Timeless by Rachel Spangler: Book Review

Date Published: July 9, 2017
Written by: Tara Scott
Category: Academics/Education, Book Review, Contemporary, Dramatic Romance (with lots of angst), Internal Journey, Lesbian Fiction, Romance, Series, Tara's Favourites, Urban Fantasy
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Timeless by Rachel SpanglerTimeless by Rachel Spangler is the second book in her Darlington series. It totally stands alone though, so if you haven’t read The Long Road Home, fear not—you can read this anyway.

Stevie Gellar likes her quiet, conflict-free life in New York City, writing successful books and hoping to get her first play produced. Despite hating anything associated with limelight (especially talking to other people), she agrees to go back to her old high school in Darlington, Illinois to accept an award, hoping to give her agent a story he can spin to get the play sold. She’s pleasantly surprised to see that the student teacher she had a crush on a decade ago not only remembers her, but is responsible for getting her out to Darlington. The only problem is that when Stevie finally has a chance to kiss Jody, her natural tendencies take over.

Counting down the hours until she can jet back to New York, everything changes for Stevie when she passes out on stage and wakes up in an impossibility. Stevie has to figure out how to get back to normal while dealing with bigoted bullies, a new friend who’s on the edge, and crushing on Jody all over again.

The Characters

Timeless is told in the first person from Stevie’s perspective. As a fellow conflict avoider, I found her easy to relate to as she negotiated her way through talking with strangers, getting up on stage and having a panic attack, and shying away from confronting homophobic and racist bullies. At an earlier time in my life, I could have easily been Stevie, minus the whole successful author thing. She grows so much in this book and I enjoyed seeing her come into her own, becoming the kind of person she (and anyone) could be proud of.

We may not ever get to see Jody’s perspective, but I appreciate that Rachel Spangler makes her vulnerable enough in her conversations with Stevie that she reveals the information we need to get to know her. She’s an excellent teacher who’s there for all of the right reasons, looking out for the queer kids in Darlington even as she stays largely closeted. Stevie shakes up her world, making Jody think about what she needs, and I was so happy with where she landed by the end of the book.

Fans of The Long Road Home will be happy to see more of Beth and Rory. We also get a glimpse of Kelly, the lead of Close to Home, in a surprisingly tender moment. The book has a lot of side characters, between the people of Darlington and its high school, as well as Stevie and Rory’s agent Edmond, and everyone adds something important to the story.

The Writing Style

Despite dealing with a theme as serious as bullying, Rachel Spangler’s easygoing writing style kept the pages turning. I found myself quickly engaged in the book and enjoyed it so much that I found myself thinking about it while I was at work, counting down the minutes until I could get back to reading.

The Pros

Everything worked about this book for me. The characters, plot, style, everything. Timeless is a wonderful book.

The Cons

None for me. Some might find the bullying upsetting, and while I expected that for myself, I actually never found it to be too much.

taras favourite lesbian booksThe Conclusion

I can’t believe I waited so long to read Timeless, because it’s SUCH a wonderful book. Close to Home might be Rachel Spangler’s best book, but Timeless is my favourite by her and I know I’ll be coming back to this one again and again.

Excerpt from Timeless by Rachel Spangler

Back in Jody’s car, I watched the few lights left on along Main Street fade behind us. The stars were much clearer here than in the city, so I stared at them even though I really wanted to stare at Jody. “Do you ever think about leaving? I mean I know the kids need you, but there are a lot of kids in need in a lot of places.”

“I don’t rule anything out. I don’t know if I want to teach in Darlington forever, but if I decided to leave, it wouldn’t be because I got tired or gave up.” She pulled into the long gravel driveway of Beth and Rory’s farmhouse, then killed the engine. “I won’t run from anything, but some days I do wonder what it would feel like to run toward something or someone.”

The words caught in my throat, the emotion behind them so raw and achingly beautiful. I should’ve kissed her. She was so close and so beautiful there in the starlight. I should have leaned in and taken her soft, pink lips with my own. I should have run my fingers along the smooth skin of her cheek and through her light strands of hair until I cupped the back of her head, holding her loosely but passionately against me.

What I should not have done is thank her for the ride and tell her I’d see her tomorrow, then fumble my way out of the seat belt and make an awkward retreat to the house. Yet that’s exactly what I did.

At least I’d given myself plenty to obsess about while I lay awake all night.

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781626390508
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Rachel Spangler Online 

Note: I received a free review copy of Timeless by Rachel Spangler. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.

Timeless Book Cover Timeless
Rachel Spangler
Fiction
April 15, 2014
254

What would you change about your past if you had the chance? What if you didn’t have a choice? Stevie Geller doesn’t do conflict. She likes her job as a successful novelist and playwright because it allows her to peacefully ensconce herself in her New York City loft, avoid human interactions, and leave personal drama for the page and stage. When her agent asks her to return to her hometown of Darlington, Illinois, to accept an award, she agrees only because he promises the process will be quick and easy. One panic attack and concussion later, Stevie is forced to confront her past in ways that seem to defy reality. As if befriending a social outcast and confronting high school bullies weren’t enough, she also finds herself falling for a closeted teacher. Along the way, Stevie must decide if some things are worth fighting for. In her rush to escape the past, will she leave behind a better future, or are some conflicts really timeless?

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Reviewer at The Lesbian Review
Tara Scott lives in Calgary, Canada with her family. If you don't find her with her Kindle in her hand, she's probably busy talking about what she's currently reading.

Tara Scott

Tara Scott lives in Calgary, Canada with her family. If you don't find her with her Kindle in her hand, she's probably busy talking about what she's currently reading.