Another weekly feature I’m going to try to keep up with is Throwback Thursday. Now, you may be familiar with this on Facebook or Instagram: people often post pictures of themselves from years earlier.
As I’ve explored the bookstagram and blogging community, I’ve noticed that there is a huge emphasis on new releases and current series. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but what about discovering a new (old) favorite? So, the aim of this weekly post will be to explore some of my favorite YA novels that were published pre-2000.
The first one I will be featuring will actually be the one that kind of tuned me into YA novels: Both Sides of Time by Caroline B. Cooney.
Synopsis from Amazon:
Imagine changing centuries–and making things worse, not better, on both sides of time.
Imagine being involved in two love triangles in two different centuries. What if, no matter which direction you travel in time, you must abandon someone you love?
Meet 15-year-old Annie Lockwood, a romantic living in the wrong century. When she travels back a hundred years and lands in 1895–a time when privileged young ladies wear magnificent gowns, attend elegant parties, and are courted by handsome gentlemen–Annie at last finds romance. But she is a trespasser in time. Will she choose to stay in the past? Will she be allowed to?
I’m not quite sure how I discovered this book, but I have a feeling it was from a book fair. I was pretty lucky in that my mom was in charge of the school book fairs from the time I was in fourth grade. I used to love “mystery bags” which came with about five books, all with the same theme, and I’m pretty sure this was in one of them. Or it was a book order. Book order times were the BEST times…. Anyway, coming across this book has definitely shaped my taste in literature. I became a sucker for time travel romances. Wouldn’t it just be lovely to go back in time and meet a nice gentleman with old-fashioned manners?
So it’s about this girl, Annie Lockwood, who gets bored hanging out with her boyfriend near this old mansion that’s about to be demolished. She wanders near it and… Whoosh! Back in time! And she just so happens to be discovered by the son of the household, Strat. Strat his completely taken with this mysterious girl, even though he knows he should be giving his attention to Harriet, his intended betrothed. Mysterious and deadly things are also happening around the house and Annie gets caught up in them. Meanwhile, back in the present (which she accidently jumps to a few times), she has some family drama going on. I won’t give it away.
This book ended up being part of a series with the first volume, Both Sides of Time being published in 1995 and the last volume, For All Time, being published in 2001.
I was so swept away by this book. I read some reviews recently on Goodreads and some people complain that Annie was a bit Mary Sue-ish, but I didn’t think so (or maybe I had my nostalgic lenses on!). The descriptions are really vivid, the romance sweeping, and the story engaging. It’s not a very long book (about 250 pages), so it could be read fairly quickly.
I can’t speak much to the second book of the series because it completely gives away what happens, but the third book deals with Strat’s sister jumping forward in time and meeting Annie’s brother (what a coinkydink!). The final book deals with large jumps in time.
You can find Caroline B. Cooney’s website here.
Have you read Both Sides of Time? What did you think? Did I inspire you to read it at all?
What are some of your favorite older YA books? Leave a comment and I may decide to feature them in the future!