Jackson Meyer is in college. He's well-off, working on a double major, has a girlfriend he adores, and a job he enjoys. Things are pretty good.
Eight months ago, he discovered that he can travel through time. He can only go backwards, and any action he takes—whether it be an interaction with a person or an object—seems to be erased when he jumps back into his own time, but still. He's only told one other person about it: his science-loving friend Adam*. Together, they've started running experiments in order to better understand Jackson's new ability.
Then, tragedy—in the form of two strange men—strikes, and Jackson's girlfriend Holly is shot. Devastated, scared, and bereft, Jackson is catapulted two years into the past. Trapped in 2007, he is forced to:
A) Fool everyone—including his father—into thinking that he's two years younger than he actually is, and
B) find out what the crap is happening to him,
in order to:
C) get back home, and
D) save Holly.
Fun stuff. Not only does it feature time travel (yay!) and Jackson's ever-increasing powers over it, it's also got a secret maybe-evil-maybe-not time traveling society, some CIA shenanigans, combat training, and a good amount of nausea. Also, there's romance of the he-knows-her-in-the-future-when-he's-twenty-one-and-she's-of-age-but-now-he's-in-the-past-and-still-twenty-one-but-she's-seventeen-so-that's-weird-but-also-sort-of-fun/creepy-because-he's-got-the-upper-hand-in-that-he-knows-all-of-her-likes-and-dislikes-and-also-he's-pretending-to-be-poor-and-also-hiding-the-fact-that-he's-from-the-future-and-that-her-life-might-be-in-danger variety.
Is it likely to win accolades based on its lyrical strength? No. But it's a totally solid, competently-written thriller with a likable protagonist and an entertaining cast of characters. It moves along at a quick clip, and the plotting is just as complex and convoluted as a story about time travel should be.
As Tempest is about a guy in his early 20s, it could reside either at the older end of YA or at the younger end of adult—the realm that some people are starting to call New Adult.
*Classic Adam line: "Seriously? All the crazy shit that's happened to you and you think I'm insane because I mention parallel universe theory?"
Book source: ILLed through my library.