So Close to You

( 6 )


Rachel Carter launches a mind-blowing time-travel trilogy with her YA novel So Close to You.
Lydia Bentley doesn’t believe the rumors about the Montauk Project, that there’s some sort of government conspiracy involving people vanishing and tortured children. But her grandfather is sure that the Project is behind his father’s disappearance more than sixty years earlier....

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So Close to You

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Rachel Carter launches a mind-blowing time-travel trilogy with her YA novel So Close to You.
Lydia Bentley doesn’t believe the rumors about the Montauk Project, that there’s some sort of government conspiracy involving people vanishing and tortured children. But her grandfather is sure that the Project is behind his father’s disappearance more than sixty years earlier.
While helping her grandfather search Camp Hero, a seemingly abandoned military base on Long Island, for information about the disappearance, Lydia is transported back to 1944—just a few days before her great-grandfather’s disappearance.
Lydia begins to unravel the dark secrets of the Montauk Project and her own family history, despite warnings from Wes, a mysterious boy she is powerfully attracted to but not sure she should trust.

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  • So Close to You
    So Close to You  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Carter’s debut, a Full Fathom Five property, uses real-life rumors of a secret WWII-era government project as the basis for a romantic time travel story. Seventeen-year-old Lydia Bentley’s great-grandfather disappeared more than 60 years ago in a rumored government experiment known as the Montauk Project. Exploring Long Island’s Camp Hero, the supposed site of the project, with her grandfather, Lydia stumbles into a time machine that catapults her back to just before her great-grandfather vanished, forcing her to decide whether to risk saving him and altering the future. Adding to Lydia’s dilemma is Wes, a mysterious and handsome Project operative who she is attracted to, but isn’t sure is trustworthy. Parts of Carter’s plot are too convenient—Lydia lands back in time exactly six days before her great-grandfather vanishes, and she quickly befriends her great-great aunt and other ancestors. Readers will be hooked, though, by the colorful details of life in 1944, the palpable feelings between Wes and Lydia, and a cliffhanger twist at the end that sets up the next book in this planned trilogy. Ages 14–up. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
A wan time-travel tale delivers a clichéd romance and a little history lesson. Lydia's grandfather has been haunted by the disappearance of his father when he was a child in 1944. He spends his days tramping through the abandoned Camp Hero for evidence of the Montauk Project ("the East Coast Area 51"), which he believes is responsible. While examining yet another overgrown bunker with him one day, Lydia finds a door open and makes her way through a series of mostly empty corridors to a room with a beautiful boy and a mysterious chamber. She plunges into the chamber and is taken back to 1944, to the active Camp Hero where her great-grandfather is stationed. Coincidences pile up: Her great-great-grandfather, a doctor, just happens to be there, too, with her great-great-aunt, just her age. She is welcomed into the family with almost no questions asked, from which point she watches for her opportunity to prevent her great-grandfather's disappearance. Oh, and the beautiful boy, Wes, is also there, to prevent her from changing time. The history is conveyed mostly through Lydia's denseness as she encounters such unfamiliar concepts as a girdle and "The Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B." Eyes will roll as Wes and Lydia declare undying love in scenes dripping with syrup; lids will droop as Wes tortuously explains the Montauk Project. A cliffhanger-ish ending dangles the promise of more of the same. (Science fiction/romance. 12 & up)
ALA Booklist
“Back to the Future meets The X-Files.”
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—The rumors surrounding the no-longer-operational military base near Lydia Bentley's home in Montauk, New York, range from its having underground laboratories to deadly reptoid aliens. Haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her great-grandfather from the base during World War II, Lydia searches for answers and becomes involved in a game of life and death when the carefully hidden machines at Camp Hero send her back in time to 1944. Carter deftly deals with the perils and pitfalls of time travel, presenting well-rounded characters and a realistic look at life during wartime in the 1940s. She serves up plenty of fast-paced action, and readers will be relieved to know that So Close to You is the first in a planned trilogy. There are no historical notes about Camp Hero, which exists, and its purported connections to the Montauk Project, which may or may not.—Sara Saxton, Tuzzy Consortium Library, Barrow, AK
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062081056
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 638,622
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Rachel Carter has been a teacher, a nanny, a caterer, and a bellhop. A graduate of the University of Vermont and Columbia University, Rachel is also the author of So Close to You and This Strange and Familiar Place. She lives in Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 25, 2013

    So Close to You is one of those book I didn't have any expectati

    So Close to You is one of those book I didn't have any expectations about, because the description painted such a vague and mysterious description of the story. That didn't deter me at all though, and actually made me more curious to find out what the book was about by reading it because I was just so intrigued.

