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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Casey Donovan, a fifteen-year-old teen with unmanageable curly hair, "the color of burnt toast", is anything but typical. Sure, she has a crush on Nate MacKenzie, the cute football MVP of her high school, but she also carries a secret - that only her BFF knows. That is, until she accidentally takes the one and only Nate with her to the 19th century. Goodbye, shoulder pads. Hello, history. Perhaps that unit on the Civil War will come in handy after all.

CLOCKWISE is a smart, engaging read, a sure hit for lovers of time travel or the occasional history buff. I immediately liked Casey, her awkwardness, and felt like she could be a close friend. Casey's story doesn't disappoint. It refreshingly lacks the overzealous angst common to some YA reads and packs in the values of honest friendships and family relationships with a heart-warming, twist-at-the-end punch. Elle Strauss is a writer to watch.

I highly recommend this warm tale.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Adorable. Adventurous. Awesome. These are the words that came to my mind after finishing Clockwise. It was a book that had me rolling with laughter, catching my breath in suspense or anticipation, and reaching for a tissue as tears filled my eyes. It started off as a cute tale about the odd complications of the main character's time-traveling habits, but it quickly turned into an adventure about growing up, being true to yourself, and making the best out of any situation. Plus it has time-traveling in it!

1) Characters: Casey is a realistic, loveable, and spirited heroine. She has to deal with her family, friends, school, and her unique ability to time-travel. She only wants to blend in and survive, but as the story unravels she learns important lessons about herself and growing up. I found it very easy to relate to her despite the unusual situations she found herself in. Her best friend Lucinda was hilarious and acted as a voice of reason (as a good friend should be). Casey's love/hate interest Nate was also realistic and charming. He and Casey's interactions are a important part of the story, but it's more about their growing friendship and possible other feelings that an actual "romance" (which is some ways made it more realistic to me). And the Watson family that take in Casey and Nate in 1860 are so heart-warming. Though the story is not without its "villains"!

2) Plot: The basic plot of the book is a simple one: girl meets boy, girl can time travel, girl accidentally time travels with boy (several times), and then complications arise! But I felt the book was more about the characters' journey and discoveries than a typical "adventure" tale. There were several unexpected twists arose that gave me goosebumps and made it giddy with anticipation. Casey lives in two "worlds", the present and the past in 1860. In the present , she must face life including her family issues and her school issues like any typical high-schooler. But in the past, she must survive and keep her time-traveling secret. When she takes Nate back in time, it causes her two worlds to collide and she begins to learn that in order to survive in either one she must keep her wits about her and make the best of the situation.

3) Setting: As I mentioned above, the characters interact between two time periods, but they stay in the same location around Boston, MA. It's interesting to read about the differences between the modern and nineteenth century versions of the same area. Casey and Nate's school is in the middle of a vacant forest back in 1860s near the Watson family farm. Each "world" was well described and easy to distinguish.

4) Time-Traveling: I'm a fan of time-traveling mostly because I'm such a huge history fan, and this book didn't disappoint with its historical tidbits. I won't give them away since they're crucial to the story, but I'll hint that it's 1860 in a Northern state in the United States (and Lincoln hasn't been elected president yet.) The daily chores, clothing, and etiquette of the nineteenth century also appeared well researched and easily integrated into the story.

Definitely recommend this book to any time-traveling/history fan or anyone who wants a heart-warming adventure tale of a unique heroine and her odd travels.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Review: Clockwise by Elle Strauss
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Clockwise is the first in a series of novels by Elle Strauss about the complicated life of sophomore (in high school) Casey Donovan. Starting when Casey was about 9 years old, she for some unknown reason, travels back in time. And anyone who has the fortune or rather misfortune to be touching Casey when she starts to "trip" back in time goes with her.

When the book starts Casey is flustered when approached by her crush, senior (and hottie) Nate Mackenzie during football practice when Casey catches his football. Not long afterwards Lucinda (Casey's best friend) drags her to the Fall dance and miraculously Nate actually asks Casey to dance! But of course that is the moment when Casey is thrust back in time toting Nate along with her!

Now not only is Casey back in 1860, but Nate who has no idea that Casey time travels is there along with her. And to make matters worse the etiquette in the nineteenth century when it comes to how men and women (especially younger single women) behave alone and with others is very different from the twenty-first century. While stuck back in 1860, Casey is re-named Cassandra as it is a much more proper name for a young woman and she also renames Nate as Nathaniel.

Even after surviving 1860 and returning to the twenty-first century, Casey struggles to figure out whether she has a relationship, or friendship, or something else? with Nate. Life continues to be complicated and then it happens again! Casey brings Nate back to 1860! At least Casey finally has someone else to share this strange, odd, exciting, and dangerous 'other' life with someone else.

I gave Clockwise 5 stars because I not only really enjoyed the book, but I thought that the method in which time travel happens was very well done. Unlike other novels with time travel, I felt this one was very clear as to when the time travel occurred and when it ended. It wasn't at all confusing. I've never read a novel that put time travel the way that Elle Strauss did.

