Hadley Jamison is shocked when she hears that her classmate, Archer Morales, has committed suicide. She didn’t know the quiet, reserved guy very well, but that doesn’t stop her from feeling there was something she could have done to help him.
Hoping to find some sense of closure, Hadley attends Archer’s funeral. There, Hadley is approached by a man who calls himself Death and offers her a deal. If Hadley accepts, she will be sent back 27 days in time to prevent Archer from killing himself. But when Hadley agrees to Death’s terms and goes back to right the past, she quickly learns her mission is harder than she ever could have known.
Hadley soon discovers Archer’s reasons for being alone, and Archer realizes that having someone to confide in isn’t as bad as he’d always thought. But when a series of dangerous accidents starts pushing them apart, Hadley must decide whether she is ready to risk everything – including her life – to keep Archer safe.
To be honest, the blurb of this book had me a little hesitant but the prospect of a book involving a component of death and time travel was too much to ignore. (And in a small part, I was also intrigued by the cover). Anyway, the basic plot of the book is that Hadley is sent back 27 days in time, by Death, to stop her classmate from committing suicide. Considering the subject matter of suicide, I was mostly wondering if the romance would be a factor in the prevention of that (which is a problematic theme) but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that while there is romance, it focuses more on their friendship, and the fact that they can rely on each other and brighten each others’ day. Hadley becomes a support for an Archer who is still recovering from events in his past.
When Hadley is first sent back to save him, she barely knows him. All she knows is she doesn’t want a fellow student to give up on his life – but Archer is quite closed off in the start. He frequently shuts down her attempts to befriend him, but she keeps persisting because she sees it as a defense mechanism. And while she gets to know him and his family, she finds a sense of belonging with them. They become like her family, and while her own is not bad, her parents are quite absent from her lives. The experience of their friendship changes Hadley and Archer both, with Hadley starting to realize to demand more of her life, and Archer finding some light (I would like to add -I would have liked this book better if we also had some Archer POV chapters)
Now, on the supernatural aspect, it is not entirely clear why she is sent back to save him, or why Death even cared to save one boy’s life. And with Havoc, I was also a bit disappointed on the resolution of his presence. It is definitely not a major plot point of the book, but just to add stakes to her mission, which kind of cheapens it.
In all, it is a good book about relationships, finding a support system and family.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Blink, via Netgalley.