Your Life Has Been Delayed by Michelle I. Mason

Read: 11/20-11/21

This caught my eye at the library the other day because when I read the description I said “This is that tv show-Manifest!” That was the show about a plane that took off and when it landed it was years later. The people in the plane had no idea, but everyone in the outside world thought the plane vanished without a trace and everyone was dead. Fascinating premise! Alas, we only lasted like 2 episodes before giving up. This book, on the other hand, totally hooked me and I couldn’t stop reading it until it was done. I’m so curious about the age of the author and whether she intended the things I found most deeply interesting to be so interesting. 
In the story it is 1995 and Jenny is 17 when she boards her flight from NYC to St. Louis. She has a new boyfriend, a best friend, and just had a great time staying with her grandparents and planning to attend college in the city. She’s ready for her first kiss and her senior year. It’s a short flight but when they land there is a bit of a kerfuffle with the air control tower. They land and are ushered into a room where they are told the astonishing news that it is now 2020. 
The rest of the book is really about Jenny adjusting to 2020, trying to cope with the fact that her best friend is now a mom and basically the age her own mom was when she left. Her own parents are now grandparent age. The choice of years and ages are perfect for this story. Now, I wasn’t 17 in 1995-I was 23-but I’d say for understanding this story I’m part of Jenny’s generation. Much like the saying of the frog in boiling water-when you live through 25 years you adjust to things as they happen and it’s not such a big deal. But when you jump the 25 years and see things that have changed-it’s like jumping into boiling water. It’s hugely different. I really hope lots of teens (including my own) read this book and maybe get some insight into how the world has changed since their parents were teens: school shootings, 9/11, fashion (she is perplexed at people wearing work out clothes in public, at how revealing clothing is), cell phones (the internet existed, but cell phones being used as cameras and having the internet on them is mind blowing to her.) and the two most interesting things: social media and conspriacy theorist rabble rousing idiots having any kind of platform at all.  Jenny voices things that I do think about and wish we could turn the clock back on. I’m sure morons and conspiracy theorists existed in 1995 but without social media they didn’t have a voice. And yes, they have changed the world for the worse. (see in particular: the past six years.)

Now, this is a YA book so there’s a little romance angle and some stuff I was less interested in, but whatever. I really thought this was great and I’m sure coming at this as an adult reader relating to Jenny I found it overall more thoughtful and melancholy and reflective than it actually is or is meant to be, but there you have it.

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