Wednesday 2 May 2018

Every Last Minute by Ellen Smith

Book Title: Every Last Minute
Author: Ellen Smith
Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: Review Copy
Author's Website 
I got a review copy from the author, Ellen Smith, in return for an honest review. Thank you!

Goodreads, Amazon UK

Plot: Will and Mara Sterling are already living their dream. After surviving a campus shooting, they both went on to finish college, fall in love, and start a new life together as husband and wife. That’s not to say things have been easy: Will suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and Mara has debilitating chronic pain from her gunshot wound. Despite it all, they feel lucky to be alive and even luckier to be in love.
Then a new initiative from the Justice Department offers Will and Mara the chance of a lifetime. The shooter has been rehabilitated and his crime qualifies for a timeline rectification. With Will and Mara’s consent, they can all travel through time back to the original scene of the crime, giving the gunman a chance to put things right.
It sounds like a dream come true, but both Will and Mara have their doubts. Timeline rectification—called “time wrecking” by its critics—is at the center of a politically charged debate. Will and Mara aren’t entirely sure where they fall on this issue and the clock is ticking for them to decide. Is it moral to change time for the rest of the world, just to undo one crime? Is it moral to deny the gunman a chance to correct his past crimes? And what if this one ripple means that they never meet . . . or fall in love

What did I think?

I've seen another review post this quote, but it's the one that stuck with me as well.
"Our culture has become obsessed with supporting everyone’s individual dreams and ambitions, catering to every little whim, assuring ourselves that we’re each special and unique. We need to bring back our concern for each other and focus on building our community. The concept of time wrecks may be relatively new, but the sin behind it is a tale as old as time.”
I've started reading this book a few days ago, and today I simply couldn't put it down and flew through it.

Personally, I would love to reload an old save, you know? Just go back ten years and do things differently. Live my life differently. But then I look at my other half, and I think: no, I wouldn't want to risk this relationship.

This is exactly what Will and Mara face. They've met because of a school shooting during which Mara got shot. She's suffering from chronic pain. Will is suffering from PTSD. They are happily married. If they go back and undo it all...they might never meet.

The romance is wonderful (and when do you ever hear me say that?) and I love both Will and Mara. They're amazing characters. They're initially opposed to a timeline rectification because what if they don't find each other in this new timeline? What if they don't fall in love with each other? What if they don't even meet? You have no idea how much this thought stresses me. Mara, however, deals with so much pain and Will suffers from nightmares. They deserve to go back. They deserve a life without PTSD and pain.

It's not as easy as that. Of course. Timeline Rectification is regulated. There's a trial. Everyone needs to agree. There are rules. And, as usual, about half the world is opposed. Because of personal conviction, religion, because of politics or because they think it isn't moral. You should only live once! YSOLO! The author does an amazing job showing all the different problems that come with the possibility of timeline rectification and why the different factions all got a point. She does this by including blog posts, news reports and comments on Internet forums.

The point of view switches back and forth between Will and Mara. Both characters are well developed, and they both struggle a lot and are torn about the timeline rectification because of different reasons.

I don't want to say too much about the plot, since I love going into books without knowing anything at all. I loved Every Last Minute because the author clearly put a lot of thought into the time travel aspect and surprised me several times with things I hadn't even thought of, like how exactly does the government keep track of this and regulate it? The pacing is great, especially if you're interested in the time travel aspect (how it works etc.) otherwise you might find the middle a bit slow. The prose is engaging and well edited.

Also: what a gorgeous cover, right?

I recommend Every Last Minute to fans of time travel novels and obviously to everyone else who finds the premise interesting.


  1. Thank you so much for your lovely review! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story :)

  2. Totally a gorgeous cover -- also time travel? So cool!