Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.
**** Thank you to Swoon Reads for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!****
So this was a book that had an interesting sounding premise and while it wasn’t a complete disaster it was a lot more boring and confusing than I expected it to be.I can definitely see how this would appeal to others but it really wasn’t for me.
First of all this book isn’t really about time travel, it’s more like traveling to alternate realities where you have an alternate self that you swap places with, so like I said it got confusing. And the pirate ship on the cover doesn’t really mean anything because there’s only mention of a ship at all once or twice and there are no pirates, one of the Finns is a privateer and that’s it. Just saying.
So the way this book started was completely boring and only at about 20-30% did it get a little bit more bearable to read through, I honestly almost DNF’d this because the beginning was so slow. Although while the plot and story proved to be interesting enough to finish it was still really underdeveloped and didn’t have any real conflict or direction for the longest time. It was sort of just a mess. I felt that the story never had much depth to it or complexity to truly captivate me.
There’s also the fact that I found this book to be pretty full of YA tropes such as insta-love, the Chosen One/special snowflake, and a love triangle. I was honestly pretty sick of it because every time I found a trope there was another right around the page, especially the whole Jessa is a special Chosen One instead of a normal Traveler. Like really? Come on.
In general I can’t really tell you WHY I kept reading except that it just got a little more exciting half way through and some of the realities Jessa visits were really interesting, that was about it. However, even though some of the realities were neat I thought that the overall action and adventure aspects were severely lacking. You can travel to alternate realities and what do you do? Go to a cafe and eat special desserts? Boring. I wanted way more excitement than was provided and definitely a lot more world building too!
Also that ending was just downright cruel and confusing! Unfortunately I can’t really get into it because of spoilers but I really didn’t like (or understand why) things happened to some of the characters.
One other odd little tidbit of information that drove me NUTS in this book was the fact that Jessa’s brother Danny apparently plays Super Mario and Mario Kart on his Xbox. NOOOOO! For those of you who don’t know, this is impossible because Nintendo only makes its Mario games for their own consoles and can therefore NOT be played on an Xbox. This bothered me because I felt that if the author wants to include something like this in her book she should at least know what she’s talking about……
I actually quite enjoyed the characters in “Traveler” which may be the reason why I could bear to finish this book and rate it 2 stars instead of 1.
Jessa is a likable heroine and actually makes pretty sound decisions, she doesn’t really go around abusing her power or making stupid choices. I liked her narration style as well, I found it easy to read and enjoyable.
Finn was sort of just okay he definitely was a sympathetic character but overall there wasn’t really anything speculator about him for me. However, one of his alternate selves is a privateer (basically a legal pirate) and HE was pretty swoon worthy.
Then there’s Ben, Jessa’s BFF and also other love interest whom I liked a lot more than Finn because he just seemed like a nice, good guy. I really didn’t like how Jessa treated him unfairly a lot of the time though, make up your mind girl!
Then just a quick mention of Jessa’s family I liked that her mom was fair, hard-working, and just a good parent in general and I also liked that there was representation of autism with Jessa’s brother Danny.
I actually kind of enjoyed the romance in this book apart from the very insta-love feeling and the love triangle. Sometimes the whole “destined to be together” thing works in books and sometimes it doesn’t, but in this case I thought it worked.
The thing that really did bother me the most was the love triangle because it was so pointless, I understand Ben having feelings for Jessa but come on we as readers all know he won’t win because Finn and Jessa end up together in every reality…so.
And I will say the romance and the characters got SUPER messy and confusing at the end, which is part of why I HATED the ending.
While this book wasn’t what I wanted or expected it also wasn’t as bad as the beginning led me to believe it was going to be. It turned out to be just sort of a mediocre book for me.
What I Liked:
- The characters
- The romance to some extent
- Some of the alternate realities
What I Didn’t Like:
- How confusing and directionless a lot of the plot was
- Lots of tropes
- Lack of action
- The ending
I can’t really say I’d recommend this book at all, however, as I said earlier I can definitely see how this book might appeal to others it just wasn’t my type of book.