Title: Both Sides of Time
Author: Caroline B. Cooney
ISBN: 0440911737, Laurel-Leaf Books, 1997
Genre: Young Adult, Time Travel
First Line: It was Annie's agenda that summer to convert her boyfriend, Sean, into a romantic man.
Annie Lockwood is a typical fifteen-year-old girl: she wants Romance with a capital R. Trouble is, she's not going to be getting it from her current mechanics-obsessed boyfriend:
I am a romantic in the wrong century, she thought. I live in the 1990s. I should be in the 1890s. I bet I could have found true love a hundred years ago. Look at Sean. All I'm going to find around here is true grease.
When Annie pedals her bike into 1895, she does indeed find true love waiting for her, but her sojourn back in time makes things worse in both centuries. No matter the century in which she chooses to live, she's going to be forced to abandon someone she loves.
I enjoyed the characters and the plot of this book. Annie was very believable, and although she was a typical teenager, she did have a sense of responsibility. She wanted to do the right thing. Cooney's characters, both youngsters and adults, had depth to them-- and surprises. Just when I thought I had them figured out, another layer was revealed, and I had new motivations to follow.
The only thing that pulled me out of the story was my own ignorance. I couldn't quite believe that Annie could ride a 1990s bike into 1895 and no one would notice the difference. No one said a word, so I went online and conducted my own research. Just what did bicycles look like in 1895? Well, it turns out that there were so many different styles of bicycles back then (and a couple looked quite a bit like modern bikes), that the people back in 1895 probably would not have noticed anything all that odd about Annie's bicycle. So Both Sides of Time was not only entertaining but educational. I'll keep that in mind when I look for the author's other titles!
[Source: Paperback Swap.]