The Girl in the Time Machine
by Debra Chapoton
Print Length: 158 pages
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Genre: Sci Fi, Time Travel, YA
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
A NEW TWIST TO TIME TRAVEL
A desperate girl
A faulty time machine
A paradox waiting to happen ...
Seventeen year old Laken may want to get revenge on the girls who have bullied her, but she also wants to help them. Honest. Secretly using the time machine in her father's science lab, she sends them one by one into the last century. Poof, problems solved.
Except they're not.
Now the disappearances are being linked to unmarked graves. Parents are lying about their missing kids' whereabouts. The police want to search the lab. And Laken is running out of time to retrieve the last girl she sent to 1994.
Laken is a seventeen-year-old who has struggled through her school years as an ‘odd girl’. She has been laughed at and scorned by the other girls in her classes. She has no friends and spends most of her non-school hours at her parent’s laboratory. Her parents are two eccentric scientists who have hidden a time machine in their unusual, secluded laboratory.
One night Laken finds one of her classmates stumbling in the park. Laken realizes the girl has been abused and decides to help by sending her back in time. Over the next number of months Laken decides to “help” a few other girls from school. Then she meets a new girl at school, Sky. Finally Laken has found a friend and she is willing to share her secrets and seek her help in a rather scary mission.
Many of the missing girls from the community have had no one who really cared to try to find out what happened. But Laken has learned new facts about one of the latest girls, Megan, who she sent through time. Laken decides that she must go back and retrieve Megan and she talks Sky into helping. Sadly, when they return with Megan she doesn’t survive. Now Laken is alarmed and trying to think if going back earlier would make a difference. But in the process they have to be careful to avoid triggering a paradox.
This is not a usual time travel story. Oh what trouble a rejected young teen can create. This is a twisted journey that soon travels into a rather “creepy” tone. Not quite enough to be horrified, but enough to cause cringing. I sensed the ironic overlap fairly early into the read and found it fascinating to see where Ms. Chapoton would take Laken’s character to get to the reveal part of the mystery.
The read moves smoothly and quickly. The story is very engaging even as it is a bit circular with time travel paradox issues. I think young adults –okay, older adults too-- who like the idea of time travel, might find this story unique and intriguing.
I received this from the author for an honest review.