Class of '98 by A.L. Player
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Format: eARC, 238 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Jackie Dunn and Matt Stewart barely knew each other in high school, back when she was a blue-haired alterna-kid and he was a preppy jock. High school rules dictated they'd never hang out, or sit at the same lunch table, or God forbid, date.
But when a weird storm transports them from their ten-year reunion back to senior year, they have to work together to figure out a way to get back to 2008.
Stuck in high school, Jackie and Matt agree to tough it out. They agree to do everything exactly as they remember, even though that means staying with the boyfriend Jackie knows will betray her, or playing nice with the girl that will someday be Matt’s ex-wife. Soon, they come to rely on one other, even become friends.
Jackie’s just starting to get used to curfews and term papers again, when Matt hits her with the biggest surprise of all: he’s fallen in love with her. He’ll change the past however he has to if it means a future with Jackie. But Jackie’s terrified they’ll not only alter their lives, but the lives of everyone around them.
Back to the Future meets She's All That, Class of '98 is a young adult/adult crossover that will appeal to teens and adults.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In Review: My Thoughts
A.L. Player’s Class of ’98 was a delightfully fun escape. Being Class of ’97 myself, I was extremely excited about the idea behind this book. For one, I was excited to take a trip back in time to see if it felt authentic. And two, who hasn’t thought – even for a minute or two – about what it would be like to go back to high school, knowing what you know now? I loved living vicariously through Jackie as she did just that.
I love a good second chance novel. Where this one deviates from most is that the two characters who wind up getting a second chance, never truly had a first. Jackie and Matt weren’t friends in high school. Jackie was in the alternative crowd; Matt was a jock. Jackie was dating a guy who eventually cheats on her with her best friend (bad behavior all around) and Matt is half of the most popular couple in school. He girlfriend (and future ex-wife) is a nasty, nasty piece of work. Hence the divorce and all. When Jackie and Matt connect at their ten year class reunion, there’s a bit of chemistry and an unexpected turn drops them right back into 1997. Their connection from 2008 carries back to the past with them, and despite the fact they weren’t friends in the original 1997, they have a difficult time staying away from each other in the do-over. They naturally gravitate towards each other as friends first and then things begin to get complicated.
Jackie was a great protagonist. She was relatable. I admired her strength in present day and liked her spunk in the past. We didn’t know much about present-day Matt before we were flung back to 1997, but I found past Matt charming and absolutely adorable. He wasn’t your stereotypical jock. I enjoyed every minute of their time in both 1997 and 2008. Their connection felt very real and believable. They were both so darned likable that I just couldn’t help but root for them to fix the mistakes of the past and have a better future together.
Class of ’98 was unique and well-written. I shy away from time travel books because I typically find them confusing and hard to follow. That wasn’t the case with this book. I had no problem following the story – and more than that – being completely sucked in. I liked that both Jackie and Matt not only knew what was happening to them, but they took their memories, experiences and personalities with them back to 1997. The slang, dialogue and setting was authentic. It felt like I was back in 1997. I found it interesting to see how, while they were trying *not* to change anything that happened in the past for fear of what it would do to the present (butterfly effect and all), small changes happened regardless. Then larger changes happened. Their life experiences definitely changed who they were – and how they behaved – in 1997 the second time around.
This was just an all-around fun book. I devoured it in one sitting and it left me with a huge, goofy smile on my face.