Monday, 29 June 2015
'Correlation' by Mia Grace: A Book Review
When the past and the present collide…
Hailey Kent knows how she wants to spend the summer before her junior year in high school: hanging out at the pool with Jenna, her BFF; riding her new trail bike on Vermont’s country roads; and flirting with Jenna’s hot older brother, Cody.
Hailey’s plans are shattered when a post-graduation accident puts her brother into a coma. Feeling guilty for not stopping him from going out that night, she seeks solace in exploring an old house and its overgrown gardens.
A mysterious correlation of events propels her back in time to the Vietnam War era, where she realizes she can use her knowledge of one boy’s fate to save his life.
But first, Hailey needs to convince him of her sanity.
NOTE: I received an ARC (advance reader copy) from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was actually very surprised to find this book on Netgalley, available for request even though it was published close to eighteen months ago.
Anyway, the plot blurb seemed very intriguing. Trying to move on from a traumatic incident, exploring mysterious mansions and landscapes, time-travelling to a war era, saving someone's life... all by a teenage girl?
But once I started reading, I was somewhat thrown off-track. Correlation is supposed to revolve around going back in time, but that only happens after forty percent of the book ends.
The first half is, thus, almost painfully slow, with nothing eventful happening apart from her brother's coma, although we aren't given a blow-by-blow account of the accident. So... nothing very exciting to begin with.
Finally, about fifty pages in (and this is a very short novel, with less than two hundred pages), a chain of events leads to Hailey borrowing her friend's grandmother's bike and going back up to that mysterious abandoned house, which used to belong to the grandmother's first boyfriend, who was a Vietnam war martyr.
Somehow, the bike - the one link to the grandma's life with the war hero - sends Hailey back in time, where she might have a shot at saving this Peter's life, and maybe giving the grandmother the life she always wanted with him.
And that's when shit hits the fan.
No spoilers, but oh, my gosh! Part Two of the book begins, where everything and everyone has changed because of Hailey's dealings with time travel, and nobody has any recollection of the events preceding this change: except perhaps one person, who might just give us all the answers we want.
The writing is crisp, descriptive and somewhat old-fashioned, vastly different from other young adult novels I've read before. It was a very refreshing change, and I think more authors should embrace this sort of approach.
Here are some quotes that I liked:
"This may be the first time they've experienced a tragedy like this in someone their own age. They're facing their own mortality."
The person who had died was no longer aware; those left behind were the ones who suffered.
Like David, the house was a previously vibrant entity reduced to a silent shell.
"That's the interesting thing about life. Everything you do becomes history, even though you think you're just living day to day."
But in spite of the beautiful imagery used, in spite of the plot twist-ridden second half, in spite of the sweet love story that plays out around the end, the slow first half and the lack of scientific explanation for time travel keeps this book from exceeding expectations.
I'm going to go with 3.5 stars out of 5 for this one.
Correlation makes for an interesting weekend read, although it leaves far too many details to the reader's imagination. I'd recommend it for YA romance readers who aren't big on science fiction.
Since this book released in November 2013, you might have already read it. What did you think of the plot twist around the middle? Were you expecting a different ending? Also, do you think time travel could ever become reality?
Don't forget to leave a comment below with your thoughts. See you on Wednesday!