Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: Return Once More by Trisha Leigh with Giveaway

by Trisha Leigh
Bloomsbury Spark
YA Fantasy
289 pages

If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you?

Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love.
If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?
Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance.
Or would you have the strength to watch him die?
But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn’t belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own—and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it— in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.


There's nothing better than opening a book only to get lost in the pages, and this one swept me away.

The book starts in ancient Rome and immediately brings not only the scene but the tastes, emotions, smells and everything around it to life. . .and that with a futuristic girl standing on the sidelines with the simple task to observe. Although the story takes place between a very far future and a (for the most part) very far past, the two extremes both seem familiar and natural. Even the characters come across so authentic that it's no problem to sympathize with them no matter what  year they come from.

Kaia's training as an observer made her a little stiff at first, but when she slips back to her 'time' we learn that she's under quite a bit of pressure to not mess up. I was quickly drawn in by her wit, good nature, and willingness to take risks...which often left her in trouble. Kaia is seventeen and not only does she tend to get distracted easily, but sometimes reacts without thinking or simply decides the moment is more important than the outcome. In other words, she acts like a slightly impulsive teen.

This is a fast-paced story, which gains layers as the plot grows from Kaia's simple inability to always follow rules to an outright, time-travel intrigue. I enjoyed the leaps to interesting (and not always well-known) moments of history, while they wove into a larger and unexpected threat in Kaia's true world. The deeper Kaia digs, the more dangerous things become. But what these dangers are and how they really all fit together is something which kept me guessing until the last pages.

It's not only the plot and the characters which pulled me in, but the questions of fate, destiny, and right vs. wrong. The scenes chosen in history are done with the intention to leave an impression on Kaia and the other students, but each one also left an impression on me, the reader. Basic questions dealing with moral, ethics and human nature are constantly brought to life. While Kaia is affected by these, it still doesn't bog the story down and make it feel depressing or dark. The teenageness of it all and lighter writing style keep it from growing too heavy. Of course, the idea of time travel and the question surrounding the results of changing history are also brought up...questions that have been explored numerous times. Still, I found the way these were handled refreshing and didn't feel like the message was being regurgitated in any way.

This was a pure joy to read, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys time travel, science fiction, mystery and intrigue. I think fans of YA Dystopian would fall for this one as well.

And here she is. . .

Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies, reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.

Her family is made up of farmers and/or almost rock stars from Iowa, people who are numerous, loud, full of love–the kind of people that make the world a better place. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they’ve taught, through characters and stories–made up, of course, but true enough in their way.

Trisha is the author of THE LAST YEAR series and the WHITMAN UNIVERSITY books. She’s represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

To learn more about Trisha Leigh, please visit her at

If you enjoy New Adult books or a good contemporary romance, please check out my pen name, Lyla Payne!

Author links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giselle said...

This sounds like a great read! I like the thought-provoking aspect of it and it sounds very well written overall! Great review!

Anonymous said...

My niece would probably love this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

Mary Preston said...

A very interesting story line.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting story. I think my daughter would love it!