The Bean Books, 1
It’s not easy being Bean. Bean Donohue lives for her guitar, but her mom threw her out of the house during a snowstorm for singing. No way she’s going to get permission to go see The Grateful Dead at the Fillmore East.
Zak, her almost-boyfriend, will get drafted if he doesn’t get into art school, pot makes Bean paranoid, and her best friend can’t stop talking about sex. 1970’s not for wimps—but neither was 1885...or 1945. So why does Bean keep sliding backwards in time?
14+ due to adult situations
Although it was cooler than it had been upstairs, the night was still close, and the heat had made Bean slow and sleepy. I could wring out my hair like a dishrag, and it would dribble on the floor. The party swirled around her: ladies in rustling dresses of blue and yellow, gentlemen in evening jackets laughing together.
At the other end of the room was a cut crystal bowl, full of what looked like iced tea. Bean felt like she could dive into it. Standing in a circle around the punch bowl were a few more men in evening jackets.
How can you even think of wearing a jacket in this weather? She wandered over to the punch, which smelled wickedly alcoholic, like the bottle of rum Juuulia bought to make eggnog every Christmas. If she picked up one of the tiny glass cups next to the bowl and ladled punch into it, would it seem to those men in their stifling evening wear as if the glass were filling itself? That was kind of amusing, actually, but probably not a great idea. Besides, the stuff smelled like it would make you more thirsty, not less.
Maple leaves outside rustled again in the breeze, and the breeze offered no relief. She thought about Zak, and wondered if she’d be too miserable and sweaty to hug him right then, if he were with her. Which, of course, he was not. She thought about her room at home, her all-year Christmas lights, her guitar. She closed her eyes and tried to will herself back.
Outside, in the garden, Edwina laughed again. What a wonderful laugh she had! It sounded like it came straight from her belly, like she wasn’t afraid of being un-ladylike. Was she the one who had been crying on Bean’s last trip to this time and place? It certainly seemed like the same evening: the party, the Japanese lanterns, the night’s humid breeze...
Posted by completedreviews on 24th Jan 2016
The past can never be completely forgotten.
Bean was such an interesting protagonist. Her reactions to all of the truly bizarre things that happen to her were the perfect blend of curiosity and apprehension. Both of these emotions suited her personality well. I wouldn’t have expected anything else from her, especially the first few times that she suddenly found herself flung into the past. While I don’t know if Ms. Potter is planning to write a sequel, I enjoyed this character so much that I would be excited to hear from her again if the author ever decides to revisit this universe.
It took quite a while for any clues about what was happening to Bean. I would have really liked to have a few of them earlier on in the plot. Waiting so long to share them slowed down the pacing at times because of how much energy the narrator needed to reserve in order to keep dancing around this topic. It also made it difficult for me to tell if this was supposed to be a mystery, a science fiction novel, or something that was a little of both until I was well more than halfway through it.
The dialogue made me feel like I was actually living in the 1970s. It included some slang terms from that era that I’d never actually heard of before. Needing to look them up and then realizing that they were actually very common words back then made me like the dialogue as a whole even more than I had already. Not only was it genuine, it was a lot of fun to read!
I’d recommend Time Runs Away With Her to anyone who likes unique time travel stories.
Posted by Marcus Damanda on 21st Jan 2016
“Love is the heaviest energy of all.”
To those of you who were alive in 1970, welcome back. To those of you who weren’t, just welcome. You’re going to love it here. Pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa. It’s cold outside. Snow is falling. It’s time to line the needle up to your favorite track on the latest Grateful Dead album and melt away the present day.
