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Fast Backward

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FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOBBY HASTINGS witnesses an atomic explosion near a top secret New Mexico army base in July of 1945. Terrified, he soon heads off on his bike for home, only to encounter something that rivals the blast for drama. A girl his age stands naked at the side of the lonely desert road: underweight, unwell, and speaking with a German accent. In the coming days, she unve FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOBBY HASTINGS witnesses an atomic explosion near a top secret New Mexico army base in July of 1945. Terrified, he soon heads off on his bike for home, only to encounter something that rivals the blast for drama. A girl his age stands naked at the side of the lonely desert road: underweight, unwell, and speaking with a German accent. In the coming days, she unveils an impossible story about time travel and a heartbreaking outcome of the war. She begs people to believe her warning and prevent the awful future she claims to know too well. But even if they do believe her, and the story is true, the biggest question remains: can history be undone?


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FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOBBY HASTINGS witnesses an atomic explosion near a top secret New Mexico army base in July of 1945. Terrified, he soon heads off on his bike for home, only to encounter something that rivals the blast for drama. A girl his age stands naked at the side of the lonely desert road: underweight, unwell, and speaking with a German accent. In the coming days, she unve FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOBBY HASTINGS witnesses an atomic explosion near a top secret New Mexico army base in July of 1945. Terrified, he soon heads off on his bike for home, only to encounter something that rivals the blast for drama. A girl his age stands naked at the side of the lonely desert road: underweight, unwell, and speaking with a German accent. In the coming days, she unveils an impossible story about time travel and a heartbreaking outcome of the war. She begs people to believe her warning and prevent the awful future she claims to know too well. But even if they do believe her, and the story is true, the biggest question remains: can history be undone?

45 review for Fast Backward

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    With no warning, the sun erupts on the horizon. But not behind me, in front of me. Southwest. Impossible. Bobby Hastings is about to experience one hellova adventure. Before all this happened, things are normal (for the most part) in his neck of the woods. His folks are normal, his uncle is normal - life is stretching out to be one stroll through normalville. The only thing remotely interesting is that he's the paperboy for the local "secret" government lab and while he's never privy to their ag With no warning, the sun erupts on the horizon. But not behind me, in front of me. Southwest. Impossible. Bobby Hastings is about to experience one hellova adventure. Before all this happened, things are normal (for the most part) in his neck of the woods. His folks are normal, his uncle is normal - life is stretching out to be one stroll through normalville. The only thing remotely interesting is that he's the paperboy for the local "secret" government lab and while he's never privy to their agenda, he keeps his ears pricked for information. I often wonder what it is they are doing...Regular fellows they're not. Their bodies are here, but their minds elsewhere. Well...that was until there was an atomic bomb explosion and the naked girl shows up in front of him - claiming that she's from the future. And what a terrible future that is. Hitler won and the world was remade in his honor. "I am the face of Hitler's legacy," she says. "Your world is heaven; mine is hell. But unless I can get someone to listen to me, they will surely become one." Bobby knows he's never going to think his life is normal again. The future girl (Cocoa) spent her life studying "history" (Bobby's future) and remembers most of the key, terrible events that devastated their world - but there's gaps in her memory and with a wild story like hers, how will they get anyone to believe them? I really liked this one! I'm usually not a fan of war stories but when I saw it had a history rewrite/time travel twist to it - I knew I had to read it. Plus, with lines like this: Hitler is the supreme asshole of all assholes. what's not to love? I really appreciated that (for once!) we have a YA with two stable, loving parents and extended family members. I loved all the animals included - especially Lolly and Big Muddy! Animals always make a book shine. There were a few areas that did take me out of the story. In this history rewrite, the pacifists (including someone close to Bobby) are rounded up and placed in the Japanese internment camps. I was surprised when the main characters didn't seem very affected. I expected far more emotion from this scene and for the emotional impact to play a greater role in shaping Bobby's decisions. Other than that, I was rather satisfied with the plot - for once everything is wonderfully logical. (Well, for the most part.) Also, as an aside, one of my favorite things to do with YA is find the sentence describing how the kisses tasted. (Is it just me or does every YA-first-kiss do this?) I kiss her, and she kisses me back. Sweet, like desert air. Morning. Springtime. Not bad for a smooch! Overall - great characters, intriguing plot, well-done dialogue and above all - a fun read. With thanks to the author for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  2. 3 out of 5

