Review Detail

A Penny Lost Featured
Young Adult Indie 1416
Time Travel Novel
(Updated: October 29, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
1.0
‘A Penny Lost’ is the story of Penelope Grace (Penny) a high school student who can read other’s emotions. Penny feels overshadowed by her identical twin sister, Dinah. She also feels neglected and ignored by her parents. One day Penny sees the sad aura of a home that used to have a very happy aura. When Penny and Dinah investigate, a machine sucks Penny into a time-traveling universe. Dinah is left behind but Penny is accompanied by the young scientist who invented the machine.
What I Loved:
I really loved time-travel novels. When they are done correctly, they can be so enthralling. ‘A Penny Lost’ was fast paced and interesting. I also really loved the back story about how they became time travelers. The explanation of the time-traveling universe was simple and easy to follow. One of the issues I had with Alexandra Braken’s novel’ Passenger’ was how much explanation and world building went on and how little action took place.
I also really loved the times that they traveled to and I enjoyed how Penny shaped events that took place in history. I connected with the characters of Penny and Stranger as well as Ricky and his wife. I also really loved the settings. The present day Penny lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I can't tell you how many books I read that take place in San Francisco, New York, or L.A. It was refreshing to have a setting that's different. I also really loved the times and places that Penny and Stranger traveled to. I loved the Lusitania part.

What Left Me Wanting More:
The first thing that threw me off was that Penny called her companion, ‘Stranger’. Penny does this because she doesn’t know his real name and he has lost his memory. It just seemed kind of rude name to me.
The big issue for me with ‘A Penny Lost’ was the writing style. It was a little unpolished and hindered the flow of reading. It was often awkward and forced me to reread a lot of sentences. For example:

‘ Instead of a steady flow of colors around him, the whole room started to dance in waves, like just above the asphalt on a hot day, only the entire room and without the added heat.’

My Final Verdict:
I really loved the premise of ‘A Penny Lost’ and would love to find out what happens next. I also loved the eras Penny and Strangers traveled to. With a little more polishing I think ‘A Penny Lost’ is a great time-traveling read.
Update:

I have since listened to the audio book of 'Dead Wake', the story of the sinking of the Lusitania, by Eric Larson. I was really interested to learn that Grace French was a real person and really did search for someone who looked like her on the Lusitania. I am impressed with  how Bennett tied this into 'A Penny Lost' so skillfully. So I am slightly upping my rating.
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