Monday, November 12, 2012

Review by Kulsuma: A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler

Review by Kulsuma from sunshine and stardust

A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler is about family and friendship. Twelve year old Jenni and her family are holidaying in Riverside Village like they do every year without fail. For Jenni, it’s the perfect place to spend time with her best friend Autumn. Now that they go to different secondary schools, Jenni is determined to keep their friendship as strong as ever. Autumn and her family are adventurous, spontaneous, and love life. Jenni’s family, on the other hand, like everything to be neat and organised.

When Autumn persuades Jenni to go horse-riding, it sets off a chain of events that will define their friendship. Jenni rushes to meet Autumn in time for horse-riding, but the lift doesn’t work. However, the old lift, which hasn’t ever worked as far back as Jenni could remember, does work. When she appears at Autumn’s door, she gets the shock of her life. She’s one year in the future and her life, her family and her friendship with Autumn have changed beyond recognition. Can Jenni repair her friendship with Autumn? Can she help her family? Can she change events for the better?

Whilst A Year Without Autumn is a short book, it is full of action and mystery. I was interested in the time travel aspect of the novel. I couldn’t wait to see whether Jenni could change events and how losing a year of her life would affect her. Of course, she has a lot of questions; missing a year or more of your life while everyone else has lived normally will ensure that. It was amazing how one event can shape the rest of your life for better or worse.

I liked all the characters in A Year Without Autumn. I could relate to them. I found the side story about Mrs Smith very gripping. However, I wished Autumn’s brother Mikey had been shown more in the story. Overall, A Year Without Autumn was a very fast and exciting story featuring time-travel and the repercussions of one moment over years. I loved watching Jenni grow as a person throughout the book and become confident. I enjoyed A Year Without Autumn. It is a fantastic story for middle grade readers.

Sounds like a lovely book! Thank you, Kulsuma

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