Next Time I See You by M.J. Bell is a contemporary science fiction, time travel story with elements of romance. It is a story of a young Colorado woman, Kat, whose life is shattered when the love of her life is senselessly killed in a mass murder. After more than a year, Kat has “complicated grief” and is struggling to get her life together. In a deja vous moment, she is strangely attracted to a young man, who she follows to a University of Colorado physics lecture where advances in a time machine are discussed. After that, she becomes obsessed with traveling back in time to stop the mass murderer from killing her boyfriend and the other victims in the heinous crime. When Kate finally finds the way to travel back in time, the suspense heightens. She only has a limited a time to stop the mass murderer. The tale takes unexpected twists and the ending will tug at your emotions.
Author M.J. Bell has masterfully crafted a story that is both suspenseful and poignant. It is obvious the author has done research on the grieving process and the common traits of a mass murderer. The story is told from first person perspective of Kat in the present, but then switches to third person in the past to introduce another character who aids her. The story is relevant to our modern times and shows the perspective of a person who has lost a loved one in the heart-breaking tragedy of a mass murder. It is rare that a book moves me like this one. It is thought-provoking and has a universal message that a person can survive a tragedy and still find love and meaning. It asks the age-old question as to whether events in life are fated or do we have the ability to change what happens to us.
I highly recommend this book to both adults and mature young adults who like the elements of science fiction and romance which are relevant for our times.