Book One of the So Close to You Trilogy
By Rachel Carter
Available now from HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Review copy courtesy of Ashleigh of The Screaming Nitpicker
When I began SO CLOSE TO YOU, I didn't realize it was the first book in a trilogy. In fact, I didn't realize there would be a sequel until things fell apart at the end, creating problems to be solved in the next book. I might not have picked up SO CLOSE TO YOU if I knew it wasn't a standalone, which would be a pity.
Lydia Bentley lives in the small Connecticut town of Montauk. Local legend tells of the Montauk Project, a series of experiments that took place during World War II. Her great-grandfather was an officer on the base who disappeared and her grandfather has spent his entire life searching for his father and evidence that the Montauk Project existed. Lydia doesn't believe, but helps her grandfather anyway because of love. Then she stumbles into a secret lab and finds herself transported to 1944, mere days before her great-grandfather disappeared.
Soon she's living with her ancestors as Lydia Bennet and trying to figure out the truth of the Project in time to save her great-grandfather. But Wes, a mysterious boy she first met in the lab, is trying to convince her to return to her time before she changes the past. Wes is of course super hot in addition to being mysterious. Luckily, Rachel Carter isn't overly coy and provides some answers in the first book. She doesn't play the give-one-big-reveal-at-the-end-and-that's-it game. (Good, because I hate that game.)
As for Lydia, I liked that she was motivated by love of her family. She wants her grandfather to have a better life and she's willing to risk getting caught by mad scientists in order to help him. I also liked that she stays refreshingly on-task. She isn't a wet blanket - she has fun and goes to dances and all that - but she spends most of her time snooping because that's what she stayed in the past to do.
I was drawn to SO CLOSE TO YOU because of the intriguing premise. I can't entirely say that Carter has executed it well due to the cliffhanger ending, but I want to read the sequel and find out the consequences of Lydia's journey through time. SO CLOSE TO YOU is a promising and suspenseful start to the trilogy and hopefully the sequel will be as fast-paced and fun to read. This one is for fans of time travel and mystery. The romance felt a bit rushed, but hopefully Wes and Lydia will have more time together in the next book.