Thursday, 1 August 2013

Review: The Loop by Shandy Lawson

Title: The Loop
Author: Shandy Lawson
Release date: April 30th 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: ARC
Pages: 198
Source: Author

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.

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?

The thing that initially drew me towards this book was the concept. It's different, something I've never read about before. So that was definitely intriguing. The Loop is a fast-paced and quick read. Maybe too quick, though. 198 pages isn't nearly enough to satiate me. But regardless, I did enjoy this one. It definitely didn't drag or get dull at any point. It's almost literally non-stop action, so if you're an action junkie, you'll like this.

I enjoyed the fact that The Loop is in Ben's POV for one cycle, and then switches to Maggie's for the next. It gave me a little insight into both their minds, and what they personally felt about the situation. However, this book was too short to have an significant character development. Which makes sense I guess, since Ben and Maggie are on a two-day time loop, so there really isn't much space for getting to know them well. But I did want to, because I felt disconnected from them for the most part of the novel.

So what's this book really about? Well, Ben gets this weird deja vu feeling, and a psychic guy called Steve tells him he's stuck in a time loop. This is the interesting part. I love this concept! And it really got me thinking about how weird it would be if I were ever in a loop. Everyone else going about their business in real time, while I'm forced to repeat it. I guess if it were a good time, I'd like it for a while. Of course, that's not what it's like for Ben. Ben and Maggie are killed every single time - that's the end of the loop, and then it starts up again. Ben seemed a little too accepting of Steve's explanation, though. But maybe because he's lived through that so many times before. I did wish there was more of a backstory about the time loop. I wanted more of an explanation than that river analogy Steve gave.

I can't say much about Ben and Maggie's characters, because I really don't know much about them. I guess this book is more about what happens than about delving into the characters. Ben and Maggie are on the run like they always are, but desperate to get out of the loop. To do that, they need to make big changes. I liked how Shandy Lawson personified the loop (there I go with my Literature brain). Seriously though, that was pretty cool. Like the loop really wanted Ben and Maggie to go towards Roy (the guy who kills them) together.

My favourite part about this book was the end. It was a nice little twist, and I guess it could have a lot of different effects on readers. Some will groan, some will smirk, some will shake their heads in frustration, some will yell 'I KNEW IT!' I won't say which one I was, of course. Anyway, the ending is awesome. The Loop is a fun read, and I liked that it starts off into the story immediately. No boring stuff at the beginning, you can get into it right from page one. Though it was definitely shorter and simpler than I liked, it's worth reading. Sci-fi fans will really love this one!

*Thank you to Shandy Lawson for providing an ARC for review*

Rating: 3/5


  1. Sounds intriguing. I love the concept of a loop and the alternating perspectives. I'm also an action junkie so I'll probably enjoy this. The character development is something I would like to have, but depending on the plot, sometimes I can get by without it. Great review!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

  2. Short and sweet aren't always my thing but it does sound like it suited this read. Something a little lighter to read is always a good thing every now and then.

  3. I usually go for deeper books, but this one intrigues me nonetheless. Reading your review, I felt like I might react to the book the way you did, more or less. I also noticed you rated it 3 stars, but this is not necessarily a low rating in my eyes - it just means the book is on the lighter side, which is OK sometimes :).


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