Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{September 25, 2011}   {Review} Alex Charles: The Evening Oak by Kim Reynolds

From Goodreads: Could you believe the impossible? What if time travel is actually possible? Alex Charles is an intelligent, level-headed, high school graduate. Her parents died in an unexpected horrific accident, when she was just 16. Friends, parties, and an unknown destiny are part of normal everyday life; but then again, she isn’t any average girl. Enter the proverbial long-lost-uncle, Joseph Graham. Warm hearted, smart, handsome, but very mysterious due to one reoccurring issue… he is running out of time. What exactly is the “family business” that her mother kept secret all these years?


I have been really interested in time-travel novels for a while now.  I think my love for them materialized when I read Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, and it’s continued to be well fed through other great novels such as The Time Traveler’s Wife (Niffenegger) and Always a Witch (MacCullough).  There is just something about time travel that fascinates me, and I must say that Alex Charles: The Evening Oak didn’t disappoint.  It is obvious that Reynolds poured a lot of love and care into both her research for, and writing of, this novel, and her descriptions of life and times during the civil war is phenomenal. 

Reynolds creates two very interesting characters: Alex, kind, loving, and mature beyond her years, and her uncle Joe, a mysterious, yet kind man, who materializes as if from thin air.  Together they embark on a journey of learning about the family business, Joe the teacher, Alex the ever yearning student.  Their stories, told in both the past and present are very fascinating, and though the novel will leave the reader with many questions in regards to certain events, rest assured that it’s just the beginning of the series and more is to come. 

I enjoyed this novel a lot, though at times I did find the dialogue a little contrived in the edition I read.  Most teenagers today speak using contractions, as do most adults, and the lack of contractions in Alex’s present day life brought me up short a few times as I read, though it fits perfectly when the novel shifts into the past.  In the newest edition being released, these contraction have been added to make a more realistic dialogue, so readers, rest assured, you’re in for a great read. Three and a half stars.

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.




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