First Lines: The beach is empty. In the fading glow of twilight, the waves roll up to the rocks in sweeping curls of white foam. The sand glistens like wet steel.
I saw this in a Scholastic flyer last school year and I thought this looked really interesting. So I bought it for my classroom, but I wanted to read it first. Those books have a way of disappearing.
The last thing Cassandra wants to do with her summer is spend it in Massachusetts with her mom, stepdad, and baby brother. She wants adventure, experiences. So when she spies a handsome stranger on the beach, she thinks this might be the adventure she’s been waiting for. But things get weird when he tells her the year is 1925. When Cass and Lawrence gets embroiled in a mystery in his time, they will need to pool their resources in order to figure out what’s going on…or Lawrence could lose his life…
I did something differently with this book that I don’t normally do when I read. I took notes for my review. (I don’t particularly think I like this practice because now I remember every single pet peeve I had with the book.) So let’s start with what I liked.
I found the plot to be very entertaining. There was usually some kind of suspense that kept me constantly reading. It was cute while still having me hanging on at the end of every chapter to find out what happened next.
The time travel was kind of interesting too. I think it’s a little like The Lake House, though I’ve never seen that movie so I’m really just making assumptions on what I know. In that movie, time overlaps just at the mailbox, right? Here, it’s just this little stretch of beach where they can see each other. And once they meet each other, they start coming back nearly every day to see each other. It was cute. (That’s a phrase you’re going to hear a lot.)
And actually, the ending of this book surprised me. And I don’t just mean the end of the mystery (which was a tad surprising), but also how the book actually ended. I feel like I read so much that very little still surprises me, so it was nice that this did.
But the characters…
I’m in an odd predicament where I actually enjoyed the story without actually really liking the characters. I don’t think I’ve ever been in this place. It’s weird.
Look, every time Cass and Lawrence are on their own (because the narration flips between both of them), they have the personality of a wet mop. They both let their respective parental figures walk all over their lives (and I mean walk all over it). They both subsequently are moody brooders who would rather just be miserable than do anything about what’s making them miserable. And let’s also put into perspective that Cass hates her boring home state of Ohio, but she also really doesn’t want to be at the beach in Massachusetts either. Very very little ever makes her happy.
It was also weird that their personalities as I saw them never matched up with how their friends/family saw them. Like Cass’s parents once were like, “There’s our happy girl!” and I’m trying not to snort going, “You know she just spent two hours at the beach bemoaning her life?” Or her best friend called her stubborn and that’s nearly the exact opposite of what I’d call Cass. It was a weird disconnect.
And let’s not forget about the random minor characters who appear out of nowhere with no explanation as to who they are or why they’re there. A random name would just pop up and I’m like, “Who are you people?!”
Let’s be real here. I am not blogging in order to break down a story to show you why or why not it deserves to be considered a classic. This isn’t your college English class. I’m here to let you know whether or not it’s enjoyable. And for all I complained about the characters, I really did like reading this. I had a hard time putting it down. And that’s why this earned the rating it did.