Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: February 10
Genre: young adult, romance
Lucas and Juliet couldn’t be more different from each other. But from the moment Lucas sees Juliet, he swears he remembers their first kiss. Their first dance. Their first fight. He even knows what’s going to happen between them—not because he can predict the future, but because he claims to have already lived it.
Juliet doesn’t know whether to be afraid for herself or for Lucas. As Lucas’s memories occur more frequently, they also grow more ominous. All Juliet wants is to keep Lucas safe with her. But how do you hold on to someone you love in the present when they’ve begun slipping away from you in the future?
Lucas is paying attention to Juliet all of a sudden, and she doesn’t know why — but she’s not bothered by it either. Hockey guys rarely speak to bookish, debate club girls like her. He’s nothing like she expected, and she thrills in his attention, devotion, and thoughtfulness. But there’s something else going on too, and it’s hard for him to explain and for her to understand: Lucas “dreams” of the future and “remembers” the present. It’s as if his future self is inhabiting his current self, urging him to change his future and the future of his relationship with Juliet. But with these dreams come fearsome headaches, and Lucas would do anything to not only stop the headaches, but stop the insight to the future.
The publisher summary isn’t quite what I read, and I did my best to give my own summary as well — and even that doesn’t quite explain what happened in this book. But it’s certainly a puzzle of a read, and I was interested enough to keep on reading to figure out what was happening to Lucas — and how he’d change after his serious accident, an attempt to get rid of the headaches and “dreams.” Told through Juliet’s perspective as if writing in a journal, the reader works through the mystery of Lucas’s mind just as Juliet is reflecting on the events.
But if the mystery of Lucas’s mind isn’t enough to compel you to read the book, you can definitely read it on a maturity standpoint. Lucas tries to describe what’s happening to him as if it’s his future self inhabiting his current (or “past”) self. And it shows. He reminded me very much of a man rather than a teenage boy. It became more apparent as the book progressed that this was definitely the case. Watching Juliet fall in love with that side of him was heartbreaking and wonderful all at once.
This is a primarily a romance, but it’s also dark. Lucas isn’t exactly predicting the future, and he’s not having visions or hallucinations. But he tells Juliet things that end up happening — a friend’s house burning down, the Christmas gift Juliet gives him, George W Bush’s election into office, the war in Iraq — and Juliet attempts to make sense of it all.
Believe me, you’ll try to as well.
Thank you, Edelweiss, for providing this book from Knopf for review!