Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.For All Time by Shanna Miles
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on September 28, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
Format: eBook (362 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
Outlander meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this teen romance that follows two lovers fated to repeat their story across hundreds of lifetimes, who hope to break the cycle once and for all.
Tamar is a headstrong slave in Mali, a high school junior with a terminal illness on a last-chance trip, a young woman struggling for independence in a segregated train car steaming her toward an arranged marriage. She is a musician, a warrior, a survivor.
Fayard is a soldier that must obey all the rules set before him, a charming high school senior who wishes to give his high school sweetheart a promise ring, a lost young man who runs numbers for King Fats in Chicago. He is a con man, a pioneer, a hopeless romantic.
Together, Tamar and Fayard have lived a thousand lives, seen the world go through revolutions and civil wars, and have even watched humanity take to the stars. But in each life one thing remains the same: Tamar and Fayard fall in love. Tamar and Fayard fight to be with each other. Tamar and Fayard die. Over and over again until, perhaps at last, they learn what it will take to break the cycle.
I knew I had to read For All Time after seeing those comp titles. I absolutely loved Outlander and The Sun Is Also a Star, so I had high expectations going into this one. And it delivered! For the most part. I absolutely loved the first three-quarters or so as we’re introduced to Tamar and Fayard across multiple lifetimes.
For All Time starts in the present day with the young lovers in high school. Fayard is a charmer but he only has eyes for Tamar. She loves him, but doesn’t want to make their relationship official, but that doesn’t stop him from making sure she knows that he’s there for her. Tamar is struggling with some lung issues after contracting COVID-19. Yep, the author went there. It felt real though rather than like a ploy.
From there, For All Time jumps around from ancient Mali to early 20th century Philadelphia to a space station in the distant future. In each of these lifetimes, Tamar and Fayard fall in love but something comes between them. It was interesting how different they were in each life but that the events of their relationship are close mirrors to one another. I also liked how they’re connected to the present through dreams or daydreams.
Where For All Time lost me was toward the end when everything starts coming together. This should have been the most interesting part, where we learn what has Tamar and Fayard stuck in this endless loop. However, once terrorists, the FBI, and worst of all, amnesia, come into play, I was out. I hate amnesia plots and this one was no different. I just wanted to know why they’re destined to be together but never end up together. Are they going to unlock the mystery?! Instead it was like I picked up an entirely different book.
In the end, I still really enjoyed For All Time. It was unique and kept me reading even through that questionable ending.