It Wasn't Always Like This by Joy Preble

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Preble’s memorable characters and unusual take on being forever young are mired in a tangle of unneeded story lines, including Charlie’s stint as a war pilot and the church’s dubious scheme to find Emma.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

In 1916, Emma O’Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island off St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging—as do the Ryans, her family’s business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she’s in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O’Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder—Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.

On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the founding members of the Church of Light and their descendants. Over the years, a series of murders—whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her—indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the danger grows, so does Emma’s hope for finding the boy she’s certain is still out there . . .


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Joy Preble

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Joy Preble grew up in Chicago where-- possibly because she was raised by an accountant and a bookkeeper--she dreamed of being a back up singer, but instead earned an English degree from Northwestern. Eventually, she began to write books so she could get paid for making up stuff. She now lives in Texas with her family, including a basset/boxer mix rescue dog named Lyla-- who never met a shoe she didn't want to eat. Visit Joy at joypreble.com
 
Published May 17, 2016 by Soho Teen. 256 pages
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for It Wasn't Always Like This
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on Feb 17 2016

The novel’s resolution is awfully quick, but the storylines’ convergence is largely satisfying. A modern Tuck Everlasting with a thriller twist: fun, in spite of its improbabilities.

Read Full Review of It Wasn't Always Like This | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Jun 03 2016

Preble’s memorable characters and unusual take on being forever young are mired in a tangle of unneeded story lines, including Charlie’s stint as a war pilot and the church’s dubious scheme to find Emma.

Read Full Review of It Wasn't Always Like This | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Reader Rating for It Wasn't Always Like This
72%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 18 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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