The Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Romance by Madeline J. Reynolds
A boy from the past. A boy from the present. An impossible future.
Elias Caldwell is out of place. In nineteenth-century England, he doesn’t feel he can truly be himself—whoever that may be. Then his grandfather gives him a pocket watch he claims can transport him to any place and time. Elias doesn’t believe it…until he’s whisked away to twenty-first-century America.
Tyler Forrester just wants to be a successful filmmaker after graduation and fall hopelessly in love. His dreams miraculously come true when a boy appears out of thin air. Not only did he get it all on camera, but as he helps Elias navigate a strange new world for him, Tyler discovers Elias is exactly who he was missing.
But their love has a time limit. Elias’s disappearance from the past has had devastating side effects. Now he must choose between going back or staying with the boy who helped him find his true self and happiness he never imagined he could have.
Review copy received via Netgalley
I think I saw a tweet about this book and the description sounded so fun I just ran off to request it on Netgalley immediately. Then one sleepless night I started reading it and was only supposed to read one chapter, but maybe six more happened and I made it to like 23%… Then the next night I read the remaining 77% in one go. I have no idea how long the book actually is because I couldn’t find a page count but I can’t remember the last time I read any book this fast.
The story just had me smiling the entire time. I went in expecting a fun, light story and that’s exactly what I got. Elias and Tyler’s relationship was just really cute, and that’s pretty much how I would describe the whole book. These two boys in love brought me much joy and I would read more about them watching Netflix together and going on cute dates.
It’s pretty easy to forget that this is supposed to be a time travel book, because even though it is mentioned a lot Elias adjusts to the modern world pretty quickly (I think the whole book takes place within less than 2 weeks?) and the actual time travel isn’t very complicated in the end. A little silly even, because you can pretty much come and go as you please once you figure it out, but honestly that’s also what I liked about it. Yes, they should probably be a bit more concerned about the repercussions of it but things don’t always have to be so life and death deep. I’m very into the idea of casual time travel adventures.
Probably the only thing that disappointed me a little bit was the whole dramatic twist towards the end, because it’s made out to be this huge conflict and then it’s just… A weird fluke I’m not sure is even actually possible? It was mostly weird because it felt like someone had suddenly decided at that point that “no I take it back, I don’t want this to be as horrible after all”.
That one thing aside, I just enjoyed this book so much! My timing for reading this was so perfect too, because I’ve been reading so much fantasy lately it was nice to take a break to read something where the character’s aren’t constantly in life threatening danger and just worry about little things like having a crush on your cute time traveling friend.
Basically, if you want a light, happy and super cute read, Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Romance is so it.