The Unintentional Time Traveler/ posted in: General The Unintentional Time Traveler by Everett Maroon
Published by Booktrope Editions on February 24th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Fifteen-year-old Jack Bishop has mad skills with cars and engines, but knows he’ll never get a driver’s license because of his epilepsy. Agreeing to participate in an experimental clinical trial to find new treatments for his disease, he finds himself in a completely different body—that of a girl his age, Jacqueline, who defies the expectations of her era.
Jack starts to travel back in time during his seizures. It takes a few times before he realizes what is going on. Each time he is in the past for a longer period. He gets dropped into a body of a girl in the 1920s named Jacqueline. It is very Quantum Leap.
The town Jacqueline lives in is being terrorized by a local minister. Jack is being dropped into different points in time to try to save the town. But everything he does changes the timeline.
I enjoyed this book but it frustrated me. It left me with several questions. Years will pass while Jack is in the past but he is not in a coma. He is going on with his life in the present day. How? Does anyone notice that he is not quite himself? The same things happen with Jacqueline in the past. Who is in their bodies when Jack/Jacqueline isn’t? Is Jacqueline in Jack? Are they just switching places? Hopefully this will be addressed in future installments of the story. This is book one of a series.
The author is transgender. Had I not known that going into the book, I might have missed the exploration of gender and sexuality that happens in the story. When Jack first finds himself in a female body he is very uncomfortable. Over time he no longer has an issue with it. Jacqueline is not considered to be a conventionally feminine woman of her time but she is still a more feminine person than Jack is in the future. Jacqueline has a relationship with a man named Lucas that starts when Jack is in her body. When he jumps back into his own body he misses Lucas and worries about him. That relationship fuels his desire to learn to master time travel to get back and help Jacqueline. The author never comes out and says what gender or sexual orientation anyone is considered. They just are who they are and love who they love. It is so matter of fact that that is the reason why I might have missed the complexity if I wasn’t specifically looking at the gender dynamics.
This is a fun time travel mystery. Read it if you like historical fiction with some suspense.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Books Set in North America
- LBGTQ authors/characters