Would You Travel Back in Time?

They say that all good things come in threes, and this is certainly true for three recently published young adult books about time travel. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor, and The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig all contain time traveling heroines. Is it a coincidence that these three authors have written about time traveling teenagers right around the same time? I think not! With the major success of the television and book series Outlander, a story written by Diana Gabaldon about a woman from the 1940s who travels back in time to the eighteenth century Scottish Highlands, writers and publishers are certainly smart to capitalize on this cultural phenomenon. As a big fan of Outlander (a book series which I highly recommend for adults who enjoy historical fiction or romance), I was looking forward to reading these three young adult time traveling adventures, and I definitely was not disappointed.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken follows the story of Etta Spencer, a young violinist living in modern day Manhattan who suddenly finds herself aboard a ship on the Atlantic Ocean in the year 1775. Etta soon discovers, with the help of fellow time traveler Nicholas Carter, that she was born from a time traveling family. Her mother has kept this a secret from Etta in order to protect her, and to protect a powerful object that has the ability to control all time travel – an object coveted by the devious Ironwood family. Now it is up to Etta and Nicholas to journey across the world and across time to save her mother and the future of the world itself.

At almost 500 pages, Passenger seems like a daunting book, but I guarantee that readers will not want to put this one down. Bracken takes her characters, who are racing across time, to the most exotic and heart-pounding settings. It is an imaginative feast for readers, who will be left breathless by the novel’s cliffhanger ending. Anticipated to be a series, I am now achingly awaiting the sequel to Etta and Nicholas’s journey. Passenger is recommended for readers ages 14 and up.

 Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor
Imagine that, for the past six months, you’ve believed your mother has passed away in an earthquake only to find out that she is still alive -- but living in the twelfth century. Into the Dim follows the story of Hope Walton as she travels back in time to save her mother, trapped in twelfth century England. Similar to Etta’s mother in Passenger, Hope’s mom keeps her time traveling history a secret from her daughter in order to protect her. Now, Hope has only seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and return to her own time, or be stuck in the twelfth century for the rest of her life. Along this exciting journey, Hope meets some major historical figures including the powerful Eleanor of Aquitaine. Once again, readers will be left on the edge of their seats at the end of this novel, which is expected to have a sequel. Into the Dim is recommended for readers ages 13 and up.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Last but not least, we have The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, which wastes no time in getting to the time traveling component of the novel. It is 1774 when we meet sixteen-year old Nix who has spent her life traveling around the world and through time with her father and their crew. We soon learn that Nix’s father, Slate, is in search of one specific map from 1868 that could possibly reunite him with his lost love. But if Slate succeeds, will Nix be erased from time itself? Nix’s story is not only a journey through time, but a journey of self-discovery. Can Nix find out who she really is when she has never lived in one place or one time? An epic tale of adventure, romance and a little bit of magic, readers will find Nix a relatable character despite her un-relatable circumstances. And – you guessed it! – Nix’s story does not end here. Readers must wait for a sequel. The Girl from Everywhere is recommended for ages 13 and up.

Although these three books share similar themes and even similar covers, they each offer a unique twist to the time traveling genre. So, if you are looking to read something to help you escape your daily life, dive into one, two, or all three of these novels and brace yourself for a wild ride!

-Melissa Nemitz, West Windsor Branch


  1. Great reviews - can't wait to read these time traveling themed books.


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