YOUR LIFE HAS BEEN DELAYED, by Michelle I. Mason, Bloomsbury YA, Sept. 7, 2021, Hardcover, $17.99 (Young Adult)
A teenager takes off on a flight and lands 25 years later in Michelle I. Mason’s Your Life Has Been Delayed.
When Jenny boards her flight back from New York, the biggest things on her mind are applying to Columbia and reuniting with her brand-new boyfriend. But when she and the other passengers disembark in St. Louis, they’re told that their plane disappeared-twenty-five years ago. Everyone thought they were dead.
The world has fast-forwarded. Three of her grandparents are gone, her parents are old, and her “little” brother is now an adult. There’s so much she’s missed out on, not the least iPhones, social media, and pop culture.
When some surprising information comes to light, Jenny feels betrayed by her family and once-best friend. She’s also fighting her attraction to Dylan, a cute and kind classmate who has an unusual connection to her past. And then there’s the growing contingent of conspiracy theorists determined to prove that Flight 237 hides a sinister truth. Will Jenny figure out how to move forward, or will she always be stuck in the past? —Synopsis provided by Bloomsbury YA
If Your Life Has Been Delayed sounds familiar, that’s because it’s not the first time the concept — people disappearing only to reemerge unchanged years later — has been explored (think TV shows Manifest, The 4400).
What makes Your Life Has Been Delayed is the focus on life after reappearing minus most of the sci-fi stuff. It reads more like a study in coping and acceptance and less about aliens and such. And quite honestly, it’s the adjusting to a 25-year time jump that’s interesting. Just think of how much has changed over the past 25 years. Phones alone have moved from something stuck to the wall to a computer in your pocket.
As the only minor on her flight, Jenny’s experience reintegrating is much different. She not only has to contend with government gatekeepers, but her parents, too. Debut Author Michelle I. Mason expertly captures Jenny’s frustration, hurt, hope and ingenuity. I wouldn’t consider Jenny’s transformation throughout the book as growth, rather as learning how to fit her old self into a new time. It’s a fascinating journey.
Your Life Has Been Delayed is smart, funny and forces a little introspection. I particularly liked the ending, which doesn’t offer all the answers. It’s a bold, and deliberate move, and the book is better for it. It publishes Sept. 7.
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