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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Stranded: The Shorten Chronicles Book 1 by Rosalind Tate is a delightfully entertaining YA time travel novel that will leave you longing for Book 2. Thanks to time travel, twenty-first century Sophie Arundel finds herself stuck in a manor in 1925 England, along with her loyal dog Charlotte, and Hugo, an irritating but appealing classmate. This fish-out-of-water story is so easy to fall in love with. You have Sophie trying to get used to the cumbersome clothing, and discourteous gentlemen callers, while trying to find the secret portal that will return her home. Together, she and Hugo try to discover the portal and solve its mysteries, but find that history is happening in a very different way, where mobs run things and a dangerous revolution is about to take place. Being in a fancy house puts them at risk. The clock is ticking for Sophie and Hugo, and you will be on the edge of your seat, hoping they get back home alive.
Come for the premise, stay for the writing. This unique time travel romance novel is charming and suspenseful and would be perfect for film or television. Tate has a talent for sweeping you into a world you can believe in, with characters brimming with personality, quirks, and conflict. The author skillfully steers the characters and the reader through the plot with ease. Though time travel and romance certainly aren't new themes, Tate makes them feel fresh and alive. The crux of the story doesn't happen all at the beginning. We are given time and space to get to know Sophie and the other characters, and then, once she is stranded, you really care about what happens to her. I really admired the author's attention to detail, which lends realism to all that is going on, further grounding the story in a convincing way. Also entertaining is the way impulsive Sophie has to adjust to living in the strict customs of past society. This contrast was a perfect choice by the author. In short, you will be enchanted and thoroughly swept into Stranded: The Shorten Chronicles Book 1 by Rosalind Tate.