    Briar's Reviews

    Fast Backward by David Patneaude is a beautiful war story that is perfect for a younger generation! I really liked this novel! Typically, war novels are not my forte but David makes this novel fun to read. Not only does it introduce some of the actual history of WW2, but it also gives insight into other possibilities. Honestly, if my grade 10 history class had made us read something like this, I probably would have been more into history. I'm not sure whether to label this a Young Adult or New Adu Fast Backward by David Patneaude is a beautiful war story that is perfect for a younger generation! I really liked this novel! Typically, war novels are not my forte but David makes this novel fun to read. Not only does it introduce some of the actual history of WW2, but it also gives insight into other possibilities. Honestly, if my grade 10 history class had made us read something like this, I probably would have been more into history. I'm not sure whether to label this a Young Adult or New Adult novel. I think pre-teens all the way up to adults would like this book. But if I'm being specific, it seems like it is written for Young and New Adults in particular. It's a more PG version of war, which can introduce a larger target audience into the events of the second World War. It's not gory or brutal by any means, but it helps get the basic points across (family separation, death, bombs, etc). With that being said, it's not "realistic" - the brutality of war is true insanity if you've ever looked into it - but for the target audience, I think it's just enough introduction to what the real horrors were so if they were interested, they could then go and read more about it. If I delve a little more into the book, I really liked the characters! Bobby/Robert was an excellent character to follow and Cocoa was the perfect companion! The relationship between all of the characters seem sincere and not forced. You can tell that David put effort into building his characters and working into them into the story. Additionally, the story arcs these characters follow build across the novel instead of just suddenly happening. The finale of the novel ends with a nice, full circle ending. It addresses comments from the beginning of the book and finishes the story to a nice end. There's no cliff hangers or plots left unanswered. I loved that part of the book with each end tying up well! My last little comments: Aesthetically, I really liked the font of the chapter numbers. This might not stay the same to the final version (I had a PDF copy), but I thought it really complimented the book. The Andrews Sisters reference was FANTASTIC! I love Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. I have a crazy fondness for older music, so this reference probably made this ensure book 100x better for me. Overall, this book is top tier! It's addicting, fast paced and tells a beautiful story I think everyone should read! I really hope more people read this book!!! Five out of five stars! I received a free copy of this novel from the author David Patneaude in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alissa Haley

    I'd like to thank David Patneaude for providing me with a physical copy for review! Review to come!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nancy (The Avid Reader)

    Fast Backward is about a fifteen-year-old boy, Bobby (Robert when his parents is mad at him) who lives in New Mexico in 1945 during WW2. Bobby has job delivering the newspaper to an army base close to his home. Bobby’s Uncle Pete his mother’s brother is in the army and is stationed there. One morning Bobby is on his way to the base with his newspapers when he sees a very bright explosion. After the explosion he continues on to the base once there he asks around about the explosion to see if anyo Fast Backward is about a fifteen-year-old boy, Bobby (Robert when his parents is mad at him) who lives in New Mexico in 1945 during WW2. Bobby has job delivering the newspaper to an army base close to his home. Bobby’s Uncle Pete his mother’s brother is in the army and is stationed there. One morning Bobby is on his way to the base with his newspapers when he sees a very bright explosion. After the explosion he continues on to the base once there he asks around about the explosion to see if anyone there had seen it. Bobby doesn’t get much of a response to his questions on the subject from anyone but the two cooks. After he delivers all of his papers for the day and without much information on the explosion he saw Bobby heads home and on his way home he sees something else that is unfamiliar to him. He finds a girl about his age on the side of the road looking lost without a stitch of clothes on. Bobby is very gentlemen like as he tries only to look at her face but he is a young man. He wants to help her out and do the right thing so he gives her the bag he carries his newspapers in to help cover her with he also gives her his shorts as he does have his boxers. When he arrives home with this stranger his mother tells him he could have given her his shirt Bobby says his head was sort of foggy at the moment which his mother replies with something like yeah I can image. Bobby finds out this girl is Cocoa and that she is from the future. She tells Bobby that his time is heaven while her time is hell. Cocoa tells Bobby that Hitler will win the war and the world as he knows it will end. After Cocoa tells Bobby of things that is going to happen in the war and things that Hitler is going to do they know they must find someone who will believe them and who can stop Hitler. Bobby contacts his Uncle Pete who is in the army hoping that he will know who to contact. Is this girl Cocoa for real? Bobby believes her can they find someone to believe them as well in time to save the world? Does Cocoa actually know what she is talking about? The answers lie between the pages of Fast Backward. Pick up your copy today to find the answers. Fast Backward has been a fact paced and enjoyable read. I have loved getting to know Bobby and Cocoa and the all the other characters. I enjoyed reading about the war way better than I thought I would. I would like to have known more about Cocoa’s world/time. But who knows maybe that is another book and time. I think Fast Backward would be enjoyed by any age group the young adult or the not so young adults like me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Conrad Wesselhoeft

