Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Review: The Locket by Stacey Jay


On her seventeenth birthday, Katie discovers a locket and decides to wear it for good luck. But when her boyfriend Isaac finds out she cheated on him— with their mutual best friend Mitch, no less—he dumps her, leaving her devastated.

And then a miracle happens. The locket burns on Katie's chest and she feels herself going back two weeks in time, to the night she cheated with Mitch. At first, Kate is delighted to be a better girlfriend to Isaac this time around. But as other aspects of her life become inexplicably altered, she realizes that changing the past may have had a dangerous effect on her present.

Can she make things right before the locket destroys everything—and everyone—she loves?


The Short Version:
Entertaining and interesting, The Locket does a fantastic job taking the Butterfly Effect concept and twisting it into something new and in a teenage setting. Centered around a mistake that any reader can understand and want to change, and spiraling out of control in my unpredictable ways, The Locket puts a supernatural spin on an otherwise great contemporary book. This is one that will make the reader think and brings up plenty of questions, while still having a light element to it.

The Extended Version:
Katie is admittedly a hard character for me to like in some ways. Her devotion to Isaac is almost too intense and extreme for me, to the point of self destruction. Despite this, her loyalty to him is admirable and she is a character with a huge heart that not only wants to please people, but also doesn't want the drama that comes with the popular crowd. Content with a small group of friends, she is someone relatable. Her personal growth is tremendous, and the changes in her as things continue to get worse within the story are very well done.

Isaac is selfish, to be blunt. Far too into himself to be considered a good boyfriend, he hits on some of the stereotypical jock behaviors while still being someone different. Basketball is his life, and it's understandable but heartbreaking to see Katie's perspective on knowing she's often second to a sport. There are plenty of scenes where Isaac is almost deplorable, and while it's clear that's his personality and the reasons Jay wrote him like that, I found it very hard to like him both as a love interest and a character. This is what reflected back on Katie to make it hard to like her, centered only around the fact that the entire book happened because she was so desperate to keep him.

Mitch, however, is an almost polar opposite in a lot of ways to Isaac and easily won my heart. He is kind, funny, and gentle with Katie in ways Isaac isn't. The chemistry between Mitch and Katie is strikingly different than with Isaac, and the way Katie struggled with this, after being with Isaac for three years, was something any reader can relate to and understand. Mitch had some very poignant scenes, but most endearing about him was his near constant sense of humor, even as he had to watch Katie continue to be in love with a boy who didn't appreciate her.

The plot launches right into going back in time, opening on the day Isaac breaks up with Katie and instigates the entire thing. She keeps her memories of before she went back in time, making an interesting mix and changing her reactions. The ways things changed the second time around is very well thought out, from the smallest thing to the biggest, and Jay has done a fantastic job adding in all these changes without taking away from the actual plot progression. The ways the locket reacts to things also adds to the overall air of the book, and Jay does a remarkable job pulling the reader right in to Katie's story and dragging them along for the wild ride.

Adding to the greatness of this book is the way Katie's thoughts even towards Isaac changed as the story progressed. Tension was rampant, and though her decisions might not have been the best at times, Jay does a beautiful job keeping the teenage element in there both in experiences and hopes. The writing hits plenty on description without taking away from everything, and the emotion within it, for the most part, is well done. From sweet and tender scenes to angry fights, Jay handles a range fluidly.

Though this isn't an original premise, and some aspects of the book were predictable, Jay has still twisted this into something all her own. Even through Katie's perspective, a multitude of questions is brought up within the story regarding the time travel and changing things, and it was refreshing to see this concept through a teenage mindset in the midst of struggling through everything. Everything is wrapped up by the end of the book, even the smallest of things, without the final ending coming off as a cop out.

Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for honest review
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: February 3, 2011


  1. I haven't heard of The Locket, but it sounds interesting. Katie seems a bit like Twilight's Bella in relationship to Isaac, but I really enjoy contemporary YA so this one might be really interesting with the supernatural twist. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  2. Thanks for the review - Interesting that by changing things she could change how she feels. This will go on my TBR!

  3. My Thoughts: Whoa. Lately, I have been wondering what it would be like to go back in time and relive my mistakes, to have the opportunity to redo everything. This book did just that for me. No silly, I did not go back in time and change my life but I got to experience Kate's biggest mistake with her.