#SoClosetoYouWeek: So Close to You by Rachel Carter (Review + Giveaway)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

So sorry for the delay but finally. Finally. After more than a year, I am now reviewing this novel I love. Eek! Check out my review and get a chance to win any book from the series!

So Close to You (So Close to You, #1)
Title: So Close to You (So Close to You #1)
Author: Rachel Carter
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of Publication: July 10, 2012

Rachel Carter launches a mind-blowing time-travel trilogy with her YA novel So Close to You.

Lydia Bentley doesn’t believe the rumors about the Montauk Project, that there’s some sort of government conspiracy involving people vanishing and tortured children. But her grandfather is sure that the Project is behind his father’s disappearance more than sixty years earlier.

While helping her grandfather search Camp Hero, a seemingly abandoned military base on Long Island, for information about the disappearance, Lydia is transported back to 1944—just a few days before her great-grandfather’s disappearance.

Lydia begins to unravel the dark secrets of the Montauk Project and her own family history, despite warnings from Wes, a mysterious boy she is powerfully attracted to but not sure she should trust.

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I read SO CLOSE TO YOU exactly a year ago and I enjoyed it so much that I made an acrostic poem for it. Yes, THAT MUCH. I sent it to Rachel and she posted it on her blog so I guess I'll just share it here too. Please don't judge it, I'm not a pro!

Such an

Love story
Swoony Wes and
Enamored Lydia

Time travel conspiracies
Odds against them

You will be rooting for them
Of course, and
Under their spell

And that sums up my thoughts about this awesome novel. But I'll explain them more to give you a feel of how much you need to read this novel. Preferably now. With a list!

Four Reasons Why SO CLOSE TO YOU Will Rock Your Time Travel-Loving Socks Off

1. Time travel + story world!! In here, time travel is done by going through a machine, kept in an underground government facility. Nikola Tesla's findings on magnetic fields supposedly led to the development of the time machine. The mere mention of Nikola Tesla and rotating magnetic fields made the science nerd in me go around tumbling in joy. Moreover, Rachel Carter has infused so much facts in this novel and I think the best fiction novels are those where you can't differentiate what's probably real and what's make-believe. SO CLOSE TO YOU's story world is hugely shaped by the existence of the Montauk Project, which is a legitimate government project, with tons of conspiracy theories hanging around it. Camp Hero is an actual military base in the past and is now a state park. All these pieces of truth melded into a tale of fiction make SO CLOSE TO YOU wonderfully addicting. The story world was so grounded in reality that I can't for a second doubt what's happening. Love it.

Moreover, the novel is mostly set in the 1940s, which as we all know is World War II. Women wear girdles and most supplies are rationed. Soldiers are coming back from Europe injured. Some soldiers don't come back at all. It's such a hard time and an interesting time too to get a look at. I admit to not being big on history but I greatly enjoyed and learned from all the immersion Lydia did in the 40s with SO CLOSE TO YOU. Going to USO dances, helping out at the hospital, being engaged or married by 17, my not-into-history-and-historical-fiction self had a glimpse of the past. I love that.

2. Plot. Okay, the set-up is awesome. But is the plot meaty? I am happy to announce that heck yeah, SO CLOSE TO YOU is jam-packed full of questions then answers then more questions then lots of hiding and sleuthing. Lydia's grandfather is obsessed with the disappearance of his father Dean back in 1944, which he thinks is because of the Montauk Project. On one fateful day, Lydia gets transported back in time to 1944. Seeing this as a sign, she makes it her mission to get to the bottom of the mystery of Dean's disappearance and along the way, decides that she will even prevent Dean from disappearing. However, Wes, who works for the Montauk Project, is trying to bring her back to the present because the ramifications of her actions are unknown and could be massive. You have a girl who loves his grandfather so much that she's willing to put herself in danger just to fix his life and a boy who won't let her do it. Oh, and this girl is from the future. Just great. Time travel epicness at its best - providing both the romance and the conflict.

3. Characters. Oh, the characters! Lydia wants to be a journalist and it's this curiosity and hunger for truth that makes her go inside the facility and ultimately, brings her back to 1944. Although I think her doggedness into changing the timeline without thinking of its effects was kind of stupid in her part (well, really stupid), I do admire how she loves her grandfather so much that she's willing to do anything for him and to unearth the truth. Then we have Wes and I know, mysterious and intense boys are everywhere. I'm tired of them as well. But Wes 1) is in uniform, 2) has a sad and tortured past and 3) is technically a secret! agent!! That was lame. But I don't know exactly, it's just that I felt like he's a bit similar to Julian of Lauren Oliver's Delirium series. Wes doesn't know anything but to follow orders from the Montauk Project. He's been time traveling too many times, has seen too many variations of the world, and is truly too young to be that weary of the world. He doesn't have a family and he's doomed. But Lydia introduces him to things he never really knew: fighting for himself, fighting for his freedom, interest, attraction and ultimately, love.

Additionally, the side characters were lovely to read! The larger-than-life Mary, Lucas Clarke, the rest of the Bentleys, and even the little of what we've read of Grant and Hannah in the present time, have added to my enjoyment of the novel.

4. Romance. Disclaimer: SO CLOSE TO YOU definitely has an insta-attraction in it but don't write this off just yet!! Please, for the love of all things sexy, THAT KISS. THAT KISS. I remember literally blushing when I first read it and when I reread it for this, good lord. Plus, I'm really left to a mush with time travel romances. I consider time as one of the Big Divides, which provides just innate conflict. Will Lydia follow Wes or will Wes follow Lydia? Who decides that? Can they even be together? Everything wants to rip them apart but will their love overcome all obstacles? I know it sounds cheesy but I really don't care because time travel romance feels are intense. One of the best set-ups for me and a guaranteed E-P-I-C L-O-V-E.

That ending though? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, RACHEL? My poor heart. To think I've waited a year for the sequel! I'm excited for how Lydia will deal with the consequences of her actions in THIS STRANGE AND FAMILIAR PLACE and what exactly are these consequences. All in all, Rachel Carter has successfully written an exciting start to an intelligently plotted time travel trilogy in SO CLOSE TO YOU. Your mind will spin from thinking if these conspiracy theories have an ounce of truth in them, your heart will root for Lydia and Wes, and your drool will also be all over because of Wes. Ha! Fans of time travel, especially time travel romances, will surely love this. Go read this now!

About Rachel Carter

I'm a 27-year-old writer, an avid reader, and a lover of all things pop culture. (One of my life goals is to write for Entertainment Weekly!) I grew up in a log cabin in Vermont, surrounded by trees and chickens. I learned how to ski when I was six, I could start a bonfire in my sleep and my dad makes maple syrup every spring.

I've always loved to read - I spent most of my childhood with my nose in a book. Even now, I read about a book a week and I'm ALWAYS looking for recommendations (send me yours on twitter or facebook). Romance and YA are my genres of choice, though I also love Fantasy, History, and Science Fiction. And, for some reason, epic romances set in communist Russia.

I attended the University of Vermont, where I majored in English and Women's Studies. I moved to NYC right after college, and received my MFA from Columbia University. I recently moved back to Vermont, where I'm working on my next series. Read more about my life and other random thoughts on my blog!


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  1. It really sounds amazing! After reading your review I want to read the trilogy more than before. Thank you very much for the review. And for this wonderfull giveaway.

  2. First off I love those gorgeous cover and I am glad you gave positive reviews for this series. I'm on a look out for time travel fave so far were the Hourglass series by McEntire and Timeless series by Monir. Also thanks for the fab giveaway :)


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