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Fast Forward by Juliet Madison

Title: Fast Forward
Author: Juliet Madison
Genre: Fantasy (with romantic elements)
Published: 2013
Rating: 3 ½ stars

Kelli Crawford has it all. She’s about to turn twenty-five, has an amazing modeling contract, and a super-hot photographer boyfriend that she’s pretty sure is going to propose. She’s all set—her twenty-fifth birthday is going to be the best one ever. Except that when she wakes up the morning of what should be her twenty-fifth birthday, she finds that instead she’s somehow been launched into the future, and it’s her fiftieth!

Her modeling career is clearly over—she has wrinkles galore, and (gasp!) a less-than taut midsection. She has two kids she has no recollection of giving birth to, let alone raising. And, perhaps most distressing of all, she’s not married to her boyfriend after all—she married a guy from high school who the cool kids used to pin “kick me” signs on, Will McSnelly.

Yes. Her name is now Kelli McSnelly.

Can Kelli make it back in time to set her life back on the right path? Or will she be trapped in this alternate future forever? Though maybe she’ll find that the “new” Kelli really is improved after all…

I thought the idea of this book was fun and cute, and I was looking forward to reading it. In execution, though, I spent the first two-thirds or so of it really annoyed with Kelli’s character. Her actions—even given that she’d lost twenty-five years and woken up in a whole new world where nothing was as it had been—just didn’t make a lot of sense to me. She’d get ideas in her head about what would magically “fix” her, become fixated on them, and then nearly lose it when it didn’t work. More than once I wanted to reach into the ereader and give her one of those “calm down!” smacks they’re always giving out in movies and on TV.

They always look so cathartic. But I digress.

However, somewhere in the last part of the book—the final third or quarter of it, maybe—Kelli finally started making sense. She really pulled it together in the end, finally taking a real good look at herself and the two seemingly separate lives she’d led. Suddenly, I couldn’t put the book down. I needed to know what Kelli was going to do and how—or if—she’d finally make it back to her twenty-fifth birthday…because there was not a single flux capacitor anywhere in this book. I looked.

Madison had some interesting ideas about our future technology (I have got to get me one of those magic vacuums!) and she did a really nice job of pulling all the plot threads together at the end. I was glad I decided to stick with it after all. I’ll definitely be looking for more reads from the author to see what she comes up with next.

In a nutshell: I had a rocky start with this heroine, but she managed to pull me through to the end. 3 ½ stars for a strong finish.

I received an ARC via NetGalley though’s HEA Book Club. All opinions in this review are totally my own.

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