It's Timeslip Tuesday, an occasional feature at Charlotte's Library.
Mass, Wendy. The Last Present (Willow Falls #4)
24 September 2013, Scholastic Press.
E ARC from Netgalley.com
When Connor's sister Grace becomes catatonic, Amanda and Leo realize it is because Connor has somehow always thwarted Angelina's blessing of Grace, a blessing which has kept the children of Willow Falls safe. Since Amanda and Leo now have the ability to travel through time (after spending an entire year not talking to each other!), they go to each of Grace's birthdays to try to "fix" the various things that went wrong. Along the way, they learn a bit more about Angelina, and what motivated her to stay in Willow Falls, more about Grace and her role in the community, and start to feel that they are a bit more than just friends.
Strengths: The covers of these are great, and there is a strong following for this series. This was a good conclusion, and tied up a few things about various characters. The emerging romance was a nice touch.
Weaknesses: I got off to a bad start with this because the E ARC indicated it was something like 575 pages long. This was only because the text appeared twice, so the book was only half that. Still, it messed with my expectations, so the ending seemed abrupt. Even though much was explained, much wasn't (why did Grace get taller?). Traveling in time back through your own lifetime would have some appeal, but this wasn't used to the advantage it could have been.
And, great minds think alike. Charlotte is reviewing this later today, and is clearly a more careful reader than I am, adding this comment: "I actually think it is explained why Grace got taller--fixing a
particular birthday made the stomach problems that deprived her of
proper nutrition when she was little not have happened. So she suddenly
became the height she was supposed to have been..."
I am very particular about my time travel books. Of course, if I were able to actually travel back in time, I would probably waste the experience trying to track down and save clothing from the past, like jeans that come all the way up to my waist!