It is the year 1981, and as an orphan with no recollection of her parents, a sixteen-year-old girl named Jett finds herself in quite the predicament. She has been running away from people who are trying to put her back into foster care, and is also attempting to find a chance to apply for college in order to start her career. Of course to be able to start college, she will need money to pay for the tuition. Then she has an incredible stroke of luck and finds a help wanted sign at a candy store called Watson’s Candies. The owners, Henry and Jay Watson, are old and seem quite mysterious and strange to Jett at first. However, she asks few questions when they quickly give her a job and even a room to sleep in and be safe.
During her time at the Watsons, she learns many skills that will help her in life. For the first time, she feels that she has a family. Even though she needs to hide from the authorities, she still manages to get in trouble occasionally. Her life is becoming everything she has ever dreamed of. Jett has a loving family and the opportunity for a college education, when suddenly everything changes.
One day the store catches on fire, and the next thing Jett knows, she finds herself coming out of a long coma. At first, things only seem a tiny bit strange, but as she asks questions, she finds out that she has somehow been transported to the year 1927. This is hard for her to accept at first, especially because she is a fish out of water and has little idea what anyone is talking about.
Even stranger, she finds both a young Henry and Jay! As Jett’s world is turned upside down, she must figure out a way to get back to the 80s and not mess up the 1920s in the process. How can she manage to get back to the world she knows, when she cannot even figure out how she got to this new time in the first place?
This was a pretty amazing novel. There were many stylistic choices I liked that the author made. I loved the use of 1920s slang, and I did pick up a few neat phrases along the way. However, it was hard for me to believe those phrases were actually used that often! For the most part, all the characters felt realistic, although I did not understand some of Jett’s decisions and impulses. I am basically the age that she was in the novel, and I would never even consider doing some of the things she did. But she did live in a different time, so that may account for some of the differences.
I always love time traveling in novels. The author made Jett’s reaction to this change quite believable. She was quite smart in some of the situations she was put in, and thought of things that I would never have thought of. In the end, I felt I could look up to Jett, despite some of her minor faults. Setting the novel initially in the 1980s was interesting, but I guess that makes it easier for Jett not have to cope with the lack of computers or smart phones!
This novel was a blast from the start until the finish. The relationships the characters had with each other were crafted extremely well, and I was very impressed. It is clear the author put a lot of effort into making both the setting and the characters lifelike. Even though I never lived in the 20s or even the 80s, I felt like I was able to briefly be a part of those eras and have fun with characters that were having the time of their lives.