Tamar is a musician, a warrior, a survivor. Fayard? He’s a pioneer, a hustler, a hopeless romantic.

Together, Tamar and Fayard have lived a thousand lives, seen the world build itself up from nothing only to tear itself down again in civil war. They’ve even watched humanity take to the stars. But in each life one thing remains the same: their love and their fight to be together. One love story after another. Their only concern is they never get to see how their story ends. Until now.

When they finally discover what it will take to break the cycle, will they be able to make the sacrifice?

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Romance. Tragedy. Reincarnation. I wish it was this easy to sum up For All Time but honestly, there’s so much more: star-crossed lovers, different lifetimes, history and future across centuries, doomed destinies, and the inevitability of what’s meant to be. Published by Simon & Schuster in September 2021!

For All Time is a debut young adult romance that hopefully traverses tragedy and fate across multiple timelines. 

Told through alternating narrations and shifting perspectives of the Black teenagers, this time-hopping love story unfolds in the present-day while swinging through a parallel plane that spans the 14th century, the 1920s, and the 2200s.

Tamar has survived COVID but her lung condition is now deteriorating. Fayard is willing to do anything for her. She’s realistic and rational; he’s a hopeless romantic. While the two spend their last minutes together before Tamar sets off for an overseas cryogenic center, her last option to survive in some sense, an explosion goes off at the airport, killing everyone but them. Waking up in a hospital, they have no memory of themselves, but an emotional string still connects the two. As Tamar and Fayard struggle to remember their present life, dreams unravel their past lives. Unfortunately, it all always ends in a tragedy. When they finally realize this cycle, these soulmates must quickly figure out how to break this destined wheel and get a happily ever after—if one exists.

Is this science-fiction meets historical fiction? Yes. Is this literary fiction meets teen romance? Yes. Is this truly ambitious and refreshing? Yes. While the romantic core of this story is held strongly by the absolute submission that love demands, the themes that Miles attempts to engage with across the various timelines truly strengthen the tenderness of this story. From life-changing effects of the pandemic to repeated mistakes and from the racial discrimination in American history to the arrogance of a pioneering future, the author truly committed to writing a speculative with a tinge of reality—or reality with a twist of speculative.

Reading For All Time made me realize that sometimes we should read a story for what it is instead of what we wish for it to be. As someone who loves genre-bending novels, especially if they promise me sadness lined with hope, I knew I had to read this. And I would be lying if I say I didn’t imagine it to be something else—maybe something more, maybe something less. But do I really want my expectations for a novel that’s genuinely difficult to box before you actually dive into it to influence my feelings for it, now that I’ve read it? No. So I will say that it wasn’t what I had conjectured; but I’ll also say that it didn’t have to be—it’s a story of reincarnated soulmates destined for tragedy navigating the planes of different timelines to break a doomed fate—and I enjoyed reading it for exactly that.

my rating ↣ ★★★★☆

Buy the book: Amazon US


N O T E

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