    Past, present, and future collide in this one. Set in New Mexico at the dawn of the atomic age, FAST BACKWARD is also an astute pondering of our present time. How much of our lives are dictated by fate, and how much by free will? What is the power of the individual to stand up to authority when that individual is empowered by conviction? By exploring these questions through the eyes of two unforgettable teenagers, Bobby and Cocoa, author David Patneaude shines a brilliant light. A terrific read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brittany's Pages

    The year is 1945, WWII has been going on for several years. Bobby, the adopted son of a conscientious objector, delivers newspapers to the local military base. One morning, a huge explosion and mushroom cloud appears in the sky. Bobby is blown away, but the people on the base seem very happy about the incident. On his way home, Bobby comes across a naked, malnourished girl on the side of the road. She doesn’t know where she is or where exactly she came from. Bobby gives her some of his own cloth The year is 1945, WWII has been going on for several years. Bobby, the adopted son of a conscientious objector, delivers newspapers to the local military base. One morning, a huge explosion and mushroom cloud appears in the sky. Bobby is blown away, but the people on the base seem very happy about the incident. On his way home, Bobby comes across a naked, malnourished girl on the side of the road. She doesn’t know where she is or where exactly she came from. Bobby gives her some of his own clothes, and he takes her home. The family immediately take Cocoa in, feed her and clothe her. They even call in a doctor to evaluate her health. While they try to get Cocoa healthy, she has her own mission. She states she comes from 100 years in the future, a future where Hitler has won WWII and the entire planet and human race is dying. It’s a race against the clock to inform the military and to save the world from certain doom. Fast Backward was one heck of a read. It was also quite refreshing. I’ve been reading about WWII from women’s perspectives in Paris for months, now I got to see a male perspective from the US. And it certainly did not disappoint. The novel itself is an easy read and I really could not put it down. It started off a little slow, but once the action got started it really picked up. I was on the edge of my seat hoping that Bobby and Cocoa could alert the military to Hitler’s next move. This novel is also a cruel reality check of what could have happened if history played out differently. I will definitely be looking for more books by David Patneaude. Fast Backward by David Patneaude receives 4 stars. Fast Backward will be available June 1st. *Thank you to the author for sending me a free ARC in exchange for a review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Rachow

