redeem itself in my mind. Not because of the relationship between Nate and Casey, which I felt neutral about, but because of the time travel aspects of the story.

Strauss provided a fresh take on time travel – it wasn’t caused by superpowers or devices, and you couldn’t choose where/when you ended up. The Civil War era that Casey travels to was easily my favourite part of the book: the characters were interesting, it was historically accurate (and made me want to read some American history books), and it touched on a lot of important issues, including slavery and the Civil Rights movement.

Though at times cliched, Clockwise was a nice, light read. If the next book in the series is written at the same pace as the last half of this book, I’ll probably give it a try.

Thanks to NetGalley and All Night Reads for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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