mini Book Review: The Loop by Shandy Lawson

Posted August 5, 2013 by Stormy in Books / 7 Comments

The Loop

by Shandy Lawson

The Loop

Original Publishing Date: April 30, 2013
Length: 208 pages
Publisher: Hyperion

Obtained Via: Won
Format Read In: Hardback
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from back of the book:

Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal days—both the best and worst of their lives—they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man destined to kill them.

As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate’s clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie’s only shot at not dying is surviving apart?


I really enjoyed The Loop, but I fully expect to be in the minority on this one, and here’s why: time travel and time loops will cover a multitude of bookish sins for me. I LOVE books about time travel/loops. LOVE. It’s probably the #1 draw for me in a book(Maybe why Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite Harry Potter book?), and so I’m willing to overlook a lot of flaws that other readers might not. And I overlooked some very obvious flaws in The Loop to give it a positive rating.

This book is SHORT–probably the shortest I’ve read all year, and while I have nothing against short books in theory, the length of this book isn’t really enough to cover the subject matter. It felt kind of like a rough pass, a first draft, to me really. The writing is fairly elementary, even for YA, and the pacing is definitely off. To even enjoy this story at all, a reader who have to employ a pretty hefty amount of suspension of logic. The romance isn’t quite insta-love, but it’s definitely close. And on the whole, I’d say it’s a bit sloppily done.

And yet I REALLY liked the plot and the story. The idea of being stuck in a time loop where you die at the end of each one with only a vague notion of what’s coming is quite terrifying and really drove a lot of the suspense in this story. I was quite satisfied with the way the plot and the ending played out. It can be quite hard to write an ending for this kind of book that doesn’t feel like a cop-out, and I think the ending was probably one of the biggest strengths of The Loop.

Final Impression: I’m making this review a mini-one because I don’t have much to say for The Loop. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t think it was particularly well done and wouldn’t recommend it broadly. Mainly, it won me over because time loops=key to my book-loving heart. Pick it up if you’re a fan of that sort of thing, but otherwise I might suggest skipping it. 3/5 cupcakes.



3 Stars

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7 responses to “mini Book Review: The Loop by Shandy Lawson

  1. Asti (A Bookish Heart)

    I like that you admit part of the reason why you love this is just for the subject matter. I think we all have different things that do it for us and make it easier for us to overlook certain things in a book. I’m glad you enjoyed it, but yeah… I’ll probably pass. But, if you do have a time-travel/loop book that you’d recommend for those who aren’t sure about it, do share! I don’t think I’ve read many (besides the HP one, of course).

    • stormydawnc

      Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend this one unless time travel/time loops is just something you LOVE.
      My time-travel obsession *cough* is relatively new, so I can’t say I’ve actually read very many time travel books, but I do have some blogging plans re:time travel *rubs hands together gleefully* so we shall see. . .

    • stormydawnc

      If you like time loops, I’d definitely check it out! I do wish that it had been a bit more fleshed out, but I found it entertaining all the same.

  2. Eve

    A time-travel book! But insta-love? Bleh! I think I’ll give this one a try – it’s so hard to find good time-travel books… at least for me. I’ve read Tempest so far and… well, that’s it, I think. Haha, I started loving time-travel after the third Harry Potter book xD Finally Hermione reveals the secret how she gets in classes on time!

    Anyway, back to the review – if it’s a short book, I’ll give it a try in the near future! I just hope the time-travel stuff is good.

    • stormydawnc

      Well, if it makes you feel better, it’s not quite insta-love. It’s just sort-of introduced as insta-love. . . but the characters have a backstory together. . . so it kinda starts as insta-love, but it gets fleshed out? It’s hard to explain without being spoiler-y, so I’ll leave you with that for now!

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