The Loop by Shandy Lawson
Release Date – April 30, 2013
Publisher Website - Hyperion/Hachette Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 208 pages
My Rating- 2.5/5
**obtained for review from publisher**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal days—both the best and worst of their lives—they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man destined to kill them.Ever read a novel that has a fantastic sounding premise but doesn’t quite live up to the potential? For me, The Loop fits this perfectly. It sounded, from the synopsis, like it would have everything a fast paced, thrilling read should. However, I ended up not enjoying this as much as I would hope.
As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate’s clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie’s only shot at not dying is surviving apart?
For a novel that is dealing with something as intricate and complex as time loops, I felt there was not enough explanation. The main character is presented with the idea that time loops exist and immediately believes it. There is no scientific explanation given and it’s barely dealt with in any way. I feel the story would have benefited from a longer novel that fleshed out this part of the story.
It also felt like we didn't get to 'know' the characters beyond a very surface level. The story is so quick that there is not really time for development or change within the characters. It focuses more on the action than building the characters. I am a character driven reader, and I have a hard time becoming invested in the story if I am not also invested it the characters. I wasn’t able to feel ‘connected’ to them, and therefore the outcome didn’t matter as much for me.
The romance also felt rushed. I get that they had a connection, but their memories of each other are hazy at best. Ben barely remembers anything other than a feeling of déjà vu. Maggie recalls more, but it’s still fuzzy at it's strongest. I felt their instant trust and attraction to be a little quick for me to be fully invested in the romance.
The killer was also barely fleshed out. His motivation behind the killing is believable however, and would have been interesting if fully realized. Everything in the novel had potential, but I feel it wasn't fully realized.
This novel was sadly not for me. I wished it had fleshed things out as the story idea itself has a lot of promise. I polished this one off because of it’s short length, but in the end it was that exact length that perhaps impacted my enjoyment. I urge you to check out other reviews and determine if this one might be for you.