Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal days – both the best and worst of their lives – they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the main destined to kill them.
As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate’s clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie’s only shot at not dying is surviving apart?
When THE LOOP was first announced, I immediately added it to my “Oh Em Gee” list on GoodReads. It sounded unique and intriguing, and since I’m a big fan of suspense and murder mysteries, I figured this book was right up my alley! I was right – and wrong.
I am a big lover of characters in the books I read. If the characters and their stories are compelling, I become emotionally invested, sometimes to the point of obsession. THE LOOP, clocking in at just over 200 pages, is very much a plot-driven novel. It’s fast-paced and action-packed, which makes it a quick read, but I was a bit let down by the lack of character development. Since we’re thrown right in to Ben and Maggie’s loop within the first few pages, we don’t get to learn what their lives were like before the loop, what they were interested in, what their families were like, if they had friends they cared about… the lack of this knowlede didn’t lead me to really care about whether or not they escaped the loop in the end.
The premise of the novel is excellent, but I think the execution of it was poor in some parts and fair-to-middling in others. There were things that didn’t really make sense, which sometimes is part of what makes a story great, but in this case, just left me feeling frustrated. Maggie had apparently been in other loops before, and remembered that she had, but couldn’t seem to remember how she got out of them. Then, both Ben and Maggie try to change the course of Fate by making different decisions to escape the loop, but their decisions didn’t really seem to make sense. They may be head-strong teenagers, but they’re still children, and I would think that most kids would try to involve others (parents or mentors?) to help keep them away from a man bent on murdering them. And while I’m at it, the sole purpose of the big bad wolf, Roy, seemed to be that of someone Ben and Maggie could run from to further the plot. By the end of the story, I had forgotten why Roy was even intent on murdering them in the first place, and asked myself several times why Roy didn’t just stop pursuing them to stop his own loop… Too many plot holes for me, and I’m not a big fan of Swiss cheese.
I know my review thus far is a bit of a rant/complaint, but I did give THE LOOP three stars, so there were some redeeming qualities. These qualities include the fact that it was a quick read, the action was non-stop, and it did keep me entertained. If you are a fan of plot-driven novels and are in search of an entertaining book you can read within the span of a plane ride or a few hours by the pool, THE LOOP may be just what you’re looking for! Just don’t over-think it and you’re set!
*A finished copy of this book was provided by the publisher and AuthorsOnTheWeb in exchange for an honest review.