Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: Class of '98 by A.L. Player

Class of '98
Author:  A.L. Player
Publisher:  Swoon Romance, 238 pages
Publication Date:  November 26, 2013

From Goodreads:
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.

This was a cute read, but a little disappointing.  I love time travel books, and yes, I know, when it's a book about time travel I feel a little dumb for writing this, but it just didn't have any explanation for how it happened.  Usually there's something.  Back to the Future, All Our Yesterdays, 15 Minutes, Erasing Time, there was a machine.  Here, there's really nothing.  So that bothered me a bit.  And also, instead of being back in time and having to deal with younger versions of themselves (like in All Our Yesterdays) they are thrown back into their high school bodies, with with their 28 year old brains.  I actually liked this (even if it didn't make sense) because it had so much potential.  Reliving your senior year of high school with the wisdom/life experience of being ten years older?  Really liked that premise.

You have Jackie and Matt, two complete opposites in high school.  She had blue hair and was artsy and he was a preppy jock.  They didn't run in the same circles.  But when they go back, Jackie is too scared to do anything to change her future, she thinks there's a possibility that she could change things and her life would be worse even though her life basically sucks in the future.  So she goes through the motions, except she studies a lot.  Matt wants to change things, he wants to hang out with Jackie because he's starting to like her, but she's like, no, stay with your horrible girlfriend and don't talk to me.  So she was a bit annoying.  Matt was a great character, but Jackie...not so much.  I did like that they felt so beyond all of the drama of high school, it made me think about all of the paranormal books I read where there's some 100+ year old person who hangs out with teenagers (and even falls in love with a teenager) and it never seems to come up how far apart they are life experience wise.  And then the ending...what?  Kind of a let down.  I realize this review will read a lot more negative than I felt when reading the book.  And I did like the book, it was cute and fun, but just a bit of a letdown.

Posted by:  Pam


  1. You know for some reason I've never thought about that with the paranormal books. Why isn't there more of a disconnect? Don't know why that never crossed my mind. Bummer that this was a bit of a letdown for you, it sounds like a really interesting concept, but I hate when things aren't explained.

    1. I thought the premise had so much promise, and I did like the book, but I just didn't end up loving it. ~Pam

  2. The premise of this sounds really cute. It reminds of this book called The Boy I Loved Before by Jenny Colgan. The character in that one also goes back to high school with her adult brain. It's pretty fun if you like the concept. It's a bummer this one didn't work out the way you wanted it to. I also definitely like to now how "science-y" things happen and Jackie does sound like an annoying character. Great review!

    1. I hadn't heard of The Boy I Loved Before, I'll have to check that one out. There were definitely reasons Jackie acted the way she did (what happened to her in high school still affected her) but still...just annoyed me. ~Pam

  3. Oooh this wasn't even on my radar but it sounds so freaking amazing. I think the premise is really interest, and I'm curious to see how it all plays out. I'm adding it to my tbr.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

  4. God I wish I could relive some moments in my life knowing what I know now. That is a great premise. But I don't know if I want to relive High School drama through this book and since the ending was a let down... I'll have to pass.

    1. Yeah, the premise was great but the execution...not so much. ~Pam