23 Minutes

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Vivian Vande Velde
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9781629794419
Pages: 176

After a freak accident, Zoe Mahar developed the ability to rewind and redo her present actions for up to twenty-three minutes. Zoe often uses her gift to resolve small mishaps, but when she gets caught in a deadly bank robbery, she must use her gift to save lives. This includes the life of a handsome stranger and young private-eye, Daniel, who sacrifices himself to save Zoe. Tapping into her talent, Zoe goes back in time to reintroduce herself to Daniel before the robbery and strategize how to resolve the incident peacefully. However, Zoe can't exceed her time limit and she only has ten tries before the relived events are set in stone. On her ninth try, Zoe finds herself with Daniel at the mercy of the bank robber. Unfortunately, she goes past her allotted twenty-three minutes and must work with Daniel and a bank guard to stop the bank robber from killing anyone.

Velde’s story is a fast-paced thriller sure to keep readers glued to its pages until the very end. But aside from the time-travel chase, there is real depth and emotion behind Zoe Mahar. Readers meet foster care teen Zoe after she has stolen her classified psychiatric evaluations. Zoe is tired of her abusive past determining her present conditions. She juvenilely believes she can erase her emotional past by simply stealing her records. Trying to dispose of her paperwork, she runs smack into the bank robbery. As she tries to untangle the bank robbery with Daniel, Zoe learns that she must accept her past and rise above it so she can focus on helping others. One criticism of Velde’s story is that Zoe’s lengthy sarcastic reflections sabotage the story’s pacing from time to time. Otherwise, readers should plan to read this addictive book in one sitting.

*Contains mild language and mild violence.