Saturday, May 6, 2017

Review: Class of '59 by John A. Heldt

Title: Class of '59
Author: John A. Heldt
Genre/Age: Fantasy Time-Travel Romance/Adult
Series: American Journey Series (Book Four)
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via Author
Rating: ✺✺✺✺.5
SynopsisWhen Mary Beth McIntire settles into a vacation house on June 2, 2017, she anticipates a quiet morning with coffee. Then she hears a noise, peers out a window, and spots a man in 1950s attire standing in the backyard. She panics when the trespasser sees her and enters the house though a door to the basement. She questions her sanity when she cannot find him.

In the same house on March 21, 1959, Mark Ryan finds a letter. Written by the mansion’s original owner in 1900, the letter describes a basement chamber, mysterious crystals, and a formula for time travel. Driven by curiosity, Mark tests the formula twice. On his second trip to 2017, he encounters a beautiful stranger. He meets the woman in the window.

Within hours, Mary Beth and Mark share their secret with her sister and his brother and begin a journey that takes them from the present day to the age of sock hops, drive-ins, and jukeboxes. In CLASS OF ’59, the fourth book in the American Journey series, four young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they navigate the corridors of time and experience Southern California in its storied prime.

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

Two young ladies take a trip back in time to find true love.

Image result for 50s dance gif

When Mark manages to open a stuck drawer and find a collection of strange items, he takes a risk and puts the instructions to good use, traveling from 1959 through time to present day California. His arrival does not go unnoticed, however. He's spotted by Mary Beth, a woman who is visiting the same home in the future. When she catches him, he sure has some explaining to do.

But Mary Beth isn't the only one who learns of the time-traveling tunnel. Her sister, Piper, is curious about the ability to go back to Mark's decade and see the past in person. Mark's brother, Ben, is also skeptical but up for an adventure. Soon, our group are in for a ride as they figure out that going back or forward in time isn't as easy as they thought it would be. And going home in the end is even harder.

For those who don't know me personally, let me just inform you that I love everything about the 50's-60's. From the music, clothes, and cars, I was in heaven while reading this book. There are references to all three of those with hot rods, jukeboxes, and many songs mentioned that I have on my own playlist. In fact, I'm listening to "Teenager in Love" as I write this review. I was definitely born in the wrong time period.

In addition to the fantastic setting, we have lots of romance brewing in the digital pages. This book doesn't just feature one couple coming together; it actually has four main characters. The pairings were quite obvious from the first few chapters but one couple really has to work for it and both face bumps in the road. There is also an outside threat of a stalking madman to add to the pile, too.

Each character had their own voice and I enjoyed following all four of them as they came to terms with the time-traveling reality and adapted to their new surroundings. But I think in the end, I liked Piper the most. She was hesitant at first then jumped right into the experience. I also really enjoyed her budding relationship with Ben, including all of their cute bickering. I think the pacing of the book did get slow in a few spots but I never even considered putting it down.

Since this is a time-travel story, our characters are from different points in time. Even as they grow closer, there is an inevitable parting headed their way because it isn't possible to live in two different time periods at the same time. I was paying close attention throughout the story, trying to figure out how our couples could possibly stay together in the end. I can't say I was entirely surprised by the way things played out but I wasn't disappointed, either. It was a satisfying ending to a fun adventure.

In closing...
This book would make a nice movie, no doubt. It makes me crave a malt milkshake and some Elvis. Four suns!

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