Book Review Next Time I See You by M.J. Bell

Next Time I See YouNext Time I See You by M J Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

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Book Review: The Tattered Box

Book Review: The Tattered Box 

Below is my Goodreads book review: The Tattered Box by Paul Schumacher, a Colorado author.

The Tattered BoxThe Tattered Box by Paul Schumacher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Tattered Box by Paul Schumacher is a memorable coming of age story of John, a young man coming to grips that his own father left him when he was a young boy. However, his elderly grandfather Bill leaves him a tattered box full of items evoking memories of his past. After John is hit by a baseball and knocked unconscious, he mysteriously time travels to 1941 when he again meets his grandfather as a young man the same age as him. It is as if the past, present, and future join into one time. All of the items in the tattered box are still left intact at the beginning of John’s journey in the past. As he adjusts to the pre-WWII culture, he becomes friends with his grandfather whom he fondly calls Bill and shares the moments that the items in the tattered box represent. By learning more about his grandfather, John learns about himself and the importance that memories have for the future.

This is a beautifully written story that is multi-layered with rich symbolism. One of the more poignant scenes is when John and Bill observe an eagle protecting their helpless eaglets in the nest. John comments, “Their father would teach them everything he knew, then suddenly push them out of the nest, forcing them to flap their wings in one death-defying leap.” This is a pivotal scene that will tie into the heartfelt ending, leaving a visual memory that will forever be embedded in a reader’s mind. I highly recommend this book for the rich message it offers that moments of the past, present, and future co-exist between generations.

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