Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: The Yearbook

Title: The Yearbook
Author: Carol Masciola
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: October 2, 2015
Source: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Misfit teen Lola Lundy has every right to her anger and her misery. She’s failing in school, living in a group home, and social workers keep watching her like hawks, waiting for her to show signs of the horrible mental illness that cost Lola’s mother her life. Then, one night, she falls asleep in a storage room in her high school library, where she’s seen an old yearbook—from the days when the place was an upscale academy for young scholars instead of a dump. When Lola wakes, it’s to a scene that is nothing short of impossible.

Lola quickly determines that she’s gone back to the past—eighty years in the past, to be exact. The Fall Frolic dance is going full blast in the gym, and there she makes an instant connection with the brainy and provocative Peter Hemmings, class of ’24. His face is familiar, because she’s seen his senior portrait in the yearbook. By night’s end, Lola thinks she sees hope for her disastrous present: She’ll make a new future for herself in the past. But is it real? Or has the major mental illness in Lola’s family background finally claimed her? Has she slipped through a crack in time, or into a romantic hallucination she created in her own mind, wishing on the ragged pages of a yearbook from a more graceful time long ago?

I love a good time travel books and, while The Yearbook wasn't my favourite, it was an enjoyable ride.

Lola Lundy has a tough life. She's a orphan, in a group home, has a crappy job, no friends and not a great outlook for the future. Here's the thing about Lola: I only liked her half the time. When she was in the present, she frustrated me. She would keep making bad decisions that only made her situation worse. In the 1920's she became much more normal and level-headed and I enjoyed her character much more. Also, clearly the school system failed Lola (or Lola failed it) because there were a lot of things that seemed like common knowledge about the past that Lola was clueless about.

I really enjoyed the parts of the story that were set in the 1920's. I find that to be such a fascinating time and I'm a sucker for anything vintage. However, I didn't find the time travel to be well-explained. So if you don't want to be bogged down by cumbersome technical explanations, you'll be fine, but if you're one of those readers who likes things like that built up and explained, be warned.

One thing that did bother me was the romance. Unfortunately, this one fell prey to instalove. Seriously, these two had had probably 3 conversations (2 of which were pretty whack) and then all of a sudden they are in love? Nope, not buying it. Thankfully, the romance wasn't too prominent in the book, so it didn't spoil the whole thing.

One thing I did like was the uncertainty in the last third of the book. As a reader, I really found myself doubting what was true and what wasn't, which is something I like in a book.

Overall, I enjoyed The Yearbook, despite a few issues along the way. Definitely recommended for fans of the 1920's especially.

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1 comment:

  1. Glad this was an enjoyable read, I really love the black and white cover!