Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Completed: "The Repeat Year" by Andrea Lochen

Completed: The Repeat Year by Andrea Lochen, 2013, 9780425263136.

Committee book.  Chick Book but I liked it anyway.  I think the book ran too long.  The novel is just shy of 400 pages.  I like time travel stuff, this kinda fits with one character going back to relive the previous calendar year.

Olive awakens on New Year's Day in some guy's bed.  Uh-oh.  Is this Alex, who she had a summer fling with?  Nope.  The guy in bed is Phil, her ex-boyfriend who completely cut her off last Spring.  Olive quickly dresses to leave but Phil is lovey-dovey and kind.  What the hell?

Phil drives Olive back to her place. Huh? I don't live here anymore.  Olive finds her old apartment still has her old rommate and pal.  All of Olive's stuff is there.  Her computer and phone say she is back in 2011.  Olive has some freaking out to do.  Olive goes to visit her mom for consolation.  Her mom is hosting a New Year's Day party.  Olive finds out from another party guest (I don't recall the characters name but maybe it was Sherri) that Olive is reliving her year.  The other guest had the same thing happen to her a few times already - and is doing it this year as well.

Why is she reliving the year?  To correct mistakes?  What mistakes?  Save people?  Somehow save herself?  Who the hell knows because there is no voice from God or the beyond.  Sherri does not know.  Heck, Sherri is a bit of an asshole and in the middle of her own hot messes.

Olive starts trying to redo what she thinks she may have done wrong.  Appreciate Phil.  Not boink Alex the doctor.  Finally start to heal her grief over her father's death.  Come to terms with her widowed mother's new marriage.  Re-learn how to deal with the stress and grief of being an ICU nurse.  Adjusting to being an adult and her seemingly shiftless best pal and roommate, Kerrigan.  Learning to let go and not worry.  Yadda yadda. So on.  So forth.

For me the weak points of this are the constant self-nagging and guesswork Olive gets into.  Understandablae and realistic behavior but I tired of it.  Mr. Perfect Phil got on my nerves.  Talk about overdoing the lovey-dovey bits.  Other characters would declare to Olive how perfect Phil was.  Yeah, yeah he's a manly man and oh-so sensitive and understanding.

1.  Gratuitous Madison geography.
2.  I dig time travel stuff.  I would like to find a novel where everyone goes back in time to relive a year.  But a novel where everyone would have traveled back.  Peole and know what awful things they may have done and so would their victims.  People who died during that time would be clueless.  Relationships would bust.  Tackles avoided.  Crimes stopped.
3.  Olive is stricken with guilt over what she did the first time around to destroy her relationship with Phil.  That incident, boinking the doctor, is revealed to Phil and he takes a powder.  But, it's a weird thing.  If Olive is reliving everything then that infidelity never actually happened.  It's like getting mad at someone for having a dream.
4. Lochen teaches at UW-Waukesha.  I think I went to a meeting there once.  The meeting was a bust.  Maybe that was the tech college I went to.
5.  I liked the book even with the length and mushy parts.  Lochen did some fine work.

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