by Janet B. Taylor
Publishing date: March 1st 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.
Into the Dim is one of those books that left me absolutely confused and I had no idea at first if I liked the book or if it was just another book in the sea of other books that I will forget about in a month. Writing the review usually helps me sort out my thoughts. It was the same with this one. There were a few elements that I liked, but there were like waaaay more ones that I didn't like. Time travel books are usually complex and to allow some slips in the plot you'd need a kick-ass main character, preferably great support characters and swoon-worthy romance if there is one. My main problems in this book were the things that should have been amazing. And then some more. I won't even mention that this book was supposed to be the Outlander for teens. I won't even go there.
After Hope's mother goes missing and is presumed dead, she gets an invitation to spend a summer with her aunt in Scotland, which isn't even questionable since her father decided to travel the world with his new girlfriend. When Hope finally got to Scotland, she meets a guy who is taking pictures of her, her aunt is not even home and everything seams to be so secretive, but she can't figure out what everyone is secretive about. Finally, she accidently stumbles into a room she wasn't supposed to find and everyone else decides to let her in on a secret. Her family are time travelers, have been for generations. The interesting thing is, her mom is not actually dead. She is stuck somewhere in twelfth-century London and Hope is the only one who can help save her, but the thing is, she only has a week to prepare for such a hard trip and overcoming all of her phobias might not be an easy task.
I have to say, this book is 428 pages long, but I read it in fairly short time. I kept turning the pages wanting to know what happens next. No actually, scratch that. I kept turning the pages wanting something exciting to finally happen. And while I did enjoy the plot to some extent, I couldn't help but be irritated with soooo many things. Right off the bat, I was annoyed with all of the Scottish talk/accent. What's up with that? I felt like in some sentences I needed a dictionary to be able to fully understand what was written. We could have definitely gone without that. I'm not even sure if people talk that way in Scottland, do you, Scottish people?
I already mentioned this earlier, but I really disliked our main character Hope. She was this girl on whom everything depended. She knew everything about everything, she had photographic memory, she knew all archaic languages (should I even try to question the possibility of this?!?) and she was socially awkward. Of course, she was. Can you try to guess what else she was? Homeschooled, you ask? Bingo! Hope is such a stereotypical I am so bad at everything even though I am really smart and I don't know I'm beautiful kinda girl. It's starting to get really annoying to have every second character be like this. Where did the confidence go? She also had all those phobias that could have made things a little better if the author went a bit deeper into that subject. Unfortunately, she didn't, so it just made things worse because it became just one of the many things that were left unexplored and flat. Hope is definitely fighting for the first place in the-most-irritating-characters-ever category along with Kora from Beyond the Red.
I won't say much about romance, mostly because I didn't like it at all. I didn't get it at all. I didn't feel it at all. It was like when someone tries to pair you up with a guy you don't like and he doesn't like you back, but you still have to be together. No connection whatsoever. And of course, it had to have an insta-romance feel to it. Just giving you a heads up.
The plot was actually the only thing that I liked to some extent, although it could have been much better. Everything was so simplified and even though it's a YA book, I think the teens are much more than capable to understand more complex explanations. 12th century London was a bit disappointing, though. I don't think a normal person back that could have gotten to the queen that easily. It was all done a little bit naively and without checking first if a situation like that would be possible in real life. I still enjoyed some parts.
I hate it when finally we get a time-travel book and then it turns to not be that good. I am sorry to say, but I won't be recommending this one to anyone else. But if you're just like me, you probably won't trust anything anyone says about a book you really want to read, then go ahead and read it. You may even like it more than I did. But do let me know if you did.