No Time Like Now

Bloomsbury YA. Feb. 2024. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781547609284.
Gr 8 Up–In the year since Hazeem’s father passed away, he has discovered a secret power: Hazeem can extend the time lines of others. First, his hamster, then his friends Holly and Yamany, and his crush, Jack. However, when he tries to save his Nana, he’s gone too far and Time themself must intervene. Time, in the form of someone who looks just like Sandra Bullock and is wearing a universally flattering neon orange outfit, explains that due to Hazeem’s new power, he created a time debt and will destroy all of existence unless he takes back some of the time he granted to others. What follows is an exploration of grief, friendship, and love as Hazeem tries to save the time line. This is a fast-paced, light read that explores complex topics including grief, friendship, sexuality, gender identity, and love. Readers may feel frustrated by the confusing narrative, which leaves a few unresolved loose ends and conflicting changes to Time’s character. Despite this, the book is a page-turner with a satisfactory conclusion.
VERDICT A fast-paced emotional page-turner.

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