Genre: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: January 8, 2015
Cover Artist: Andy Garcia
When Nigel Walden is fourteen, the UNHAPPENINGS begin. His first girlfriend disappears the day after their first kiss with no indication she ever existed. This retroactive change is the first of many only he seems to notice.
Several years later, when Nigel is visited by two people from his future, he hopes they can explain why the past keeps rewriting itself around him. But the enigmatic young guide shares very little, and the haggard, incoherent, elderly version of himself is even less reliable. His search for answers takes him fifty-two years forward in time, where he finds himself stranded and alone.
And then he meets Helen.
Brilliant, hilarious and beautiful, she captivates him. But Nigel’s relationships always unhappen, and if they get close it could be fatal for her. Worse, according to the young guide, just by entering Helen’s life, Nigel has already set into motion events that will have catastrophic consequences. In his efforts to reverse this, and to find a way to remain with Helen, he discovers the disturbing truth about the unhappenings, and the role he and his future self have played all along.
Equal parts time-travel adventure and tragic love story, Unhappenings is a tale of gravely bad choices, and Nigel’s struggle not to become what he sees in the preview of his worst self.
Wow. I said that several times reading this book and then several more times after I finished it. Not sure I could have said anything else without sounding like a babbling idiot.
I rarely give 5 stars to YA or adult books. Five stars is usually reserved for Maggie Stiefvater, an author who writes emotion like no other. But UnHappenings gets 5 stars from me and I'd go higher if Goodreads and Amazon would let me. In case you can't tell, I think this book was spectacular.
Now, I'm a huge fan of sci-fi and time travel in particular. The first story I every wrote that made me think writing was a thing I could do was a time travel story. And better yet, when a book has complex world rules that I want to follow and tear apart and wonder if they're real, I know I'll want to read over and over.
I will say the rules are a bit complex and I don't think I've got the chops to keep enough in my head to follow it all, but for those who don't appreciate excessively technical books - don't worry. Just take the ride. Because deep down, this is a love story asking the question - if you had unlimited means, just how far would you go to keep the person you love.
There were times I wanted to pound Nigel for not asking the questions I knew he should, but he knew he wouldn't get an answer. Through 2/3 of the book, he was on as much of a ride as the reader. But when the answers start coming, oh, they're so painful and beautiful.
The style of this book has very short chapters, so it feels like a fast read. I appreciate the how the choppiness contributed to how Nigels life would have felt. There are many books I read and check out the page numbers to see my progress. In this case, I kept checking the page numbers, desperate that it wasn't close to ending. I would have followed this adventure for another couple hundred pages and I very much hope to see more from this author.
A side note to the Whovians out there - this book contains the real Impossible Girl!
Go buy this book now! You won't regret it. Best book I've read in a long time.
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