#Review - The Photo Traveler by @arthurjgonzalez #YA #fantasy

I introduced this book to you back in July and am thrilled to finally have the chance to share my review with you as well!  

Publication : Fahrenheit Publishing, LLC ( Feb. 2013 )
ISBN: 0988891638
Length : 420 pages
Genre:  YA, time traveling, fantasy

Book Description: 

Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.

Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.”

Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it.&nbsp

He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can time travel through through photos and images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!

His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.

For Gavin Hillstone, life will never be the same.

Buy it :   Paperback   or   Kindle 

My Thoughts : 

Gavin has had a miserable life.  Losing his parents at a young age, he ends up in foster care and then adopted.  He was loved in that family until the day he received yet another loss-  his adoptive mom was murdered and his adoptive father becomes even worse - drinking and beatings.   One day he discovers he has living grandparents and strikes out to find them.

One would think that life can only go uphill from here for Gavin.  He does find his grandparents and now has a loving family but also now knows the secret of his legacy- he is a photo traveler.   Gavin will endure even more loss, along with more love than he's known.

I really enjoyed reading The Photo Traveler.  The ability to go into a photo and go back to that exact time is amazing.  This book will pull you in.  There were plenty of twists and turns happening all the time.  As I was finishing the book,  I had maybe 20 pages left and had to stop for the evening.  I assumed the last 20 pages would just be wrapping things up but when I picked it up the next morning  I was shocked at how many new twists happened -leading us into a second book in the series!  Just when you think it's over - BOOM! some new twist happens and you're going in a different direction!  I love these kinds of books that keep you thinking and constantly reassessing everything!   One particular idea that I loved was the fact that although Gavin's parents "died"  when he was 4years old, he is now able to go visit them and build a relationship with them thru photos.  Now some might feel it's cheating to do this, but I loved it.  He has been through so much, it's nice of the author to allow him this little concession!

All in all, I felt this was a well written Young Adult book.  Plenty of action abounds with a splash of romance thrown in to keep us girls happy!  Check it out and let me know what you think!!

4.5 Stars 

The Photo Traveler is young adult author Arthur J. Gonzalez's first novel.  Arthur was born and raised in Miami surrounded by his loud Cuban family.  He graduated from the University of Florida, where he aquired his coffee obsession and his chocolate hoarding antics.  He's the proud father of one baby girl, Sookie- his miniature schnoodle dog.   Arthur is a self-professed goofball who spends 98% of his life laughing.  He's now working on his second novel. 

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