    Unfortunately I don't think that worked as well as it could have, because the story ended up underwhelming me from a creative standpoint, although it still managed to be an entertaining read that has a more fascinating plot than other similar books to it have had.

    Reasons to Read: 

    1. A fun, VINTAGE setting:

    I love that such a unique setting was included in the story, as it related to Lydia's ancestors and Rachel included so many little details that I felt helped to set the atmosphere for the era. It's a lot of fun without actually being a historical fiction read, and I think this makes it really stand out from other YA books. It's definitely something I'd love to see more of in the future from upcoming releases!

    2. Strong familial relationships:

    I really liked that a lot of emphasis was put on Lydia's relationships with various members of her family, especially her parents and grandfather. But it becomes increasingly apparent how close-knit this family is when other members make their appearance and you see them interact with one another. This is an absolute breath of fresh air and for me, it made Lydia and her family instantly likable characters and something I could really relate to. And I appreciate that it provides a lot of motivation for the choices she makes during this first book.

    But I suppose I was just a tad too disappointed with some of the big reveals in the book, and I'm not very keen on the direction it seems to be heading in. It seems like there are a lot of questions regarding the background of the world and Lydia's situation, and too many ideas felt like they were thrown together somewhat haphazardly to really mesh well. And I'm really not sold on the romantic aspect either, which just feels too forced for my liking.

    It's still a very quick read that presents a number of interesting ideas and has some very strong non-romantic relationships. And I think it is creative from one perspective, just not in the way I had hoped it would be. So the problem here may have been my expectations (as few as they may have been) rather than the story itself.

    ARC won in Epic Reads giveaway. 

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    I don¿t even know where to start right now. All I can say is tha

    I don’t even know where to start right now. All I can say is that I am
    completely blown away. It isn’t very often that a book catches me by
    surprise. I am a writer myself and so I usually try to figure out the
    plot and where the author is going with the story, why I am reading it.
    I was so engrossed in Rachel Carter’s book and so completely captivated
    that I just wanted to know what happens next…the story wasn’t as
    predictable as I thought it was going to be. Of course, with this being
    a trilogy…there has to be a cliff hanger but I wasn’t expecting this
    cliff hanger. Rachel left me wanting more. She wet my appetite, now I
    want the next course, and I don’t know where I am going to find the
    patience to wait for the next book. Can I just say that if Miss Rachel
    Carter wants to send me a copy of her second book…I would be jumping up
    and down. A big part of why I am reviewing this book on my blog and not
    just goodread’s is because I have a very special copy of SO CLOSE TO
    YOU. My copy was signed by Miss Rachel Carter herself. She had a
    giveaway that I entered on I believe the very last day you could enter
    and I won. I wasn’t expecting at all to win. I thought I would give this
    giveaway a chance even though I didn’t think I would win at all,
    needless to say I was completely stoked running out of my room ready to
    share the good news with the first person I saw as soon as I read the
    email. I tweeted Rachel thanking her for sending me the book and that I
    couldn’t wait to read it. I was hooked on page 1. I didn’t want to put
    the book down. That night my eyes were glued to the page. I think I was
    up until 3 am before I finally gave up to try to get some sleep. I am
    one of those people who work a full time job during the day, so I was
    completely impatience about wanting to get home to finish the book. It
    seemed like things came up every day because I didn’t get the chance to
    finish SO CLOSE TO YOU until today. I was only half way through the book
    when I was already recommending people that I work with to read the
    book, and telling friend’s that they should go pick up a copy. I guess I
    should start telling you more about the book and less about my
    experience with it. The Story is about Lydia and how she comes to find
    out that the Montauk Project really truly does exist. She realizes that
    her grandfather isn’t crazy and she wants to save his childhood. What
    she doesn’t know is where to start or what the consequences will be.
    Lydia loves her family so much that she is willing to do anything for
    them. Lydia meets Wes, a mysterious boy, first when he happened to be in
    the facility where Lydia became stuck in the Montauk Project; she
    doesn’t expect to see him again in 1944 where she becomes part of the
    past. The book shows Lydia’s journey in the pass and how Wes is
    involved. There is so much I want to say about what happens in the books
    but I don’t want to give any important spoilers away. Lydia: The
    heroine of our story. She is definitely one of my favorite characters. I
    am usually one of those people who pick one of the not necessarily minor
    characters but one of the characters who is not a lead in the story. I
    am not usually the hugest fan of the lead characters. For example: Yes,
    I read twilight and my favorite character was Alice not Bella, not
    Edward, and not Jacob. I was an Alice fan the entire time. Rachel did a
    great job with Lydia, I think she has some room to grow, but I think she
    did well mapping out Lydia and her life. In a way I felt like I knew
    Lydia, like she was a personal friend of mine, I was rooting for Lydia
    to succeed. I could relate to the love that she had for her family and
    how she wanted to fix things; to help the people she loved. I know that
    Lydia isn’t going to leave things how they are in her life right now, so
    I am looking forward to my next adventure with Lydia because I know that
    her time with the Montauk Project is not done. Wes: Definitely loved
    Wes right away. I was hoping that he wouldn’t be a “bad” guy but I think
    I would have been okay if we was. I just liked him right away. Wes is
    the boy that you crush on in high school. The cute loner boy that keeps
    to himself, not really saying much, being betrayed like he could be the
    sensitive type. I looked forward to every time Wes would enter in on the
    pages of the book. I had my own theories about Wes that are still up in
    the air right now, because I won’t to see where his future lies in the
    rest of the series. Mary: Who wouldn’t want a sister like Mary? She
    would be anyone’s perfect best friend. I guess I shouldn’t say anyone
    but just about you have to be a complete grouch not to love Mary. I even
    think that if you were a grouch, Mary could put a smile on your face.
    Mary has so many sides, one minute she is the complete flirt and the
    next she is wishing she could just get the one guy’s attention that she
    really likes. Mary is very blunt about things two which is what made me
    love her right away. I hope we will be able to see Mary again. Lucas: I
    had a feeling Lucas was going to be one of those sweetheart boys that is
    charming but yet who’s crushes never leave last long. I know a few
    Lucas’ in my own life. Lucas is more like the popular guy that has a new
    crush every week. It was so easy for him to switch his focus to another
    girl. I have never been drawn to time traveling books but SO CLOSE TO
    YOU has made me think about possibly trying out the genre again. I might
    just leave my time traveling experiences to Carter's book only. I don't
    want to get my hopes too high because Carter's book definitely set the
    bar high for my experiences with time travel. I absolutely love that the
    book is set in our time and in the time of World War II. I have always
    had an interest with World War II and the holocaust. Rachel: You did a
    great job with your debut novel. I am looking forward to the sequel.
    Keep Writing you definitely have a fan in me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2012

