Stealing Time by KJ Waters

To start I just want to say that I was sent this book for free for an honest review from Indie Book Connector. Thank you for sending it to me!

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (3/5)

Plot: The reader is put in the midst of the 2004 Hurricane Charley in Florida. We meet the main characters of the story, Ronnie, her best friend Steph, and her boyfriend, Jeremy. In the middle of the storm, Ronnie goes to see Jeremy at his super secret science lab for a birthday evening in safety. However, she passes out in the bathroom and wakes up in 1752 in the body of seventeen-year-old Regina Ingram. The rest of the book follows Ronnie in 1752 trying to get back home and accidentally being accused of witchcraft, as well as with Steph back in Florida trying to survive the storm. The biggest catch: the 1752 that Ronnie ended up in is not the same one from our history books; it reads more like a parallel universe that is similar, but with some major differences: aka the hanging of witches frequently and something called a “time-slip” which is a big mystery that takes place over the course of the novel.

Review: I always review a book in its entirety, from cover to cover and everything in between. Let’s start with the plot itself. The plot, not only just time-travel, but time-travel into another body, was so unique. It pulled me in right away! I thoroughly enjoyed following Ronnie through 1752. On the other hand, I felt that Steph’s chapters were unnecessary as I didn’t connect with her as a character and I mostly just skimmed her chapters to get to Ronnie’s chapters. (Another note, Jeremy has 2 separate chapter in this that I felt gave away too much to the reader (remember, your readers are smart, you don’t have to dumb stuff down for them!) and I really hated reading them and found them unnecessary to the plot.)

It took me a long time to read this book, mostly because of the formatting/editing errors. There were so many inconsistencies with punctuation and so much wrong with the formatting of dialogue that it pulled me out of the story more often than not. The same can be said for Steph’s accent/slang which felt extremely forced, and having to read all of Mathias’s dialogue with a written accent was more distracting than helpful. (I know that there was sort of a reason for this, but I still feel that, as a reader, I could have been introduced to his accent in a different way.) I rarely write in books, but I marked all of the punctuation and grammar errors while I read this one. All of these little things took away from the story and stars out of the rating; even if independently published, I expect a polished manuscript. I felt as if I were reading a lightly edited first draft. However, as stated above, the storyline was super intriguing and I loved every minute of it. I just wish the author had gone through a bit more content editing to really bring her writing up from mediocre to a fluid personal style, and also to catch all of the errors.

I really connected to Ronnie even though she was a bit older than me and had a very different life experience than me. I felt like the other characters were either thought about too little or too much, which made them inconsistent, but I still found them entertaining to read. (AKA I totally loathed Jeremy through the entire book, but especially after his second lone chapter!) I felt the ending lacking, but I can see that it will easily lead to the rest of a series and if the other books are a bit more polished, I would be interested to read them to see if some of my suspicions about the time-travel are true or not!