Messages and Reviews

Here are some reviews of Time After Time

Judi Curtin writes sensitive, hugely engaging novels about contemporary girls and the things that matter most to them: friends, family relationships, learning to be happy with who you are. Most of her books have modern settings, though she’s written a couple of time-slip novels sending characters back into the past. In this story, her characters again travel back through time but to a decade many Books for Keeps readers will remember well: the 1980s.

Molly and Beth have been best friends for ages, though when Molly’s Mum and Beth’s dad announce they’re moving in together, their relationship is bound to change. Sneaking out together to attend a concert without their parents’ knowledge, they stumble into a strange sweet shop they’ve never noticed before, and emerge again into 1984. As readers will understand, visiting the 1980s will have its plusses and minuses for 21st century kids: you can buy packets of biscuits for 20p but have to survive without mobile phones. There are lots of details older readers will relish: the shop that sells the biscuits has comics Mandy and Bunty on its shelves too; the girls are baffled – and amused – by the hairstyles and fashions.

While Curtin observes the rules of time travel, she’s not really interested in the how of all this; it’s the why that is her real concern. Beth’s mum died when she was a tiny baby, and her longing for some knowledge of her mum is intensified now that she can observe daily Molly’s relationship with her mother. Propelled by these emotions into the past, she immediately decides to track down her 14 year old mum. Molly, there too, has misgivings, but accompanies her new step-sister.

Emotions reach a very high point as the two reach Beth’s mum’s home, and Curtin describes the tension beautifully. The eventual meeting too is handled with real sensitivity. Beth manoeuvres it so that her mum brushes her hair, an extremely touching moment. Molly too gets to meet her own mum, and comes home understanding her better. This is time travel that puts female relationships – mother/daughter, best friends – into the spotlight, in a book that is funny, sad and uplifting. It reminds us all too that the teenagers our mums were are only ever a splash of (Smitty) perfume away. (Lucy Staines Books for Keeps)

Judi Curtin, best known for the Alice and Megan series, is another writer who understands what makes her young readers tick. Time After Time (O’Brien, €12.99) begins with what might seem like a dream come true: what if your best friend in the whole world became your sister?

Molly’s mum and Beth’s dad have just moved in together, though it is far from smooth sailing. But when the girls follow a mysterious entrance into the past, they learn more about their parents and themselves. The most poignant element is Beth hunting down her teenage mum in 1984 – the mum who died when she was a baby, leaving her with only a photo to remember her by. But there is also plenty of humour as the pair deal with a pre-smartphone world. (Claire Hennessy The Irish Times)

Time After Time by Judi Curtin

Best friends Molly and Beth love spending time together… but their families moving in together is a step too far. To avoid an embarrassing situation shopping one day, they hide in a shop they had never noticed before… and when they leave by a side door, they find themselves back in the past. They realise that they have a chance to see the world through their parents’ eyes – a fascinating concept to explore and one that should stimulate plenty of discussion by readers. Before finding their way home, can they see what their own pasts looked like? An excellent read which explores the issues that face families, as well as exploring an age without today’s technology. Highly recommended. (Parents in Touch)

September 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: touching, gentle timeslip adventure | Judi Curtin has been described as the Irish Jacqueline Wilson and it’s easy to see why: she writes warm, convincing contemporary stories about girls, friendships and families. Here best friends Molly and Beth are awkwardly trying to adjust to their new shared life (their respective mum and dad have moved in together) when something very strange happens and they find themselves transported back in time to 1984. The story of what happens when Beth decides to find her mum, who died when she was born, is told with Curtin’s typical insight and lightness of touch. Beth and Molly are real characters, the strength of their friendship is utterly convincing, and this is a touching, uplifting read, often very funny too.

Definitely one to recommend to fans of Jacqueline Wilson and readers who like this will also enjoy books by Sarah Webb. ~ Andrea Reece Lovereading4kids

(As you can see, I previously allowed comments on this page. Sadly, I’ve had to stop this, as I couldn’t control the spam posts that arrived in floods. I’ve left the old comments though, as some of them are so sweet.)

