The day before her twenty-sixth birthday, Amy Snowberger's sister pulls a knife on her in church. She escapes, alive but wounded, and goes home to be with her mom. The next morning, she finds that her wound's healed, but she finds that everything, including her family and her own body, is exactly as it was on her thirteenth birthday. Nobody seems to remember the last half of her life. She now has the unenviable task of figuring out how she got back here, and how she can get back, if she possibly can.
The day before her twenty-sixth birthday, Amy’s drug addict sister pulls a knife on her in a San Francisco church. Rattled by the traumatic experience, Amy retreats to her mother’s house in Marin with her childhood best friend, Cassidy. When Amy wakes up the next morning, it’s the day of her thirteenth birthday and the first day of seventh grade. Amy runs away in a panicked state but eventually accepts that she’s not dreaming; she really has travelled back to her thirteen-year-old self. Now she needs to figure out why this has happened, what it has to do with the strange symbol she sees everywhere, and how she can return to the present in 2016.
I Am Not Thirteen is an engrossing, atmospheric time travel thriller from debut author, A.O. Monk. Monk’s use of symbology is excellent and adds to the atmospheric tension of this novel as a family mystery and the peculiar beliefs of the Doomsday Garden cult arise in Amy’s search for a way to return to the present. I Am Not Thirteen poses a unique and intriguing time travel concept in relation to both the manner of the temporal shift and the consequences thereof. Amy’s intelligence and capacity to reason works well in the immersive first person POV, but certain details make her appear unreliable or uninformed on other matters. Complex family relationships, with Amy’s controlling mother in particular, layer with the overall intrigue of this novel as it becomes apparent that Amy isn’t the only person who’s travelled through time. Convincing characters and a compelling take on time travel make for an addictive read.
I must admit that I almost gave up near the beginning of this, as it didn't seem like the blurb at all. However, I am very glad that I didn't as it turned out to be a brilliant and well-told story.
This is full of atmosphere and mystery. Back to a time when the vibe and music created were incredible. The longer the tale goes on, the more the reader is drawn in to live Amy's every move and thought along with her. Even if you told someone what their bleak future held - would they believe you and do something to change it? Would this 'something' then turn out to be the one piece of the puzzle that causes a bleak future?
I loved Grandma Rose's diary entries, the story of Rose and Doug, and the press excerpts, these really add to the realistic yet surreal overall feeling of this story. The book is very emotive throughout, but the ending just had me in tears...
I chose this from a selection of other books in a giveaway, which I then voluntarily read and honestly reviewed. All opinions are my own.