Class of ’98 by A.L. Player
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Describe it in three words: Cute – Clever – Quick
First impression: This sounds interesting
Last impression: Awwwwww
Format: Read it on my Kindle
Jackie Dunn and Matt Stewart barely knew each other in high school, back when she was a blue-haired alterna-kid and he was a preppy jock. High school rules dictated they’d never hang out, or sit at the same lunch table, or God forbid, date.
But when a weird storm transports them from their ten-year reunion back to senior year, they have to work together to figure out a way to get back to 2008.
Stuck in high school, Jackie and Matt agree to tough it out. They agree to do everything exactly as they remember, even though that means staying with the boyfriend Jackie knows will betray her, or playing nice with the girl that will someday be Matt’s ex-wife. Soon, they come to rely on one other, even become friends.
Jackie’s just starting to get used to curfews and term papers again, when Matt hits her with the biggest surprise of all: he’s fallen in love with her. He’ll change the past however he has to if it means a future with Jackie. But Jackie’s terrified they’ll not only alter their lives, but the lives of everyone around them.
Review: What a great plot concept this book has. I am totally smitten with this book and sort of in love with Matt. As you can tell from the synopsis, Jackie and Matt (who were essentially opposites in high school) are sent back in time from their reunion to their senior year. They have to work together to get back to the present…. and that includes bringing back some painful memories. Jackie and Matt are forced back into their high school relationships: with the boyfriend who cheated, the best friend who ruined her relationship, and the girlfriend who becomes an ex-wife. Throughout the book, Jackie is hyper-concerned about messing up her adult life. Even though she is pretty unhappy where she is, she doesn’t want to risk impacting her future as well as those around her. Matt, who naturally develops feelings for Jackie, doesn’t care what happens. Their relationship took some interesting turns throughout the story, which I really enjoyed watching. At times, Jackie could be a little annoying with her incessant need to keep everything the same and, as a result, treat Matt like garbage. A.L. Player did a great job writing this ; the style is humorous and light. I’m pretty sure I read this book in 24 hours. It has elements of young adult fiction as well as adult fiction (and not just because the characters are both young adult and adult age in the book). Once you are introduced to Jackie as a teenager and the events that happened to her in high school, you can see how her experiences impacted her adult life. I really liked that there was character development even though the timeline of the book wasn’t totally linear. This is somehow a light book that makes you reflect on your own life a little bit. It really makes you think – would you do everything differently if you were given a second chance? Or would you want to keep your life the same because the past is the past? I love when I can easily put myself in the character’s shoes and think about what I would do if I were them. I gave this book four stars because overall it was extremely enjoyable. Even if the topic of time travel doesn’t interest you, I would give this book a shot. Class of ’98 didn’t get that last, coveted star for a few (minor) reasons. The story was predictable in some ways, but it wasn’t predictable in the ways that mattered. I’ll keep it spoiler-free, but let’s just say the ending didn’t happen as I thought it would. Some of the plot points made me a little annoyed and I just wanted to shake Jackie. I do wish they gave Matt a little more attention (and not just cause I thought he was cute). For a “main character,” we really didn’t get to know him nearly as much as I would have liked. We only got to hear about his experience through what he told Jackie. All in all, I could TOTALLY see this book working as a movie — who do I talk to to get that done?!