    Lovely Book!!!! I didn't have very high expectations, just looki

    Lovely Book!!!! I didn't have very high expectations, just looking for a book to read among the many this summer. I was soooo pleased with this! I wish it was a little longer, but then again I feel like it was a nice length because it wasn't rushed and it wasn't stretched out. The description of the book was a bit different than what the book actually turned out to be, but it was a happy surprise! I love how it's set in the WWII era and I can't wait for the next book, though it won't come out until next summer! I would deffinetly recommend this, even if you aren't into the whole sic-fi thing because it's just an intriguing part of the book, a basis of the plot. I don't know how to describe it, it's just a really good book whether you like sic-fi or not!!! You'll just have to take my word for it! Very good book and a bright new author!!!! Congrats Rachel Carter!

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  • Posted July 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I find the idea of time travel interesting and I love a good mys

    I find the idea of time travel interesting and I love a good mystery so this sounded like a great mix of both. I thought there would be a bit more romance in the book, but there wasn't really. It is more about her relationships with people and trying to figure out what is going on and what she has to do in the end. It's a very steady paced book. It has some action, but not a whole lot. A little romance, but not as much as I thought it would. In general it was a great story though.

    Lydia is just a normal girl who hangs out with her friends and loves her family. Her Grandfather lives with them and he is obsessed with the idea that when his father (her great-grandfather) disappeared that it had something to do with the military and some secret project they are hiding. She hikes with him at Camp Hero all the time to look for clues or anything to prove that the Montauk Project is real. One day when they go, as her grandfather is headed back to the car, Lydia discovers that the rumors are true and now she is in 1944. I think it's a bit unrealistic how she takes it all. She is determined to try to change things and stop her great-grandfather from disappearing, but the fact that she could be killed for knowing about the project seems lost on her. I mean she knows, but she still goes about doing things in public and trying to get information. I liked her determination though, even though I think she was a little bit dumb for doing some of the things she does. I never really felt a connection to her, but I enjoyed reading the story through her.

    Wes is Mr. dark and mysterious. He's good looking and very secretive. He seems to be stalking Lydia, but after a time she starts to fall for him. We find he isn't so much stalking as keeping an eye on her. Hoping she won't do something stupid, wanting to get her back to her own time, and wanting to protect her. We get to know him just enough to make us want more. I really liked Wes, and I am really, really hoping we get more of him.

