It’s About Time: YA Books Where Time Rules

Posted by Sarah Fox

[Movie still from Before I Fall, Awesomeness Films and Jon Shestack Productions]

We are super excited for the release of the movie of Before I Fall. We can’t wait to see Samantha relive her last day on earth over and over again on the big screen. In the meantime, we’ve satisfied our time-centered young adult novels fix with the following books.


Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix

If you loved The Village, then you HAVE to read this book. Jessie Keyser thinks she is living in the 1840s, but she is actually living in 1996. She discovers from her mother that she has been part of a tourist attraction, but she must go out into the modern world to obtain medicine for her sick sister (the owners of the village refuse to give them medicine because it is not “authentic” to the time period). Jessie has to not only escape the village, but she has to struggle with modern technology and advancements as she tries to get help for her sister. This book will definitely make you want to hug your doctor.



Both Sides of Time by Caroline B. Cooney

If you are a fan of period pieces (i.e. Downton Abbey), you will love this book. Annie Lockwood goes back in time to the year 1895. She gets to experience the joys of the period: awesome dresses, fancy parties, and even a romance with Strat—a handsome young man from the time period. Unfortunately, she also has to deal with sexist views of women. The book centers on how Annie is torn between the present day and the past, making it a pretty gripping read.



Every Day by David Levithan

You think your love life is complicated? Every Day will make yours look like a cakewalk. A wakes up every day in a different body. As if that weren’t weird enough, A falls in love with Rhiannon. Every day, Rhiannon has to adjust to loving A in a new body, regardless of A’s appearance. After reading this book, we are grateful our biggest annoyance every morning is our alarm clock.



A World Without You by Beth Revis

If you like X-men, you should check out this book. Bo believes he can time travel and he accidently left his girlfriend, Sofía, in the past. Everyone tells him she is dead, but he knows that he is the only one who can save her with his time-travel abilities. The coolest part? He sees time as pieces of string.



The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

When we found out that this book is about time-traveling pirates, we couldn’t run to the nearest bookstore fast enough. Nix was born in Honolulu in 1868, but she has been everywhere. We mean everywhere. She has visited everywhere from 21st century New York City to the land from One Thousand and One Nights.  Her father wants to use his time-traveling powers to change the past. The problem? What he wants to change will mean Nix no longer exists. Talk about Back to the Future problems. 

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is an editor, writer, writing consultant, and pop culture enthusiast. Besides regularly contributing to Quirk Books’ blog, she has published an edition of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. You can find her online at