Review: The Loop – Shandy Lawson

The Loop Shandy Lawson

Title: The Loop
Author: Shandy Lawson
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Source/Format: Library / Hardcover, 208 pages
Opening Sentence: “‘This is it, Ben.'”
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon

Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal days—both the best and worst of their lives—they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man destined to kill them.

As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate’s clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie’s only shot at not dying is surviving apart?

A bit Groundhog Day, a bit Shakespearean tragedy… The Loop by Shandy Lawson was one of those rare books I picked up with almost no knowledge about it and ended up liking very much. My sister-in-law had mentioned seeing it at the library, so when I saw it on the shelf I just grabbed it. My thought pattern was “Well… she reads the synopsis before picking up books, so if she checked it out it must not be bad!” Honestly, guys. That’s how it was.

If I’m being honest with you: it took me, like, two months to actually pick the book up. I guess I wasn’t being drawn to it. But I could have sent it back and I didn’t, so that says something. I’m here to tell you, though, that I’m very glad I didn’t take The Loop back to the library without reading it. There were two main reasons I finally did read the book:

  • It’s quite short and quick. It’s not fluffy. It’s just only 198 pages, give or take, and that takes no time to read.
  • That is one intriguing concept.

“Lisa, it’s intriguing? You just compared it to Groundhog Day, so surely it’s been done before.” Um… no. The Loop is actually a really depressing story. These two kids are running around desperately trying to find ways to not die at the end of the day… like they always do. Can you imagine that? And I’m not talking peacefully falling asleep and not waking up or anything… I mean bad deaths.

And the time loop had a mind of its own, which I thought was super cool. It’s almost like the time loop was a person, bending people to its will and helping them to make decisions. (READ: Telling them what to do.) It was crafty and smart and so well done. The characters actually started calling the loop “she” because it seemed so… human. LOVED IT.

The characters were, while not extremely significant in any special way, likable. Brave is one word that is screaming out at me as I’m trying think of how to describe the main characters. While Ben has trouble remembering the past cycles of the time loop, Maggie remembers quite a lot… especially the fact that they die. They’re well aware of that fact and instead of giving up and just saying “Screw it!” they keep trying to find ways to stop it or break out of the loop. Their bravery and persistence is what kept me reading until the end. Everything was being shoved back in their faces and I couldn’t wait to read how they were going to get past it.

The Loop was honestly a very happy surprise. Aside from a few small things (that aren’t even worth mentioning) I enjoyed every bit of this book. The end was “OMG!” for me and I thought it was sort of perfect. I just want to say so much about this book but can’t because it would ruin the review. I definitely recommend this to basically anyone (especially so we can talk about it!).

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

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