    *I recieved this book as part of a blog tour. All opinions are my own.* When I decided to read this book, I made a decision that I wanted to read something different. I’ve read a few war stories in the past that I would consider favorites, and the premise of this was intriguing. Let me start this off by saying, I am so glad I read this. I love the plot! It is clear the author knows his history, because this really felt like it happened. The names, the events, everything I remember from history cl *I recieved this book as part of a blog tour. All opinions are my own.* When I decided to read this book, I made a decision that I wanted to read something different. I’ve read a few war stories in the past that I would consider favorites, and the premise of this was intriguing. Let me start this off by saying, I am so glad I read this. I love the plot! It is clear the author knows his history, because this really felt like it happened. The names, the events, everything I remember from history class (minus the time traveling girl who comes to warn everyone). I love when an author takes their time to do the research when writing a novel bases around a true event. It makes it so much more compelling. The characters are so fantastic. Bobby is young, and he still has that innocence a 15 year old should have, but there is a maturity to him as well. I think that works in his favor throughout the story. He grows as a character and it is beautiful to watch. Cocoa was my favorite. I love that she speaks in riddles sometimes, and her thoughts are all over the place. It’s kind of what you’d expect if you met someone who had just slipped through time. I really enjoyed her relationship with Bobby, that grew over time through the novel. It was heart warming and breaking all at the same time. When the novel ended, I immediately wanted to return to the first page and re-read it. I highly suggest you pick this one up. Blog Tour: https://jessicarachow.wordpress.com/2...

  8. 3 out of 5

    John Helmon

    Do you believe how fast you power through a book, and how much sleep your willing to forgo to finish it, is any indication of how engrossing and emotionally wracking the book is? Me, too. Set in the high New Mexican desert in 1945, Fast Backward gives the reader a front-row seat to an unforgettable historical event before David Patneaude, the author, expertly crafts a revisionist reality far scarier than the actual final months of WWII. A fantastical event introduces the teenage boy and girl in Do you believe how fast you power through a book, and how much sleep your willing to forgo to finish it, is any indication of how engrossing and emotionally wracking the book is? Me, too. Set in the high New Mexican desert in 1945, Fast Backward gives the reader a front-row seat to an unforgettable historical event before David Patneaude, the author, expertly crafts a revisionist reality far scarier than the actual final months of WWII. A fantastical event introduces the teenage boy and girl in this heartwarming tale of unwavering support, budding love, living one’s principle’s no matter the cost amidst civil liberties torn asunder. When this book was a tiny seed in the author’s mind, he couldn’t have foreseen how much those liberties would actually be ripped at the last two years. Patneaude has crafted a nail-biter for a book largely about waiting: waiting for the next horrific news, waiting for a memory that could save millions of lives, waiting for the government to take the protagonists parent’s away, ‘for their own good’, waiting for this mysterious girl to care for the protagonist the way he cares for her. As well as the alternative history is done, it’s the relationships that carry Fast Backward. Every character is indelible-from the man who delivers the newspapers, to the girl plopped in a foreign place, to the caring loving parents, to Lolly, the family dog. You’ll recognize and relate to the concerns, fears and joys of each of them. After all, they’re our concerns, fears and joys.

  9. 3 out of 5

    Jaimie Patneaude

    I typically feel the WWII theme is played out but I loved this book! This isn't the standard retelling of WWII but an alternative history. The story was wonderful and I really enjoyed the characters throughout the book. A great read for YA or adult readers!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Keely

  11. 3 out of 5

    Opi

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mike Mullin

  14. 3 out of 5

    George

  15. 3 out of 5

    Sasha

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maria Espadinha

  17. 4 out of 5

    Davianna

  18. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Giroux-Pare

  19. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

  20. 4 out of 5

    M

  21. 3 out of 5

    Melissa

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  23. 3 out of 5

    Hannah

  24. 4 out of 5

    Greyson Oliver

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carol L

  26. 3 out of 5

    Lillian Knudtson

  27. 3 out of 5

    Tina

  28. 4 out of 5

    BRUEGAR

  29. 3 out of 5

    John Zeleznik

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marléne

  31. 3 out of 5

    Jess

  32. 4 out of 5

    Dale

  33. 4 out of 5

    Mary Jane

  34. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  35. 4 out of 5

    Sylvain

  36. 5 out of 5

    Ron Turner

  37. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  38. 3 out of 5

    Shell

  39. 3 out of 5

    Lara Renn

  40. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  41. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  42. 4 out of 5

    alycia

  43. 4 out of 5

    Ocean Weeks

  44. 5 out of 5

    Louise

  45. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

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