Book Review: How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

How to Stop Time

by Matt Haig, illustrated by Chris Riddell

“The first rule is that you don’t fall in love, ‘ he said… ‘There are other rules too, but that is the main one. No falling in love. No staying in love. No daydreaming of love. If you stick to this you will just about be okay.'”

A love story across the ages – and for the ages – about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

So Tom moves back to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher–the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city’s history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him. But the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How to Stop Time is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.

Review:
How to Stop Time is one of those cozy weekend reads full of interesting storytelling and thoughtful takes on love and life. This, combined with the amazing illustrations by Chris Riddell, make the book a real treat (I bought the illustrated version — well worth it!).

 

I love how Haig uses the character of Tom, a man who ages extremely slowly, to explore themes about what it means to really live and the value of love, things like the difference between existing and living, and is it worth loving someone if you will inevitably watch them age and die while you don’t. These are great questions to explore and Haig does it in a way that doesn’t seem “heavy”.

 

Tom was an interesting character — he’d seen amazing things and met influential people in his long life, but he lived in fear of being exposed and this influenced his every action and thought. The one criticism I have of this book is that sometimes Tom gets a bit dragged down in his thoughts and fears and it slows the book down and feels repetitive at times.

 

However, the ending more than made up for this and I would recommend this book for a thoughtful read, complete with historic adventures.

 

And, something new, here’s my review turned into a video! I’d love to know what you think.

 

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Author Interview: Sarah Myria Carter

Today I am fortunate to have author Sarah Myria Carter, who wrote and illustrated the Seeker series, on my blog.

seekersWhat book are you promoting right now?
I am promoting Seekers book 4 called Seekers-Deception.

Synopsis of Seekers-Deception:

Secrets are what we use to protect love ones from knowing a dark truth of their past. But even Seekers make mistakes and hide themselves in a mortal world, when an ancient book is in danger the adventure exposes a hidden truth of the past that should have been long forgotten.

What inspires you to write?
The fact many don’t know the word of God, and cartoons may be the Solution.

What’s the best part of being a writer?
Being in charge what goes in your Story. Read more

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Author Interview: Joshua Blum

Today I am thrilled to have Joshua Blum, author the of adult fairy tale, The Thirteenth Hour, on my blog today.

13th Hr BookCover6x9 amazon bigger text thumbnail3 500x759Synopsis of The Thirteenth Hour:

The Thirteenth Hour, a fairy tale for adults influenced by and paying homage to 80s fantasy and scifi movies, is a tale about dreams and wishes, wild hearts and childhood promises, and the quest to find the unsung hero that lies in all of us. A young man is reluctantly catapulted into a dangerous quest he’d previously only thought possible in fairy tales. Though his travels take him around the known world, the more important changes occur within, as he learns a little about what it means to live a life worth living, to die well, and what makes for great kisses.

What genre(s) do you write in? Tell us about your books.

It’s taken me a long time to figure out what genre I write in. In fact, it wasn’t until a few months ago that I finally figured out what it’s called: fairytale fantasy for adults. Not “adult” in the X-rated sense. Just the chronological sense.
My first novel, The Thirteenth Hour, a fairy tale adventure tale influenced by and paying homage to 80s fantasy and scifi movies, took about 16 years, start to finish, though I obviously didn’t work on it continuously. For a long time, it was just something I wrote and illustrated for fun since it represented the kind of book I would have wanted as a teenager but never actually found. The rest of the books I have out all take place in the same universe. A Shadow in the Moonlight, a short novella, is the prequel, and “Falling Leaves Don’t Weep” is the epilogue. Your Star Will Glow Forever is a children’s picture book I made to read to my daughter using illustrations I modified from The Thirteenth Hour set to a little poem. Read more

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