Review: Clockwise by Elle Strauss

Clockwise (Clockwise, #1)
Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this --she's accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward. Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just "brotherly" protectiveness? When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again. Which of course, she does.

I really enjoyed reading Clockwise despite the fact that there were a few issues that stood out to me, and the reason i enjoyed reading the book so much is because Casey is one of the funniest narrators I have read in a long time. I often read books where the narrators doesn't read as a teenage girl but Casey was so realistic in her wit, humour and her sardonic self-view that it really made this book a pleasure to read.

This book is in no way groundbreaking or hard-hitting, it doesn't really have a climax and yes, it is completely fluffy with very little substance to it, so I wouldn't call it absolutely awesome. However as a quick, fun and clean read this book totally hits the spot. The story itself is pretty simple, the unpopular girl gets pulled into the past with the popular, cute jock and hijinks occur. I have to say that whilst Casey was a lovely character, none of the other characters really have much to them which I guess I can put down to the age range for this book, which I'd put as middle-grade to young YA. It did take me a while to get into the story since it seemed a little young for me,but when i did I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Since there is no real plot line aside from Casey and Nate being in the past and a few side plots like the creepy guy from 1960 with a crush on Casey and the story revolving around Samuel, who is a black person in a time of slavery, there are really no highly paced parts in this book. The pace is never slow though, it's a leisurely read which is good for just relaxing or winding down from a darker YA read. Actually, I should probably mention that in this seemingly fluffy story, there are darker historical events woven in such as the 1860s civil war and the racism and segregation of the 1960s, which are well written and fit into the story seamlessly, so you barely notice the seriousness of the issues.

Overall, Clockwise is a good book with a steady pace and an awesome, funny narrator. The book could have done with a more defined plot and some character development, but it was a pleasure to read and I'll be picking up the sequel for when I want something to chill to.

Book released 21st November 2011 by ESP Publishing
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (NetGalley)

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