The Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Romance
by Madeline J. Reynolds
Publication Date: March 4, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Elias Caldwell needs more than his life in nineteenth-century England has to offer. He’d rather go on an adventure than spend one more minute at some stuffy party. When 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 fall hopelessly in love. But making that kind of connection with someone has been more of a dream than reality. Then a boy appears out of thin air, a boy from the past. As he helps Elias navigate a strange new world for him, introducing him to the wonders of espresso, binge-watching, and rock and roll, Tyler discovers Elias is exactly who he was missing.
But their love has time limit. Elias’s disappearance from the past has had devastating side effects, and now he must choose where he truly belongs—in the Victorian era, or with the boy who took him on an adventure he never dreamed possible?
First let me say -
1. I've never read a time travel book before (aside from Harry Potter but I feel like that doesn't really count.
2. It's only about the second M/M romance story I've read. (That isn't deliberate, it's just the stories that have caught my attention.)
3. Isn't that one of the most beautiful covers you've ever seen?!
Tyler and Elias are interesting characters. I especially enjoyed the fact that Tyler is an aspiring film-maker, which also gave a realistic element to some of the magical aspects of the story. It's also awesome that he's bisexual who's out, and that's that, exactly how sexuality should be treated when it isn't part of the plot really.
Something I'd been unsure about was the 'period' parts of it, but it's so well written and the setting is described so beautifully that it was easy to get into. Elias is a charming, funny guy. His 'fish out of water' experience learning all about the changes in the world since his time is sometimes hilarious and always filled with delightful awe that is guaranteed to make you see the world in a new light. I would have liked to have understood more about the ways that Elias feels he doesn't fit in in his time, it was mentioned a few times but I'm not sure it was clear enough to explain his motives overall.
With Tyler and Elias, it is insta-love, and I know that puts some people off, but not me. For me there's nothing wrong with that, it's a romance and sometimes that's what works. It's a genuinely sweet read and they are very natural together.
The time travel is fantastic. It's kept simple, in a believable way, not bogged down with rules as these things often are. There are parts of the time travel that I think could have been delved into more but it would be more spoiler-y to say any more.
So even if this isn't the kind of book you would usually read, I highly recommend it! It's a sweet YA romance with high-stakes in an unusual way. It has everything that a romance should have, and more.
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About the Author
Madeline J. Reynolds is a YA fantasy author living in Chicago. Originally from Minneapolis, she has a background in journalism and has always loved storytelling in its various forms. When not writing, she can be found exploring the city, eating Thai food, or lost in an epic Lord of the Rings marathon.