Review: So Close to You by Rachel Carter

Title: So Close to You

Author: Rachel Carter

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: July 10th, 2012

Interest: Time Travel

Source: ARC received from the publisher

Summary (From Goodreads): 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.

The premise for So Close to You held so much promise and really piqued my interest, it ultimately disappointed me.  I love the recent time travel trend happening in YA because it acts as a stepping stone to more solid science fiction, at least some of the “lighter” time travel novels like Hourglass and Tempest do.  The blurb on the ARC of Rachel Carter’s novel claimed it has a “compelling romance like The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “imaginative suspense like Before I Fall.”  Those are pretty big comparisons, so I had high hopes going into reading this.

I was interested when I first started reading So Close to You and really thought I was going to like it.  The first 60-80 pages flew by and held my interest.  Not long after that I was wondering where the story was going and what was going to happen.  I kept wondering when the romance was going to come into play.  Was Lydia going to fall in love with Wes, the guy who follows her back in time?  Was she going to fall for Lucas, the guy living in a different time?  There wasn’t any real romance to speak of until 200 pages in, and even then it wasn’t remotely believable.  Lydia had maybe a few scenes with this guy and all of a sudden she was “falling for him.”  Even then, the relationship (if we can really call it that) didn’t mean anything to me as a reader since it was so instant.  The book is barely over 300 pages long, so waiting 200 pages for a dull romance was really disappointing.

The other bummer about Rachel Carter’s book is how nothing really happened for the entire book.  Lydia is living in a different time trying to help her grandfather by keeping her great grandfather from making a bad choice.  But she doesn’t really do anything until the last 80 pages or so.  The rest of the book is her getting to know her distant relatives in a different time period and thinking about how she needs to save her family.  And then there was Wes constantly reminding her not to change anything in the past because of the butterfly effect.  Over and over again Lydia is reminded of this, and over and over again she ignores the warning.

I didn’t find anything about So Close to You as “imaginative.”  I found it really boring and predictable.  None of the characters meant anything to me; I couldn’t find a way to relate to or connect with any of them.  I finished it because I wanted to know if my opinions were wrong.  There’s a cliffhanger ending setting us up for the next book, and I’ll admit it’s interesting.  I might read the second book because I’m optimistic and hoping this entire book was like a prologue to the actual story.

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  1. Thanks for your honesty.

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