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One of my favorite YA trilogies (I won't tell you which) is awesome until the very end when the heroine beats the bad guy by acquiring immortality. While my colleague Katie loved this ending, it always majorly disturbed me, and How to Stop Time is the perfect illustration of why. Immortality is a bummer, guys. Matt Haig's protagonist, Tom, though not technically immortal—just looking forward to a 900+ years—is depressed. Everyone he's ever dared to love is dead, and he can't really settle into a home for more than a decade or so without raising serious—and dangerous—suspicions. In his current identity he's based in London and teaching (of course) history, and this is why, despite Tom's glumness, I just LOVED this book. I may not wish for immortality, but I do wish I could travel back in time. Tom's narration whisks you back to the Tudor period, the Jazz Age, the Gold Rush, and there's something truly remarkable about looking at history from a bird's eye view: Tom has our (and by "our" I mean "we mere humans") number, and we aren't the smartest of beasts. We are quite literally repeating ourselves. And While Tom may be exasperated and even a bit bored by our antics, this is the least boring book I've devoured in quite some time.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful
The book is masterful. The author tells the story in a series of no chronological glimpses, but the novel is seamless. Each dip into the author’s past builds and strengthens the story and especially our understanding of character—the author’s character. And overarching the story is a world of ideas about Time and our place within it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful