Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

(Timekeeper #1)
Tara Sim
Release: November 8, 2016
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Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

Have you ever read a book that you loved so much that you can't articulate why you love it when asked? Tara Sim's debut book, Timekeeper, was one of those books for me. I adore it so much! But I haven't been able to write a review for it since I first read it in November of last year no matter how hard I've tried. I've even reread it via the audiobook and I still can't coherently explain my love for it. But I can give you five reasons why you should pick it up.

1. The Mythology
I adored this world ruled by clocks and clock towers! I found the mythology that hinted at the origin of the clock towers fascinating! The story of the old gods was perfectly intertwined with the "present day" narrative of the characters. Not all of my questions were answered in this book and I need the next ones in my hands. I can't wait to learn more about the towers and the clock spirits.

2. The Romance
I'm not going to say much about the romance between Danny and Colton other than it was absolutely adorable! I was totally shipping them by their third meeting with each other. I would recommend this book for the romance alone.

3. The Representation of Grief, Loss, Trauma and PTSD
The characters in this book have not had easy times and some of them have been through multiple traumas.

"I was in an accident. I got out. I'm safe now."

From the first time Danny said his
mantra to keep himself from breaking down, I actually gasped. I knew this was something important because I *knew* what was happening here. I knew what had to have happened to him.

Sometimes you don't get out. Sometimes you do and that's only the beginning. It's going to be hard. Even years later, you might not feel safe.
Sometimes trauma means you live with the scars. Sometimes you deal with them in ways that damage yourself or others. But reading books like this, that show such trauma and healing (even slow, disjointed, and derailed) with rawness and honesty... it helps. Danny, his mother, Matthias, and his best friend, Cassie, have all been through horrible things and they all responded in different and exceedingly realistic ways. People respond to trauma differently and all of those responses are valid. It was so nice to see these topics handled so well.

4. Danny and Cassie's Friendship
One of my favorite things about this book was Danny and Cassie's friendship. Their friendship was everything! They cared for each other and you can tell that they will have each other's backs no matter what. I loved their interactions so much! It was also refreshing to see a friendship between a guy and a girl that was free from romantic pining. I seriously want to see more of these kinds of friendships in YA.

5. The Family Interactions
Danny's family isn't perfect. In fact, they are about as far from from perfect as you can get. They're drowning in grief and stressed out about finances and that colors their interactions. But I loved that so much of this book was focused on Danny's interactions with his mom, his worry about his dad, and the comfort he drew from his godfather. There was also themes of found family throughout the book and it was glorious. I love this recent trend in YA where the main character's family is actually present and accounted for in their life even if they don't know how to interact with each other like Danny and his mother.

This book blew my mind! It was a breath of fresh air in the world of YA books and I can't help but sing its praises. I loved this world of clock mechanics and clock spirits and I ship the romance so hard! Also, the audiobook narrator was absolutely fantastic if audiobooks are your thing. I seriously can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the books in this series. Tara Sim has earned herself a permanent spot on my autobuy list.

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

  5 / 5 Stars!

Recommended for fans of:
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

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