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Review: Time is of the essence in `Oona Out of Order'


“Oona Out of Order,” Flatiron Books, by Margarita Montimore

Oona Lockhart is ready to begin her adult life when she turns 19 at the stroke of midnight. Surrounded by friends at a New Year’s Eve party, she wonders what her future holds as the clock counts down the final moments of 1982. Author Margarita Montimore offers the birthday girl quite the adventure in “Oona Out of Order."

Instead of blowing a horn and kissing her boyfriend, Oona faints, opens her eyes and finds herself in an unfamiliar house. Not only is the environment different, but so is her body. What’s wrong with her joints? Why do they ache?

Oona has awakened 32 years in the future in her 51-year-old body. A kind stranger named Kenzie assures Oona that all is well. Kenzie explains to Oona that she is home, she’s a time jumper, and even though she’s “old” on the outside, she’s still her true age on the inside.

With each passing year, Oona turns another year older, but hops to a different age. Oona never knows which outside age she will encounter next. She must learn to navigate the challenges that come with leaping through a random timeline. These include figuring out whom she can trust, not knowing major cultural milestones, the death of loved ones and being married to a man she’s never met before, to name a few.

Luckily, Oona is able to write her “new self” a letter each year to fill in the gaps of life’s happenings. And with the help of a few stock tips, money is no object. All she has to do is adapt and carry on combining the knowledge of her previous selves with the reality of her present self.

“Oona Out of Order” takes a unique approach on time travel. With each turn of a new year, we see the plot move along with unexpected yet entertaining twists and turns. We learn at the end of the day, time is of the essence and love endures all.

Lincee Ray, The Associated Press

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