Time travel for love and profit

Sarah Lariviere

Book - 2020

When math prodigy Nephele invents a time travel app so she can redo her terrible freshman year of high school, there are unexpected consequences.

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Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Larivier Sarah Checked In
Science fiction
New York : Alfred A. Knopf 2020.
First edition
Physical Description
310 pages ; 22 cm
Ages 12 up.
Grades 7-9.
Main Author
Sarah Lariviere (author)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

After her friend Vera ghosts her, "aggressively weird" Nephele Weather, 14, begins to obsess over why—whether it's her math obsession or her hirsute Greek heritage—and how to fix it. That's how mathematics ("my one superpower") comes into play. Armed with her knowledge of all things numerical, a strange book found at her parents' bookstore, and her science teacher's assistance, she devises a time travel app named Dirk Angus to change the past. Things, of course, go awry: while Nephele remains the same age, others mature a year every time she goes back, and by her 10th journey, she is no closer to her goal—in fact, that goal has morphed into something new but no less terrifying. Lariviere's (The Bad Kid) YA debut is a multifaceted mélange of math and hormones; Nephele's introspective monologues are filled with elegantly descriptive detail, tending toward a rambling stream-of-consciousness that many readers will find winning.Ages 12–up. Agent: Susan Hawk, Upstart Crow Literary. (Jan.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When Nephele has a terrible freshman year, she does the only logical thing for a math prodigy like herself: she invents a time travel app so she can go back and do it again (and again, and again) in this funny love story, Groundhog Day for the iPhone generation.Fourteen-year-old Nephele used to have friends. Well, she had a friend. That friend made the adjustment to high school easily, leaving Nephele behind in the process. And as Nephele looks ahead, all she can see is three very lonely years.Nephele is also a whip-smart lover of math and science, so she makes a plan. Step one: invent time travel. Step two: go back in time, have a do-over of 9th grade, crack the code on making friends and become beloved and popular. Does it work? Sort of. Nephele does travel through time, but not the way she planned--she's created a time loop, and she's the only one looping. And she keeps looping, for ten years, always alone. Now, facing ninth grade for the tenth time, Nephele knows what to expect. Or so she thinks. She didn't anticipate that her new teacher would be a boy from her long ago ninth grade class, now a grown man; that she would finally make a new friend, after ten years. And, she couldn't have pictured someone like Jazz, with his deep violet eyes, goofy magic tricks and the quietly intense way he sees her. After ten freshman years, she still has a lot more to learn. But now that she's finally figured out how to go back, has she found something worth staying for?