I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but I’m a huge fan of thrillers, especially those that have something of a paranormal element to them. Time peeking, monsters, interdimensional travel – you name it, I’ll likely read it. This week, Vivian Vande Velde brings us an exciting read.
The Story: When Zoe steps into the bank on Independence Street to get out of the rain, the last thing she expects is to get caught in the middle of a robbery. When she watches a kind customer get shot right in front of her, Zoe knows that she must. She has to say it. Because the truth is Zoe is not quite normal. She has a special ability – she can travel back twenty-three minutes into the past. If she can just alert someone, maybe she can stop death from happening again. But she’s only got ten times to make this work before her playbacks stop and the more Zoe attempts to change the future/past, the worse things get. The truth is Zoe’s not even sure if she can stop it and she might die trying.
My Thoughts: With a well-paced plot, great use of character, and excellent exposition woven throughout in a way that seems natural, Vivian Vande Velde proves herself to be an excellent writer. 23 Minutes is an exciting read that keeps you turning the page to find out what happens next. Readers will enjoy reading this tale that keeps them guessing as to what the final future will be and whether Zoe will even live to see it.
Parental Advisories: I would not recommend this book for younger readers as there is some slight mention of violence and gore (e.g. Zoe is spattered with blood from a character being shot in front of her, descriptions of someone being shot, [nothing too profane or grisly]) and there is some cussing [d**n, a**, bull****]. That having been said for older teenagers or adults, I highly recommend this novel. The cussing appeared maybe three times and the violence was played down, with the emphasis being on the urgency to stop the bank robbery from taking place. Read at your own discretion.