I was eyeing this book up for some time but couldn’t really commit to buying it; something with being unsure if I needed more books and all that. But after putting it in a virtual wish list and getting it for my birthday back in January, I felt summer was the time to get into reading again, and to pick up this book. It took me a little longer to read it than I had hoped, but sometimes you just hit a standstill with a book and you really need something to motivate you. I find reading on trains and planes really easy and a place where I seem to get most of my reading done; but with my travels to a town 20 minutes over, I seem to forget my book more often than not.
I gave How to Stop Time a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, there was just something about it that stopped me from putting a full five star rating on it. Overall, it’s a very engaging book which I would definitely recommend for whatever mood you could be in. The author does a great job of going between the past and present and interlinking them in a very clear and effective manner so the reader isn’t lost in the plot. There was never a time where I felt like I didn’t know what was going on. Naturally, like any book, there are slight slumps in the story where not much seems to be happening, but once you get past that the action picks up soon after. There isn’t much dullness to the book, but it is not one that is overly fast paced; it simply is a comfortable, and quick, read all around.
The plot is engaging and encourages reading more and nothing is left unexplained. The climax of the story is one that is relatively predictable when you really pay attention to what is commented on throughout the story, but it is one that appears relatively late in the novel and the falling action and conclusion are not as long as some like. Nonetheless, everything falls into place and the ending of the story itself is one that I anticipated to some extent. There is no set up for a second novel, but I feel like How to Stop Time would make a decent movie, there is a multitude of elements that I believe would make it something worth putting on the screen, but romance films are in a slight slump at the moment so it may be years, if ever.
Anyway, this was a book worth the time and can definitely be read in less than nearly three weeks, so if you’re looking for a quick read or are on a deadline from the library this is something you should pick up when you have the chance.
There were a lot of good quotes throughout this book, and many times, they were super long, which is why it seems that the ones chosen just go on and on, but they are probably the ones that stood out to me the most when reading (then re-reading in an attempt to find them as I didn’t note them down initially).
“I have been in love only once in my life. I suppose that makes me a romantic, in a sense.” (23)
“The hall fell silent. I had never hears a silence like it. The whole hall seemed to be holding its breath. It felt civilized and modern. It felt refined and tantalizing all at once, like a polite collective pre-orgasm.
Time slowed, inside that moment.
Then the music began.” (99)
“And within moments they disappeared through the packed room with their cocktails and, though they made it perfectly clear I could join them, I stayed there with nothing but vodka and tomato juice for company, staying in the safe shadows of history.“(179)
“This is what the piano does.
This is the danger of it.
It makes you human.” (209)
“I quote others only in order the better to express myself”, she’d say, which was itself, I sensed, another quote. (217)
I was hungover. I was always hungover in Plymouth. Well, either hungover or drunk. (255)
“You can’t fall in love and not think there is something bigger ruling us. …” (297)