Genre: Fantasy/Time Travel/YA/Romance
“With her senior year looming, Tess McKinnon has two goals: hanging out with her best friend, Liz, and avoiding her judgmental, alcoholic mother. Then yummy John Bartley arrives—to tell Mrs. McKinnon that her daughter is dead. Distinctly still alive, Tess is baffled by John’s tales of 1800s time travel, rewritten lives, and love. She knows she’s never seen him before, but her feelings refuse to be denied.
When Tess and John discover an aged newspaper clipping that indicates John’s uncle was hanged for Tess’s murder in 1875, John decides to return to his time to save his uncle’s life. Not really sure she even believes in this time travel stuff, Tess checks the article after John leaves. The words have changed, and she is horrified to find that John has been hanged instead.
Armed with determination and modern ingenuity, Tess must abandon her past and risk her future for a chance to catch her own killer and find her first love for the second time.”
Rodney Jones resides in Richmond, Indiana, where he spends his days pecking at a laptop. “His life-long ambition was to become an artist until he discovered a latent affinity for writing… In writing, the words are creating images, the images are telling a story, and the story evokes feelings…” His other interests include science, politics, travel, gardening, music, whiskey and chocolate.
After the devastating turn of events in 1875 Greendale, John is beside himself with joy to find Tess alive and well in Wallingford during her own time, around 2009. Their re-introduction happens the same day and plays out practically the same way it did in The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains. John has his full memory of the time they spent together, Tess has no memory of knowing John or the events that unfolded when she was in 1875.
Unfortunately, John has to convince Tess he is not crazy and begin to reestablish his relationship with her. The chapters alternate between John’s point-of-view and Tess’s so we get a clear view of what they are thinking and feeling. We also get a good picture of Tess’s mother and Tess’s best friend, Liz, who ends up being her confidant. When John goes back to his time, in 1875, to rescue his uncle, he is not prepared for the danger this puts him in. In the meantime, Tess is busy contacting a coin collector to sell John’s old coins he earned working at the Grist Mill for his uncle. He also had in his possession his favorite book, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, which happened to be a first edition.
This story is the result of the Butterfly Effect that happens when events in the past are altered. It’s an interesting phenomenon to explore in fiction. Tess is a smart young girl with a lot of savvy. Taking steps into the past she is up for the challenge to change history. The turn of events at the end of this book caught me off-guard. It’s not very often that happens. Kudos to Rodney Jones for a wonderful adventure into the past.
All the Butterflies in the World is the sequel to The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains. I would highly recommend reading book one first.
Added for Reprise Review: All the Butterflies in the World was a nominee in the Young Adult category for B&P 2015 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran January 17, 2015
Even though I read an advanced reader copy, I found no significant proofing or formatting issues.
Rating: ***** Five Stars
Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words