- Series: So Close to You
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: HarperTeen (July 10, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062081055
- ISBN-13: 978-0062081056
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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So Close to You Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 10, 2012
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“Readers will be hooked by the colorful details of life in 1944, the palpable feelings between Wes and Lydia, and a cliffhanger twist at the end that sets up the next book in this planned trilogy.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Carter deftly deals with the perils and pitfalls of time travel, presenting well-rounded characters and a realistic look at life during wartime. Readers will be relieved to know that So Close to You is the first in a planned trilogy.” (School Library Journal)
“Back to the Future meets The X-Files.” (ALA Booklist)
From the Back Cover
Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the strange things that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who've disappeared over the years. Stories about people like her own great-grandfather.
When Lydia stumbles into a portal that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, she discovers that all the stories she's ever heard about the Montauk Project are true, and that she's in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.
Alongside a darkly mysterious boy she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the Project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices—and if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them . . . and herself.
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Lydia has grown up in Montauk, Long Island, home to an old Air Force Base that has some conspiracy stories in its history. Her grandfather is convinced that his father died because of these experiments, and is always trying to find the truth while dragging Lydia along. They explore the old base, now a park, separate, and Lydia finds her way into an old bunker. She runs into a boy, freaks, and then accidentally turns on the time machine. Yes, there's a secret government organization working on time travel like aliens at Area 51. It's not the most original, but the rest of it (which I won't give away) are definitely better.
Anyway, Lydia goes back to 1944, a week before her great-grandfather dies. She wants to find out what happens for her grandfather's sake, and actually manages to find her way into her family's home and befriend her great-great-aunt, Mary. But then the kid from the future, Wes, shows up and tries to bring her home before she changes anything, if she hasn't already.
The characters are decent. Lydia was pretty average, as far as main characters go. She did seem unsure of herself, like most teens do, and the time travel doesn't help too much with her identity. Her family has their ups and downs, the largest down being her crazy grandfather's obsession with the Montauk Project. Wes has one major change that leads to his character growth, and I'm not sure if it's completely believable (although everything that happens later makes sense because of that change). Most of the 1944 folk seem believable enough, Mary the excitable and Lucas, great-grandpa Dean's best friend and a fellow soldier, being the most important. The only downfall was that they seemed too helpful. It's a war, they find a girl on an Air Force Base, she says she's not a spy, and they believe her and let her stay in their house. It's a bit incredible.
Plotwise, there were a couple surprising twists that I really enjoyed, although the plot seemed to speed up after them so there wasn't always enough time to sink in. There are also a couple unanswered questions (of which I've got a couple good ideas) and a major cliffhanger. And while I've got an idea about what can happen(I think I figured out some possible consequences of the next bout of time travel), I'm left wanting more and the next book.
The relationship between Wes and Lydia is good. They are slowly building things up, not always trusting each other with everything. It seems much more real because they worked to get to understandings and aren't just thrown together right away with just an oh-I-love-him-more-than-anything feeling after two days. There will definitely be more development in the next books.
There were a lot of things I really liked about this story. First off, it involves time travel. I've always been fascinated by the idea of time travel and love to read about it. Sometimes considering all the possibilities of time loops, overlap, and fate is enough to give me a nose bleed. But I digress... Let's just say when Lydia hopped on into 1944, I was psyched! Rachel Carter did a beautiful job transporting the reader to a simpler time when the war took center stage in everyone's lives and played a starring role in everyone's thoughts. Although it was a perilous time, it is conveyed in a romantic way. It made me reminisce for a time gone by that I've never experienced myself. Carter's use of historical elements from clothing descriptions, to social events, to the language and vernacular used was excellent!
I won't go into the plot too much other than to say that it certainly kept me reading and excited to see what would happen next. Lydia gets to meet some family members that are long gone in her current time and they play a big part in the story. This is another thing that fascinates me about the idea of time travel. How cool would it be to have the opportunity to meet ancestors? Mary, Lydia's great aunt, was her age in 1944. So, naturally they became fast friends. She was so sweet, so unassuming, and so generous I can't imagine not loving her! Dean, Lydia's great grandfather (the one who disappeared), was a little bit tougher to like, but he was a good man. Perhaps one of my favorite, and most elusive, characters was Wes... the same Wes who kept her safe from being caught and killed by the Montauk Project. Somehow, Lydia caught his attention and awoke emotion in him that he didn't realize existed. He wanted to help her against protocol, at risk to himself, and despite his extensive conditioning. Now, if readers are going to have a problem with the book, I expect it will be with this bit. They may ask, "why did he like her so much?", and, "What prompted him to help her?" Each person has to answer that for themselves, but I for one, really liked Wes' character and enjoyed the development of his and Lydia's relationship.
The ending of this book shook things up completely. Carter's conclusion left me eagerly anticipating the next book (This Strange and Familiar Place) and wanting more...immediately! As I said before, I was left contemplating individual actions, consequences, fate, and wondering if everything isn't inevitable to begin with. I mean, would it have made any difference at all if she wasn't there? And round and round I go...
Overall, I found So Close to You to be an easy read with an interesting story line and a great female protagonist. There was also some very innocent romance in there which was a fun addition! It's a wonderfully written young adult book that I would have no trouble recommending to my nieces who are 13 and 14. It's age appropriate and totally engaging for young readers and adults alike!
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I only broke this rule a few times. One of these times was getting in line for Rachel Carter's This Strange and Familiar Place, the second book in...Read more