Friday, July 04, 2014

Books That Make Me Want to Travel ... In Time by Helen Douglas

I am super happy today to be hosting Helen Douglas, the UKYA author of romantic time travel adventures, After Eden and Chasing Stars.  She's here with a very fitting guest post about books that make her want to time travel. Which books would make that list for you? We'd both love to know.  Here is some information about both Helen Douglas and Chasing Stars:

Helen Douglas was born and raised in a small beach town in Cornwall. After leaving home to go to university, she lived in London, California, New Jersey and New York, where she worked at various jobs including drama teacher and theatre director. She is now back in Cornwall, where she combines writing YA fiction with teaching secondary school English.

Social Media:
@HelenMDouglas on Twitter

Books That Make Me Want To Travel ... In Time
by Helen Douglas

One of the greatest things about reading is being transported to a different place. Equally exciting, for me however, is when a book transports you to a different time. Admittedly, most books set in the future paint pretty unpleasant dystopian worlds – no I don’t want to visit Panem thanks very much. And many historical novels are set during time periods where you have to worry about things like The Black Death or no indoor plumbing, not to mention that life for women pre-C20th was not exactly rosy even in the ‘developed’ world. Leaving these aside, the following books definitely left me wanting to travel through time.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell – the 1980s (nostalgia trip)

I picked up this book with trepidation. There had been so much hype about it, that I felt sure  I’d be disappointed. But I loved it. Everything about the characters and dialogue felt really authentic and raw. And I got to visit the 1980s. Now, I’ve been to the1980s. Actually, I grew up then, so this decade has a special place in my heart. Reading Eleanor and Park transported me right back there – and it seemed so quaint. No internet. No mobile phones. No iPods. No tablets or superfast broadband.

But, the 1980s did have tape decks and Sony Walkmans, mix tapes, The Smiths, Joy Division, The Cure, Elvis Costello, Nintendo, Goths, Back To The Future.

It was definitely a nostalgia trip. It made me want to dig out my old mix tapes, except I don’t have anything to play them on any more.

The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare – London in the 1870s 

Yes, I know they sent children up chimneys and had smallpox and slums and workhouses, but this series makes Nineteenth Century London sound so exciting. Cassandra Clare does a great job of evoking the docks by the dirty River Thames, the smells of spices and tar, the gambling dens and cobbled streets and horse-drawn carriages.

Witch Child by Celia Rees – America in the late 1650s

A sea journey lasting 8 weeks from England (just after the civil war) to the new colonies in Massachusetts. Isolation: hundreds of miles of ‘wilderness’ around them and an ocean between the settlers and ‘home’. Strained relationships between Native Americans and the colonists. And witchcraft. This period in history has always fascinated me, and I would love the chance to time-travel there. But just for a week or two.

As for the future, I’d love to travel in that direction, but I'm still waiting for a book that doesn't make it sound like a nightmare! I got to travel to the future from my office chair while writing Chasing Stars, and that was a lot of fun.

Thank you, Helen! Do share in comments which books make you want to travel in time! 

Blurb for Chasing Stars:

The boy Eden loves just saved her life. Now she needs to save his.
To do so she must make a huge sacrifice. Eden can never see her friends or family again.
But the risks Ryan took to rescue Eden are finally uncovered, and now Ryan faces an exile which will mean Eden is separated from him too - the one person she can't live without.
Eden must put everything into the biggest gamble of her life. She only has one shot.


  1. Ooh, cool guest post! I completely agree with Eleanor and Park, and books like Cat Royal by Julia Golding makes me want to travel back to Victorian times, no matter the lack of toothpaste :)

  2. Your shared book information is quiet useful for me and all visitors who have a passion of traveling. I am curious to know about the "Eleanor and park" which things insist them to travel and why? Let me know, what is the range of the book and how I can easily excess to there.


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