97 Comments to “Messages and Reviews”

  1. Dear Judi,

    My name is Kate. I am in 5th class in ?????? national school, my teacher is miss ?????, remember? she sent you many emails and and you sent us all back signed bookmarks and a poster? myself and many of my friends recieved a signed bookmark (thankyou!). Your probably thinking now that “ugh, these ?????? kids are doin’ my head in!” although i have to send this email on regards of your book, Alice to the rescue. On behalf of my class, 5th, and 4th, I want to say thankyou for mentioning our school in the beginning of the book, on your dedications part. Miss ????? pulled Alice To The Rescue from a big box of books another teacher, Mrs.Curtin (long lost sisters by any chance?), had given us (she loves reading and encourages us all to do so, like every other teacher!). She read us the several other dedications and when we all heard our school, the eager emailers, being read and shown to us, we were all shocked! even the boys were! so thank you soooo much for mentioning us in a book that will be sold in many different countries! we were all so pleased and when Miss ?????? asked who wanted to read it every single girls arm went up! mine too i went out and bought it yesterday and it’s really gooddon’t tell anyone, but I would prefer your books to Jacqueline Wilson’s. When i had heard of you at first i was like “aw! another British writer whose gonna sell millions!” but when i realised that you were from Ireland, I was waaaaaaaaay more pleased. I have only began to read the Alice and Megan books about a week ago and already I’m glued to them! could you make them a slight bit boring, your keeping me up on school nights! hah! I’ve started Alice To The Rescue even though i know it’s only the latest one and I’m also reading Alice Next Door but Alice To The Rescue’s just sooooooooo good! ok, I’ve said everything, gotta go! Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! (IRELAND!IRELAND!IRELAND)

    Kate ,

    P.S: please give a big shout out to my best friend Jessie , she’s your biggest fan! she’s read all the books. plus: I want to (hopefully be!) an author soon (i am writing a story) and I’m gonna make Ireland proud, just like you! thanks a million!

  2. Hi to Joy from Limerick. Thanks for your letter. I’m afraid technical difficulties prevent me from posting it here, so I can’t share it with the world. You’ll all have to trust me though – it was great!

  3. Hi Judi, my name is Nicole. I am ten years old. I was sitting at your table at the monster book lunch. I loved meeting you. I have read practically all of the books you have written for kids. I just cant pick a favourite. But i really loved eva’s journey and the time spell and alice next door. My mum is reading one of your books and she thinks it is great. It’s called from claire to here.You are definitely my favourite author in the history of the world.I REALLY want to be an author just like you. from your number one fan forever, Nicole xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. Thanks, Nicole. It was so nice to meet you in Dun Laoghaire. Glad you and your mum both like my books. I hope your dream of becoming an author comes true – it’s a great career.

  5. missmai123 says:

    Hi Judi,
    Your the best writer everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I want to write just like you your books are the best everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I’m from co.Clare and my friend Hayley has met you in ennistymon Library you signed her book.I have read all of the Alice and Megan books they are the best I just read Eva’s Jorney very good but not as good as Alice and Megan SORRY!!! My frien Megan sent you an email. I was wondering if you could email me to tell me when you are going to Ennistymon and Ennis library in Clare only if u want to but I would LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE to meet you sososososossososo much. If u want to email me email me @:
    thank you Hannah Lyons =)

  6. Hi Hannah
    Thanks so much. I enjoyed the event in Ennistymon – it’s a pity you couldn’t be there. When I plan another visit, I’ll post details on this site and hopefully you’ll be able to come.
    All best

  7. missmai123 says:

    Thank You Judi your the best

  8. hi judi
    I think your the best writer ever
    my name is nicola
    I met you in the scariff library co.Clare
    do you remember me
    I think your a great writer and my gonna ask for loads of your books
    for christmas
    p.s are you writing any more Eva books

  9. Hi Nicola
    I really enjoyed my trip to Scariff – hope you enjoyed it too.
    So glad you like my books. At the moment I’m thinking of writing a third Eva book, but am not sure yet.
    What is sure though, is that there’s going to be another Friends Forever book. it’s going to be called Double Trouble, and it will be out next spring.