    So Lydia is in 1944 now. I really thought the setting, fashions and behaviors were done very well and made it believable for me. Lydia is trying to uncover the secrets of the project an figure out how her great-grandfather disappears and find a way to stop it. She wants so badly for her grandfather not to feel so lost. I think that it's a bit selfish honestly since she is told that if she changes anything it can have a major impact in her present time. I also find it a bit too convenient that she just ends up staying with her long ago family and manages to get close to them. The fact that they would take in a random stranger in wartime just seems pretty far fetched. Especially since they are scrimping and trying to live with less than they are used to already.

    Overall I thought it was a great book. I liked discovering what was going on with the secret project and how certain people were involved. I think the time travel aspect of it was done well and explained well, but as I said, so many things seemed a bit too convenient. The bit of romance was sweet, and I hope we get more of it. I am sure we will. The ending was a bit expected. I knew that something like that would happen. I am interested to see where the story will go from here. What I liked most about this book was definitely the setting. I could really imagine it well. I initially thought it was a stand alone, but it is in fact going to be a trilogy.

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    SO CLOSE TO YOU caught me so off guard. Based on the synopsis, I

    SO CLOSE TO YOU caught me so off guard. Based on the synopsis, I thought the main character, Lydia would travel to an alternate dimension, as in another world. So as I read along, struggling to become immersed in the story, I was so happy when I learned that Lydia was not traveling to another world, but to another time. If I had known that prior to beginning, I would have been way more excited to jump into the story.

    As you might have guessed, I found the opening paragraphs to be a bit slow going. Lydia was a nice enough character, but I think I just had a hard time with the setting, or the tone. It felt a bit depressing, learning about her grandfather, and it just seemed to drag. I know that makes me seem like a whiner because the story picks up not too far in, around page seventy. I've found I'm a bit into immediate gratification when it comes to books these days.

    I want to talk about Lydia's journey to the past, but I don't want to spoil the story. The era involved happens to be one of my favorites. Author Rachel Carter did a wonderful job of immersing Lydia, and the reader, in the past. The culture, the thought of the people from that time... every aspect felt authentic. This was my favorite aspect of SO CLOSE TO YOU.

    I never really thought about it before, but it seems I really love time travel stories. The psychological aspect, the fact that any choice can change the entire future, fascinates me. This is what Lydia faces in the story. While she wants to make things right, she must weigh that against her own existence. While reading SO CLOSE TO YOU, I was reminded many times of other great stories involving time travel such as BACK TO THE FUTURE and FREQUENCY.

    Like I said before, SO CLOSE TO YOU surprised me, in a great way. A story that I read purely by chance, even though I didn't expect to enjoy it, became a story that a really liked a lot. I didn't love everything about it, such as the dreary opening, and the very end confused me. But it also intrigued me. I will absolutely be reading the next book in the series.

    Favorite Quote:

    " I hope that Wes is spying on me, because right now care if we've been doomed from the start. I want, for just one night, to close the distance that always seem to separate us. (ARC, pg 233)

    Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Delightful Beginning to an Upcoming Series!

    Rachel Carter's debut novel, So Close to You, is a delightful beginning to an upcoming series. Readers follow high school senior Lydia through time and space to the 1940's, where she finds trouble and a yearning for truth.

    The Montauk Project is a new subject for me and I'm particularly happy that it veers from what's usually written about in young adult novels. Sure time travel isn't new on the scene, but Carter has dusted off the edges and given the concept a new look. As an aspiring journalist, Lydia loves digging for the truth, so it's no surprise when she jumps at the opportunity to investigate the usually impenetrable secret base of The Montauk Project. After years of listening to the conspiracies from her grandfather Lydia feels a sense of obligation to do everything she can to put the rumors to rest.

    Lydia is somewhat of a conundrum. She gets stuck in the past for a good part of the novel and resists leaving all for the sake of her family. One may say that's heroic and selfless, but at times she came across as selfish, never taking into account the warnings of someone more qualified to understand the technicalities of time travel. I'd say she sealed her fate the second she decided to be a hero and take history into her own hands. I was scared that she would make the wrong choices and ruin her life in her own time, but I can't fault her for taking risks.

    The blast into the past gives readers a nice taste of life during a time of war. It helps the novel stand out because time travel usually focuses more on the scientific facts while Carter focuses more on historical facts. The romance has a slow build up, but once it gets going it simmers right until the end.

    I have much hope for the trilogy's future novels. Seriously, I can't imagine what may or may not happen next and the curiosity is killing me. So Close to You will please science fiction fans and throw mystery fans into a frenzy with a startling ending!

    Originally posted on Lovey Dovey Books
    *ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

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