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The Loop
     

The Loop

4.3 7
by Shandy Lawson
 

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Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal day--both the best and worst of their lives--they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders

Overview

Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal day--both the best and worst of their lives--they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man who is destined to kill them.

As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate's clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie's only shot at not dying is surviving apart?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Thompson
Almost everyone experiences deja-vu sometimes, but it generally dissipates quickly. Such is not the case for sixteen-year-old Benjamin and Maggie who are stuck in a never ending loop drawing them together time after time like magnets, destined to fall in love and then die together at the hands of a local bully, Roy, unless they can break the cycle. This time when Benjamin meets Steve, another victim of this phenomenon who tries to warn him, Benjamin scoffs at the absurdity of the idea. Reliving one moment over and over is the stuff of fantasy. He's convinced Steve is crazy until Maggie dumps her drink on him in the mall, grabs him hissing "I want to get ahead of him this time, save us a lot of trouble," and drags him running for the exit where their killer is waiting. Maggie shoots Roy in an attempt to break the cycle. Unfortunately it puts them under the cops' radar as well. Each time they resist fate, it causes them physical pain. The characters are superficial but Benjamin's horror at what's happening is done well. The story is short and moves very quickly, but the ending is too neat and clean considering all the loose ends and changes to their fate they tried in each cycle. Nevertheless the "groundhog day" approach to a murder mystery will still hold reader's interest. It will be an especially good pick for reluctant readers. Reviewer: Mary Thompson
VOYA - Jen McConnel
When Benjamin heads to the French Quarter of New Orleans to kill some time on a sticky summer day, he has no idea that he is caught in a time loop. Things start to look familiar, though, and after a strange sense of deja vu, he starts to realize that he has lived through this day before. He does not remember what happens, but when he meets Maggie, Benjamin is sucked into a desperate race against time and fate. As he and Maggie struggle to stay alive, their time loop keeps pushing them toward the horrific moment before they are both murdered. The teens fight against the pull of the loop, but things look pretty grim as they march closer and closer to death. This novel is a fast-paced head trip that will both captivate and frustrate readers. Lawson expertly manipulates his readers' emotions, creating hope before cruelly shattering it. Readers will be on the edge of their seats through most of this great read if they can suspend disbelief enough to follow Benjamin into one bizarre situation after another. Once into the action, it is easy to believe, but the beginning raises a number of questions that remain unanswered. Fans of action, thrillers, and light science fiction will love getting sucked into The Loop. Reviewer: Jen McConnel
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Caught in a time loop, Ben and Maggie are forced to repeat the same two days over and over. Each loop ultimately ends with their cold-blooded murder at the hands of a ruthless killer. While Ben experiences only a strong sense of déjà vu, Maggie can remember certain pieces of previous loops. Together the teens decide to tempt fate, alter the circuit, and avoid destiny, thus beginning a life-or-death roller-coaster ride where danger, intrigue, and suspense linger at every turn. Readers will root for the likable although superficial main characters as they try to take control of their lives. A strong and fast-paced plot drives this short but gripping time travel adventure. While there are some questionable moments and loose ends, this debut novel comes to a satisfying conclusion.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Two teenagers relive their violent deaths over and over when they find themselves stuck in a time loop. Ben and Maggie have met cute hundreds of times; they just don't remember. Ben experiences strong déjà vu when he accidently spills iced tea on himself after crashing into Maggie on a mall escalator in New Orleans. That innocent encounter leads to attempted murder, 24 hours on the lam, an envelope full of racetrack winnings and a final showdown in a dirty storeroom, where they are shot in cold blood by the same criminal over and over for their misbegotten cash. Each time the teens attempt to change the circumstances that spell their demise, they are thwarted by the machinations of fate, which keeps placing them in the bullets' paths. Is escape possible, or are Ben and Maggie doomed to repeat the worst day of their lives forever? While the initial premise is captivating, the tendency of all the characters to explain exactly what is happening and why at any given moment in unimaginative dialogue quickly becomes monotonous. Ben's and Maggie's characterizations are thin, and the rules and origin of the loop itself are vague and unconvincing. But the short chapters, straightforward storytelling and slim size may make it attractive to some. Clever idea, flawed execution. (Fiction. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
"An unstoppable ride...This light, action-packed read will be particularly good for reluctant readers."—Booklist"