  10. HI Judi im 9
    i love your books the ones that i love the most are Alice and megan series i want to be an author like you when i grow u i have written five novels and have two on the way if i ever get one published i hope you could read it im reading alice to the rescue wright now its the only one i have not read yet p.s were you on my mums show its called elev8 on rte

  11. judicurtinfan says:

    hi judi my name is yasmin i am 11 years old i live in galway my school is called scoil rois i really like are my favourite author ever i have read every single book of yours and i love them and i just finished one of your books evas is really good i hope that i could see you someday if u make an event to come to galway and i would definetly come.i have alot of questions to ask you but i wont ask u them yet.i hope to meet you someday since your the best author ever i hope u like this letter

    from yasmin have one question to ask you now, what age were you when you started writing books and where did you get all the good ideas from.

  12. Thanks so much Yasmin. I will be in Galway in April, as part of the Cuirt festival. Keep an eye on this site for more details as the date gets closer.
    I’m afraid my age when i started writing is top secret!
    Most of my ideas come from real life – I try to write about things that could happen to real people.

  13. OMG im so happy that my favourite author replied its like a dream come true.i cant wait till april cos i will definetly come and im looking forward to it already thx so much


  14. grainne123 says:

    hi judi im your no.1 fan your the best ever i want to be just like you when i grow up your the best p.s are you going to come to clare county library anytme soon plese reply!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (-:

  15. Cutiegirl says:

    I’m eight and in a book club. I was thinking about suggesting the book The Time Spell. Is it about a girl on the titanic ? Can you tell me a bit about the book .

  16. judicurtinfan says:

    hi judi i cant wait till u come to galway im aloud to come anyways i just want to know where are u gonna do the event and wat tie will it be i already know that its on the 25th of april

    thx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    plz send back the details

  17. Hi. I’ll be in The Town Hall Theatre (!!!) at eleven o’clock. Looking forward to it, and hope you can make it.

  18. Hi. I wish that book clubs were around when I was eight – I’d have loved to join one.
    Yes, the Time Spell tells the story of a twenty-first century girl, Lauren, who is whisked back in time, and finds herself aboard the Titanic. She makes friends on the ship, and then has to try to find a way to save them – because of course Lauren knows exactly what’s going to happen. Hope you and your club choose the book – and enjoy it!

  19. Thanks so much ~Grainne. No dates for Clare at the moment, but I often visit, so keep an eye on my website. All best, Judi.

  20. hi judi going to see you in galway will you PLEASE sign books PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. dear judi can’t wait for new eva book i will be the first to buy it

  22. Hi Emily. Loved my trip to Galway, and hope you enjoyed the event. Thanks for all those kind words about my books – incentives to keep me writing.

  23. Jennifer and Sarah says:

    Hi Judi , this is Sarah and Jennifer from cork. We saw you on world book day in the kinsale book shop. We were wondering if you could write another friends forever book. Can you write a book about the famine maybe ???

    Jennifer and Sarah xxx

  24. dear Judi

    im meg im a huge fan i’ve read all of your Alice and Megan series there brillant and i’ve just finshed Eva’s holiday. Your books are the best,me and my friend we started a book club!!!! Called the Judi Curtin book club!!! But we also read diffrent authors books. my frien now wants me to read the other 2 books you wrote!!! I would be so greatfull if you wrote back

    Your sincerly Meg Nyhan

  25. Abbie_Healy says:

    hey Judi

    i live in cork and im in 5th class. i met u in the blackpool library in february with my class and i loved every minute of it. to refresh your memory, im the girl who gave a short summary about alice next door.we done the time spell for our book project and we all loved it. ive read all the alice books, all the eva books and all the friends forever books and none of them disappointed me. i cant wait 4 your new books to come out.

    love abbie

  26. Hi Sarah and jennifer. Was lovely to meet you both. The third Friends Forever book is nearly finished. It’s set in England during World War Two. The famine would be a great topic too – I’m now putting it on my list of things to think about over the summer.

  27. Hi Meg. I’m honoured to have a book club called after me – I think it’s a first. I love book clubs and am in one myself.
    Thanks so much
    PS Leave it to Eva will be out in September, so you won’t be stuck for something to read then!

  28. Hi Abbie
    I loved that trip to Blackpool, and am glad you enjoyed it too. Leave it to Eva will be out in September, so not too long to wait now.

