Your Life Has Been Delayed


Publication Date: 2 Nov. 2021
Format: Hardback

ISBN 9781547604081

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    When Jenny Waters boards her flight in New York on August 2nd, 1995, the two most pressing things on her mind are figuring how to convince her parents to let her apply to her dream journalism program at Columbia, and reuniting with (and maybe finally kissing) her brand-new boyfriend, Steve. But when Jenny and the other passengers disembark in St. Louis, the airport officials inform them that their plane disappeared twenty-five years ago. Everyone thought they were dead. How did the universe hit pause on their flight while the rest of the world kept going?

    Jenny needs to contend with everyone she knows fast-forwarding two and a half decades three of her grandparents are gone, her parents are old, and her "little" brother is now an adult with two young kids of his own. And then there's the world itself... she's missed out on iPhones and social media and pop culture.
    When new information comes to light, Jenny feels betrayed by her once-best friend. She's also fighting her attraction to Dylan, a kind new classmate who's helping her get up to speed on the present (and nudging to read Harry Potter already!)... who also happens to be Steve's son. To add to the complications, there's a growing contingent of conspiracy theorists who are determined to prove that the disappearance of Flight 237 hides a sinister truth that needs to be exposed, and that Jenny's very existence is a hoax. Will Jenny figure out how to move forward, or will she always be stuck in the past?

    Information

    Book Type: Senior High
    Age Group: 15 years +
    Traffic Lights: Green/Amber
    Class Novel: No
    Good Reads Rating: 4.5/5
    Literary Rating: 4/5

    Review

    Jenny Waters is just a normal teenager. She's planning to go to Columbia for journalism, worried about her first kiss, and excited for the future—but the future is coming towards her faster than she realises. When she boards a plane from New York to Saint Louis in 1995, she lands in 2020–25 years in her future. Forced to quickly adjust to modern life—from social media and developments in technology to changes to her neighbourhood—the situation is complicated by her parents trying to conceal the truth from her; she feels like everyone is lying to her. Along the way she discovers that all her grandparents but her maternal grandmother are dead; that her best friend Angie married Jenny’s boyfriend Steve and they had kids together; and that Angie wrote a tell-all book about Jenny’s life. 

    Worse still, a group called PATROL is claiming that the passengers on the flight 237 can’t possibly be real; The FBI conducts a battery of tests, from DNA tests on the passengers to extensive testing on the plane, to determine the truth of the story. Meanwhile, there’s high school drama to contend with: Ashling, the co-president of the journalism club, is working against Jenny in an attempt to regain sole control of the club.

    On her way she has two unlikely allies: Art, a weird guy she met on the plane, and Dylan, the son of Angie and Steve. A romance develops between Dylan and Jenny as he helps her adjust to the future, but on the first date—when Jenny gets the first kiss that she’s been dreaming about—Ashling photographs it and puts it up on social media as part of a news story. Humiliated, Jenny cuts all contact with Dylan.

    But there’s more going on than just romantic misadventures. PATROL has been convinced of the truth of Flight 237’s claims of time travel by the extensive testing. The group of scientists now think that they’ve found a way to return to the past: back through the same roving portal in space they travelled through in 1995. Jenny realises that even though she is having trouble adjusting to her new life she doesn’t want to travel back to the past; moreover, she believes that PATROL’s plan is dangerous and notifies the FBI. Art manages to get a photo of the PATROL members being arrested and Jenny writes an exposé about it which is run in the local press.

    Ashling gets in trouble for releasing the photo of Jenny and Dylan together. Jenny apologises to Dylan for freaking out and not trusting him and they get back together.

    A thought-provoking look at the challenges of modern life and adjusting to huge, unexpected changes. At first, Jenny doesn’t know how to proceed with her “new normal” but she ends the book making plans for a bright future, having built confidence and resilience.

    Themes

    speculative fiction, time travel, change, romance, life plans, journalism, truth, social media, privacy

    Content Notes

    1. Jenny is surprised that her younger brother’s wife is Black (p. 51). 2. Mention of Interview with a Vampire (p. 63). 3. Mentions of the deaths of Jenny's grandparents; these are not described in detail. A man is tasered (p. 16). 4. Jenny's freshman homecoming date tried to kiss her but missed her mouth (p. 3). One of Jenny's classmates tells her that she hooked up with a guy at a party to shock her (p. 192). Jenny and Dylan kiss (p. 289). 5. Mention of underage drinking (p. 191).

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