A quick, intense page-turner with a ridiculously clever plot and characters to die for."—Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author"

A life-or-death roller-coaster ride where danger, intrigue, and suspense linger at every turn."—School Library Journal"

A fast-paced head trip...Fans of action, thrillers, and light science fiction will love getting sucked into The Loop."VOYA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423160892
Publisher:
Disney Press
Publication date:
04/30/2013
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Shandy Lawson's "day jobs" have ranged from making wine recommendations to being a machinist, a dispatcher in an auto repair garage, a philosophy tutor at a local college and a stone mason. Creatively, he put most of his energy into a career as a performing song writer before turning his focus to writing fiction. Shandy lives and works in New York City. The Loop is his first novel.

Visit him online at www.shandylawson.com.

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The Loop 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
CNUcrazy09 More than 1 year ago
Let me just first say that I love time travel and romance meshed together in a book! Those are the best kind! I am a big YA reader. I love the time-travel, paranormal, and fantasy adventure stuff. I was first to this book in the bookstore where I work. I read the back of the book and thought, "what is a quote about not dying in a Walgreens doing on the back cover of the book?" Then I read the dust jacket and was hooked! OMG did the synopsis make me want to read more. The Loop is definitely at the top of my list of great reads! While the book itself is short, merely 190 pages for the hardcover edition, it is cram-packed with suspense, intrigue, time-travel, and romance. I found the time-travel aspect very interesting. There was a part about 50 pages from the ending where the story took a turn and I got a little confused (needed to go back and review a few pages to figure out what was happening). Also the narration shifts towards the end without any warning. You basically have to guess who is narrating based on the story. I think perhaps Chapter headings here would be great and make the story a little smoother to understand.  My favorite parts?!.....Trying to figure out how the author was going to end the story and how Ben and Maggie were going to work themselves out of the loop. I was curious just how the dynamics would work out between them and Roy (antagonist).  I have to say the whole book kept me guessing but in a great way and the short chapters had me continually reading and not wanting to stop! Ending was well done and I totally did not see it coming but it made sense. Without further ado let me say this....."GO GET THE LOOP!" You won't be sorry!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book vey pleasing. It had a good twist and it made you think. I love books that are short but make you really think....are you caught in a loop?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most information of this Clan is kept under lock and key, under strict secrecy. However, a way in is possible. It is impossible to know who is a member or not, and names are unknown currently. Information and applications are at "panda fall" all results. Supposedly, someone from this Clan allied with Ethereal Monday night to help raid Extinction ("reporter stan" result two for info on that).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I spy on clans but i am not part of one. If you want, i will go out and "join" a clan and see how they react so i can get a idea of the clans personality. I also know what is going on cause my spy bissness so ask me what clans doing what. Just yesterday, i was watching the extintion and found out there planing a raid on a very old, respected clan. They wouldent say what clan in the window of time i was spying but you better watch out! ~ contact me at bramblestars storm if you would liek me to work for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1. I do not feature bragger Clans in my newspaper. You can't post about how good you are in the ad section, let me send a character to test you. If nobody posts within twenty minutes, no matter what the response, i will say in my ads that you are innactive and trying to be active. If nobody responds, i wont put you in my ads at all. If they are welcoming, i will put them in and say something good. If i like the clan, they have a chance of becoming a shoutout clan. <p> 2. If you know any news at all, please say. That stretches from an attack with many deaths to the birth of kits to a new alliance to a new member! Most news is accepted. <p> 3. Please, post the leader of the Clan, starter of the rp/oldest member there, or writer of the story. I will choose a poem to add to my newspaper, the post that says where the poem is can come with a tag or just the poem straight on. Add the writer of the poem. <p> 4. All ads accepted, and I mean all! As long as you follow my rules it will be. <p> 5. The real gathering is always on the full moon, at 6:30 pm pacific to 9:00 pm pacific. No later, no earlier. It is always at 'wings of fire the brightest night' and hosted by me, Lomosohneg. StarClan has nothing to do with it, and isn't really even allowed. It is just to gather the Clans, so please, NO PROPHECIES OR STARCLAN. Some of the Clans that get invited don't believe in that or don't like it. <p> 6. Please respect other Clan customs, heroes, and, in some cases, where they live. Some Clans have heroes like Fatespeaker or Icemist, some like honorable, noble leaders, and some are murderous monsters who kill for fun! <p> That is my code. Serve it well.
Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa More than 1 year ago
I want to thank Disney Hyperion for supplying me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my opinion or review. Blurb from Goodreads: Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal days&mdash;both the best and worst of their lives&mdash;they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man destined to kill them. As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate&rsquo;s clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie&rsquo;s only shot at not dying is surviving apart? There's something about time travel books that just makes me happy. I just want to read them. I want to see the way the author bends time and gets the characters to jump through the loopholes that are inherent with this type of story. I have to say that Lawson did a really nice job with it. Think Ground Hogs Day, when you read this story. The characters are caught in a continuous loop until the &quot;problem&quot; they are facing works out. Except this book did go around and around in circles. While the characters recognized they were in the loops, we really only see the story told in once, which was nice considering it could have gone on and on and on with now stop! Ben is a nice character. I don't feel a total connection to him, and I really have no idea in my mind what he looks like. This was a disconcerting because I like to be able to picture the characters, it helps me think of them as more real. He does strike me as a typical teenage boy, tho, so that was a plus. Ben sees things as &quot;deja vu&quot; at first, not realizing it for what it is. Maggie, our other main character, has been in the loop longer than Ben. Having had more experience in the loop, Maggie knows what is going to happen well before Ben. So, when they deviate from their charted course, things are a bit thrown off.  I would have liked more background about how the characters first met. It is explained a bit in the story, but it would have been nice to actually see it happen. I think this would have given more credibility to their relationship and why they felt so drawn to each other. One of the inconsistencies in this story is the fact that Maggie has been in the loop for a longer time than Ben has. This right here made it hard for me to reconcile the loop. How could Maggie be looping but Ben not be doing it just as long as she had if their loop was always connected? I like the concept that Lawson introduces, that fate will really try it's hardest to win out in the end. For no matter how Maggie and Ben try to alter their loop, they always end up back together and heading right back in the direction the loop has set for them. It makes for an interesting plot and really moves the story along. It also gives the story a bit of a suspenseful feeling since you are always wondering if the characters will succeed in breaking the cycle. Overall I enjoyed this quick read, though I wasn't completely blown away with the concept or the storyline. I would have liked to see more things associated with the science fiction part of time travel in this book. I think it would have helped to make the book more cohesive. I recommend this book to fans of the Tempest series by Julie Cross. 3/5 stars.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
   The Loop was a suspenseful twist on time travel. Ben and Maggie lived the same two days over and over again, and fate led them to the same place to face the same guy and die the same death. But Maggie is able to remember some of the things from previous loops, and Ben is able to bend the loop some, so they try to change what happens.      While I enjoyed the story, I had some issues. The first is why Roy was after them. There is a brief explanation that I didn't quite understand about money and a horse track. The second is their seeming insta-love. I get that Maggie can remember Ben, and Ben has a sense of dejavu. Also that they have been through this who knows how many times together, but still I guess I don't get their love for each other despite the fact that they are placed in these incredibly dangerous situations together.      The ending was pretty clever and tied up the plot pretty well. It left me satisfied.       That aside, I liked the story and their characters. They had personality, and I saw some character growth in this story.       Bottom Line: Fun and quick but I wasn't blown away.