by Carol Masciola
Publisher: Merit Press
Release Date: October 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Misfit teen Lola Lundy has every right to her anger and her misery. She’s failing in school, living in a group home, and social workers keep watching her like hawks, waiting for her to show signs of the horrible mental illness that cost Lola’s mother her life. Then, one night, she falls asleep in a storage room in her high school library, where she’s seen an old yearbook—from the days when the place was an upscale academy for young scholars instead of a dump. When Lola wakes, it’s to a scene that is nothing short of impossible.
Lola quickly determines that she’s gone back to the past—eighty years in the past, to be exact. The Fall Frolic dance is going full blast in the gym, and there she makes an instant connection with the brainy and provocative Peter Hemmings, class of ’24. His face is familiar, because she’s seen his senior portrait in the yearbook. By night’s end, Lola thinks she sees hope for her disastrous present: She’ll make a new future for herself in the past. But is it real? Or has the major mental illness in Lola’s family background finally claimed her? Has she slipped through a crack in time, or into a romantic hallucination she created in her own mind, wishing on the ragged pages of a yearbook from a more graceful time long ago?
Mama’s Thoughts and favorite quote:
This was not a book I could easily place. On the one hand it was a fascinating take on time travel, in the sense that we don’t really get the mechanics of it explained, it just sort of happens. On the other hand, I would have liked to see more background and character development. The world of the 20s was very much the strong point in this story, and there was some growth for Lola by the end. I liked Peter and Mary/Whoopsie immensely, they were very entertaining and had their own quirks about them. However, it was difficult to like Lola for the most part. She had a rough life and that made her bitter, understandably, but she was not able to look past her present, thus she ends up in the past and happier for it, until she is back in her reality. This is just the beginning of the tale, but to be honest, there is not a lot that changes from the first trip to the end of the book. Without spoiling anything, I will say the conclusion resolved most everything and there wasn’t a huge feeling of disappointment after reading it. If you enjoy your ya contemporary with a twist of time travel, you will want to get yourself a copy of The Yearbook!
“You’re a living doll Mike,” Whoopsie said. “But careful you don’t wear out my mirror.”
Carol Masciola got the idea for her novel The Yearbook (Merit Press, Nov. 2015), after inheriting a 1924 yearbook that had belonged to her grandmother. She is a former newspaper reporter and winner of the PEN/West Literary Award in journalism. Two of her screenplays, THE FIERY DEPTHS and THE UGLY STICK, are in development.