I’ll Stop the World by Lauren Thoman #MindysBookStudio #Audiobook #AmazonFirstReads #April2023Release #NewBooks

The end and the beginning become one in a heart-pounding coming-of-age mystery about the power of friendship, fate, and inexplicable second chances.

Is it the right place at the wrong time? Or the wrong place at the right time?

Trapped in a dead-end town, Justin Warren has had his life defined by the suspicious deaths of his grandparents. The unsolved crime happened long before Justin was born, but the ripple effects are still felt after thirty-eight years. Justin always knew he wouldn’t have much of a future. He just never imagined that his life might take him backward.

In a cosmic twist of fate, Justin’s choices send him crashing into the path of determined optimist Rose Yin. Justin and Rose live in the same town and attend the same school, but have never met―because Rose lives in 1985. Justin won’t be born for another twenty years. And his grandparents are still alive―for now.

In a series of events that reverberate through multiple lifetimes, Justin and Rose have a week to get Justin unstuck in time and put each of them in control of their futures―by solving a murder that hasn’t even happened yet.

Trigger warnings: contains depictions of emotional abuse, alcoholism and excessive drinking, underage drinking, smoking, racism, discussions of homophobia, and violent bullying.

I’ll Stop the World (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Audible) (AbeBooks Used Books Marketplace)

For March 2023, Amazon First Reads offered a variety of books, including this one. Put out by Mindy Kaling’s Book Studio, I was intrigued and interested in the book, but as happens in life, I didn’t get a chance to read it prior to it’s release to the general public. I ended up spending the $1.99 for the accompanying audio book and listened to it recently.

I really wanted to like I’ll Stop the World. After all, I enjoy a good Young Adult novel, I love time travel stories, and since 1985 is full of core memories for me, I thought I’d love this book. While it wasn’t terrible, I thought it was just okay.

One the one hand, the audio book is a great production because there’s a distinct voice for each character. On the other hand, the point-of-view changed so often it was hard to keep track of all the characters. And even though this novel is about time travel, it doesn’t happen until about page 100. Before that, there’s a lot of teen angst and drama, as happens when you’re reading a YA novel. The ping-pong effect of the narrative made me believe that this book was best read and not listened to.

The one thing I do have to say is that the very dynamic that I just complained about a little actually makes a very compelling book because it kind of unique. The dialogue is sharp and witty, and that made me keep with it even though I had a hard time keeping everyone straight at first. There’s a mystery to be solved, and I’ll be darned until I find out the solution since I couldn’t figure it out on my own.

My advice: READ the book, don’t listen to it. It’s a unique Young Adult time travel mystery romance that you won’t soon forget.

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