The Night of Your Life, by Lydia Sharp, for Timeslip Tuesday

This week's Timeslip Tuesday book, The Night of Your Life, by Lydia Sharp (Scholastic, March 2020) is one of the Groundhog Day type, in which the same events get replayed over and over. In this case, it's night after night of prom, all alike in going horribly wrong, but different in the particulars of disaster.

JJ has been looking forward to Prom Night almost since he started high school and became friends with Lucy. They'd agreed early in their friendship that if they didn't have "real" dates they'd go with each other, and this is what they are going to do--best, best friends enjoying a wonderful evening together. Except that when JJ almost crashes his car on the way to pick her up, his evening gets derailed, with disastrous consequences for Lucy. And she tells him their friendship is over.

But then he falls asleep, only to wake up again getting ready to go pick Lucy up....and maybe if he makes different choices, they'll have their perfect night. Nope, and nope the next night, and more nopes. Soon JJ's worry about a perfect prom becomes a worry about being caught in a chaotic time loop forever....and the loop gets even more complicated when he finally figures out what's obvious to just about everyone else--that he and Lucy are, in fact, more than friends. And when JJ finally realizes this (Lucy had figured it out before prom), and they kiss, then romance is thrown into the chaos as well.

Not surprisingly, things work out in the end....

There's a lot of queer representation with side characters--trans and gay friends, and JJ's lesbian moms--and though he doesn't label himself, JJ is pretty clearly demiromantic. He and Lucy make a good couple, and the tension of cheering for their relationship to work is a nice counterpoint to the tension of the time loop.

The time looping itself was never quite explained--there are two different possible triggers, and a possibly magical groundhog. But this lack of decisive clarity isn't bothersome as this is more a YA romance than a sci fi/fantasy story. It is a good thing JJ has his time loop experiences, because he needed this to be forced to think dispassionately (and later passionately) about his relationship with Lucy. It was a good kick in the pants for him.

In short, though it wasn't a book I found earth shakingly wonderful, it was a very fun read!

disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher

1 comment:

  1. This does sound like a fun read. I wouldn't be surprised to see a movie based on this one. Thanks for the heads up.


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