Time Will Tell

Little, Brown. Sept. 2021. 432p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316537780.
Gr 10 Up–Liam, Elayah, Marcie, and Jorja, who grew up together in a rural town, have decided to unearth a time capsule that was buried over 30 years ago by their parents. The teens hope to find some cool 1980s treasures and a link to their parents’ pasts, but they also discover an item that leads to a lot of questions: a bloody knife with a note attached that reads, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to kill anyone.” Now, the teens are faced with the idea that one of their parents may have killed someone or may be covering for someone who did, so they band together to uncover what exactly happened. The story shifts from present day to 1986 to reveal troubles from the past that resurface in the present. What starts out as a great suspenseful mystery turns into a convoluted narrative with confusing character identities and arbitrary romantic relationships from all different angles. There’s an uneven balance of the romance and thriller genres, and the novel isn’t quite succesful at either. Teens will find the threads about the story’s glimpse at the 1980s amusing. Details about individual characters are omitted to build up the mystery, but it only serves as a detriment to characters’ development.
VERDICT Consider this an additional purchase.

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