I really loved reading Clockwise and as much as I wanted to find out what had happened, i also didn't really want the book to end. I often guess (correctly) the ending of books and loved that I wasn't able to completely figure out the entire ending. I very much hope that Elle Strauss writes many more Casey/Cassandra adventures beyond Clockwise and sequel ClockwiseR (which I'll be reviewing in the next few weeks).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
They say not to judge a book by its cover. But the outside of Elle Strauss' Clockwise is gorgeous and the inside is just as good!

The story is about Casey, a girl with all the usual problems: untameable hair, a crush on a boy who won't even look her way. Oh, and the slight problem of timetravelling back to the 1800s.

What's neat about Clockwise is the development of both worlds, past and present. Unlike most timetravel novels, Casey has a set course for her "travels": her hometown, two hundred years earlier. Every time she returns, events in the past have moved on a little more. Issues of slavery are brought to the fore as Casey - or Cassandra - tries to blend into a world very different from her own.

And if things weren't bad enough, Casey's two worlds start to blur together.

Inject a lot of humour, lots of action, and plenty of twists and turns (and the awesome Nate) and you'll have some idea of Clockwise. It's a really great read and I can't wait to see more from Elle Strauss!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
'Clockwise' by Elle Strauss is a fun, fresh read. Featuring an awkward teenage girl who accidentally time travels, the novel follows her adventures as she struggles to cope with both the past and the present -- and drags her crush along with her! The narrator's voice is sharp and witty, and you can't help identifying with her insecurities. A fantastic read for anyone, adolescent or adult.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I loved Casey, such an awesomely awkward MC. Clockwise is full of warmth and wit, and I'll be looking forward to Elle's next book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I just finished "Clockwise" last night and I can't stop thinking about it. I think back to my high school times and remember having the same feelings as Casey and the same insecurities. The time travel scenes showed a Casey that her "real world" never saw. In the 1860's she became brave and put aside her self esteem issues; she had to in order to survive. When she accidentally takes Nate back in time, he sees a Casey he never knew before. And he likes what he sees. I can't wait to see what Elle writes next! - I read the first chapter of "Seaweed" at the end of "Clockwise". I have to wait HOW LONG to read it?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
This was such a great YA read. I loved it. The pages turned themselves. Sometimes a story doesn't need bells and whistles to carry it.

Twilight is an example of a book that sold squillions, yet if you really think of the story, it's quite a simple story. It's the way it was told that won its readership.
Cassandra Clare juggles lots of characters and her stories are filled with mystery and runes and they are very colourful books with such colourful characters, you fall in love with them.
Elle Strauss has written a little gem of a book here. The love isn't forced, nor is it insta love. The characters are believable. The story flows and you love the characters. There is mystery surrounding the , why? of some of her story. Casey doesn't yet know the why, so why should we? We are discovering along side Casey as the story unfolds.

Casey Donovan is very smart, inventive and thinks ahead. She is a traveller. We do not know why she is a traveller. Her destination is 1860, always 1860.

Until.......

Casey befriends Sara and Willie and their family. They become her go to point when she is whisked away from the 21st Century. Sara and her family do not question Casey. They are good people who keep her safe when she shows up.

It all started with a dare.

I love Nate MacKenzie's character. He has a girlfriend, he is a jock, but then he is forced to see Casey in a new ...errrr.....light. Casey is crushing badly on Nate, but she keeps her crush to herself.

Nate does not drop everything for Casey. He has a life of his own, he has a future he has mapped out. Casey currently does not understand what her future will be. She takes a few steps forward and then a whole lot of years backwards.

Elle gives us stories in both 1860 and the present. Casey can't help what happens to her and she just has to make the best of her life. She doesn't understand it. Her family doesn't know because time does not change or move forward for her in the time she has travelled back in time. 1860 time moves forward, but , the present time does not move for Casey. If she is 4 days , 2 months, 5 minutes in the past, the present has not moved, so nobody notices. Her secret is safe. Tired and a little disorientated, Casey just resumes doing what she was doing when she comes back to the 21st Century.

There was a character that needed a bit of a 21st Century `stinky dead fish' slap from me. Hmmm....not very gentlemanly.
There was a great twist I did not see coming, I should have, but I simply didn't. I love when I get a surprise in a book. * whispers* I actually did a bit of a happy/sad, bit of both really, ugly sob/cry in one bit. It just burst out of me.

Elle keeps weaving new storyline into her book, setting us up for book 2, Clockwiser. I really enjoyed this book and I thought Elle wrote with originality and fun. No vampires, werewolves or faeries in sight, just the magic of time travel.

And a boy and a girl who try to find even ground amongst the inconvenience and spontaneity of time travel.

Michelle
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a delightful book. I read my Kindle while walking on the treadmill and this one made me smile at the thought of putting on my Reeboks. I'm buying the next two right now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
After reading an introductory chapter to this book, I was hooked and could hardly wait to read the rest! Although intended for a teenage audience, I found the story very engaging, fun, and adventurous. It's a fascinating blend of real life and the surreal ability of one young woman to go back in time. I've never read any "time-travel" but am now a fan as a result of the journey I went on with the believable young girl, Casey, who is dealing with all sorts of "real-life" drama when she's not back in the 1800's! Her insecurities endear her to the reader and one can't help but root for her as she battles the awkwardness of being overly tall, deals with serious family issues and survives the angst of having a crush on one of the most sought after young men in her school. I'm looking forward to reading more of Elle Straus's great fiction! A very fun read indeed.
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