Have you ever fantasized about going back in time to a younger version of yourself and giving yourself some advice? Or about jumping ahead in time to help guide you through an important fork in the road? In Oona Out Of Order by Margarita Montimore, at the stroke of midnight on her 19th birthday – New Year’s Eve – Oona Lockhart jumps ahead to another year of her life. At 11:59PM on New Year’s Eve 1982 Oona is 18, and at midnight she finds herself in her 51 year-old body, in 2015. This happens every year – she leaps back and forth in time, while physically, she ages normally. Meanwhile, she retains the knowledge and experience she gains from her leaps, for better or worse.
Why I picked it up: Oona Out Of Order satisfies the Time Travel category of the 2020 EDIWTB Reading Challenge. (I still have two more books to go – ugh!)
I loved Oona Out Of Order. It is a mind-bending emotional joyride that takes Oona through love and loss, testing her patience and trust in her relationships. One year, she finds herself married to a man she knows she later divorces, yet she gets caught up again in the romance of their relationship even though she knows that it won’t work out. Oona leaves herself letters to read at the beginning of each leap to orient her and give some hints for the year, but she is careful not to give away too much so that Oona can experience the year and not affect the future. Like most time travel books, the science (?) can be confusing and doesn’t always make sense, but Montimore does a good job of plugging as many holes as she can and using the time travel to develop and evolve Oona and the other main characters like Oona’s mom and her loyal advisor, Kenzie.
There was no need to be trapped by her flawed chronology or supposed destiny. She wouldn’t tiptoe around her life, suffer the frustration that resulted from chasing stability. She would not be defeated by her known future.
I just found this book so poignant. I loved its message about living in the present, focusing on the journey rather the destination and appreciating the people in your life while you have them. It’s not perfect, though. I wished Oona had found more purpose in her life… that she had been moved to do something meaningful for the world instead of focusing so much on her personal relationships. I guess I wanted Oona to have a little more to her.
Overall, though, Oona Out Of Order was a standout read for me. I am a sucker for time travel and this was a fresh and creative take on it.
Oona Out Of Order was book #64 of 2020 and satisfied the Time Travel category of the 2020 EDIWTB Reading Challenge.