Meet Rebecca—that’s “Bean” to her friends and peers. She’s sixteen years old, living the difficult life with her single mom “Juuulia,” learning to sing and play guitar without lessons, yearning for a little encouragement and love. There is a chance for love, she supposes, in the odd, long-haired art student named Zak. Her best friend and partner in high school harmonies, meanwhile, is Suzanne, who happens to have the coolest mom ever. A mom who would never kick her out of her house in the middle of the night at the beginning of a snow storm. Suzanne has a boyfriend, too: Blair, the local track star with the regular pocket joint and the unnerving, ever-shifting eyes. Bean yearns, too, to attend the exclusive, too-expensive Deerwood academy where her mother had once been a straight-A student—back when her mother had been rich, before the family had ostracized her, before Juuulia’d entered into a marriage seemingly predestined for divorce … and had Bean.
But, boy, our girl can play guitar. She really can. With the help of Suzanne and her new friend Samantha, she might even get her singing where it needs to be, too. She feels a guilty pleasure that Zak considers her a “troublemaker,” as well, but she knows better. There’s just this … one thing.
Bean’s a time traveler, you see. Not that she can control it—and that’s a problem. And things in the little town of Stormkill are about to get very interesting.
In TIME RUNS AWAY WITH HER, Christine Potter serves up a book for young adults, teens, and grownups alike. Fans of realistic and dramatic fiction will find themselves well-served by the poignant and awkward day-to-day struggles Bean faces, as well as by the spot-on historical references, the perfect blend of nostalgia and edginess. Fans of the paranormal will be swept up in the mysteries of Bean’s oddity, the ghosts of a town’s past shrouded by dark rumors.
And then, of course, there’s the romance. It’s both real and sweet, textured by the difficulties of growing up, complicated by the unpredictable intrusions of Bean’s uncontrolled gift—and threatened by … But, no. That would be telling.
At the outset of this story, one really does want to get comfortable on the couch with a hot beverage, but be warned—there’s something unsafe here, as the story wheels towards several resolutions at once. Not all of them are easy. But, in the end, they are very, very satisfying.
TIME RUNS AWAY WITH HER is a deceptively simple story. But by the time it’s over, the reader realizes with a goofy smile just how deftly Potter juggled all of the subtle elements that ultimately converge with a climactic and dramatic crash, rendering an artful tale at once uplifting, heartbreaking, fascinating, and unique.
Posted by s o'keefe on 29th Oct 2015
Looking for a book to gift the teenager in your life? This is it. Thinking YA novels are behind you now that you are “an adult”? Wrong. Potter has a gift for story and authentic detail that is irresistible. I’m happy to say I am never too old to relate to life as a teenager in the 1970s. Oh those were the days, right? And even if the 70s wasn’t your decade, this novel will make you wish it had been your decade. Potter serves up 1970 in the most delicious ways. Take one Bean Donahue with guitar and some terrific tastes in music and clothing and add the sudden slices of time travel that sweep her up and take you with her as she shifts her way through time. If that isn’t enough (and it would have been), add the moral dilemmas we all face at the age of 16 going on to adulthood and tadah you have a book you won’t want to put down. You have a book that reaches its ageless audience with a savory plot. This book had me yearning to time travel back to 1970 in order to feel life as fully as Bean Donahue does in this book. This book has me hoping Potter plans to write a sequel.
Posted by T Jones on 21st Oct 2015
I am admittedly very much a former young adult but both the adult I am and the kid I was thoroughly enjoyed this book. Bean Donohue, her boyfriend Zak, BFF Suzanne, mom Juuulia and all the other charazcters are convincingly realized and the story, which is by turns eerie, funny, touching and scary carries you along at a brisk insistent pace. It's a story about love in many forms, the perils of trust and betrayal thereof, and coming to terms with coming of age. Oh, and time travel. Did mention time travel? Christine Potter takes the reader on an exhilarating ride back and forth from the age of Queen Victoria to the far-out 1970s, with plenty of cool music along the way.
Posted by T. Minogue on 16th Oct 2015
What a wonderful journey to 1970, or 1946, or the late 1800s. Adolescent love set against a backdrop of early Grateful Dead, The Fillmore East, and Country Joe & The Fish. Thoroughly enjoyable!