  29. Hi Judi ,
    I think you are an amazing author!
    I have read all your books and I can’t wait for leave it to Eva to come out!!!!
    I’m such a big fan,
    From Dervla

  30. Oh and I forgot, what do you do if you get writers block because I am I’m the middle of trying to write a book but I am stuck

  31. Thanks so much, Dervla. Hope you like it.

  32. I hope to visit Belfast in the Autumn, but haven’t got definite dates yet. Watch this site for details.
    Usually, if my writing isn’t going the way I would like, I shut down my computer and go for a walk. If that doesn’t work, I just go back and edit something I wrote earlier, and that gets me back into writing mode. Sometimes though, if you really can’t get into writing something, it means that it’s not turning out the way you expected. Sometimes you have to brave, and go back and try something different.

  33. Thanks

  34. Hi Judi,
    I know that you will be in Dublin in Dun Laoghaire at the DLR Mountains to Sea Festival, but i was wondering if you could tell me the time and date and where in Dun Laoghaire is it. I live very close to dun Laoghaire – about a 10 minute drive – so I’ll definitly be going.
    Please answer my questions if you can.

  35. Hi Sadhbh. I’ll be in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th of September. All details are here:
    Hope to see you there.

  36. name is Katie and I love your favourite is Alice to the rescue.I love to write stories also i am in 5 th class and 10 years old.My nana writes Hakku and other poetry, i would love to write more stories and I would like some advice.I am hoping to go to LIstowel writers week with my nana next year as she goes every year..

    byexx katie…

  37. hi how do you make a website

  38. Thanks Katie. I hope to put some writing tips on this site soon. Listowel is an amazing festival – with lots of great workshops for aspiring writers like you.

  39. Sorry Roisin, I’m afraid I have no idea how to make a website. I had to pay someone to construct this one – and I think he did a great job!

  40. Dear Judi,
    I love your books!!!!!
    I am reading ‘Bonjour Alice’ and so far its FANTACTIC!!!!!!!
    From Pixie

  41. graciegroo123 says:

    Hi Judi my name is Grace and I am 8.I met you today at the library in Westport with my sister Caoimhe who doesn’t look like me! I loved hearing your stories today and…………….I LOVE YOUR BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. hi!!! I’m Caoimhe!! from the Westport library. We all really enjoyed your stories!!! my sister and I ( Grace ) LOVE your books!!! they are ” F A B!!!!!”
    Especially the Alice and Megan series

  43. hi judi
    its eva,of course i really want leave it to eva its my name but as well its like your stalking me shes exaculy like me. i got my little sister to start reading your books. i wish you cold come to my school u probley don’t know it its beside jonny foxs pub its in dublin mountains my friend went see she said it was fab i wish you did an annual like jacqueline wilson i would by it every year

    from eva o’donohoe

  44. Thanks, Caoimhe. It was really nice to meet you and Grace. I LOVED Westport and the Rolling Sun Festival.

  45. Hi Grace. So glad to hear you enjoyed the talk. It was lovely to meet you.

  46. Thanks, Pixie. Hope you enjoy the rest of it.

  47. Hi Judi, My name is ( Just call me mimi ) anyway, I love your book’s I hope you come to Trim co.meath library! I just finished double trouble and now on leave it 2 Eva that I got yesterday. I really want to meet you and be an author like you! My mom is thinking of reading some of your books!
    Best Wishes!
    Please Reply!!!


  48. Hi Mimi
    I’ve been to a few libraries in Meath, but never to Trim – will have to put it on my to-do list. Being an author is a great job – I hope it works out for you. Hope your mum reads my books, and that she likes them. All best, Judi

  49. hi judi my name is shannon do u remember the time you came to the salesian primary school in limerick about two years ago to tell us about the book the time spell i was one of the girls you talked to i also got your autograph which is blue tacked to my wall i love reading your books as does my sister lilly she loves the alice and megan series and i love them two and i love your book see if i care that was co-written by roisin meaney it was amazing just like every other book you wrote i hope to hear from you soon from shannon

  50. Thanks, Shannon. I always enjoy my visits to Salesians – it’s a lovely school. ‘Hi’ to Lilly
    Judi xxx


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.