Review: Fast Forward by Juliet Madison

fast forwardReviewed by Janell

In this story, aspiring model Kelli describes herself as “tall, slim, with glossy black hair and a well-proportioned face.” She’s just about to turn twenty-five, she has a hot boyfriend who is about to propose, and she’s very superficial. She goes to bed on the eve of her birthday and wakes up on her fiftieth birthday, married to “chubby-no-friends William McSnelly.” Her name is now Kelli McSnelly. It is the worst.

Old Kelli spends a lot of time staring at her newly old body, and she is not a fan. She sees flab, sag, wrinkles, gray hair, and sun damage, a dilapidated state overall, and she is disgusted. Now, I am personally closer in age to fifty than I am to twenty-five, and my body is far from a dilapidated state, if I may say so. I didn’t think Kelli would have been in that bad of shape, so she just really hates old people, and that made me kind of hate her.

Kelli is also super grossed out by her husband. William keeps trying to kiss her, and grope her, and he talks about his plans to have sex with her later. She simply cannot understand how an unsexy old man (and former fat kid) could find an unsexy old woman attractive. She also cannot understand why she would have married him in the first place.

You’ll be happy to know that, in the future, we’ll have cars that drive  — and parallel park — themselves, we’ll all wear electronic wrist pads that control our lives (and unlock our cars), our bathrooms will be full of buttons instead of plumbing fixtures, and we’ll have genetically modified yolkless eggs along with handy kitchen machines that boil them in five seconds. So many dramatic changes will be everyday conveniences in a mere twenty-five years!

Future Kelli eventually learns that she’s made a decent career for herself, she has two grown children, lots of friends, and her sister doesn’t hate her anymore. Everyone loves Kelli. Eventually she comes to the mature realization that being old isn’t quite so terrible, and maybe her husband isn’t totally gross, even though she still doesn’t want to have sex with him.

As a time-travel story, this was more whimsical/fantasy than grounded in any sort of reality. It boasted a future of all wonderful things, as if all global problems had been solved so that we could now focus on magic kitchens and bathrooms. As a romance story, it was a ninety percent failure because that’s approximately how much of the book Kelli was disgusted by her husband. Her epiphanies in the final act were nice, but she could have spent more time trying to understand herself and less time whining about how old she was and how much she hated the future. Which also makes me question how young, snotty Kelli could have earned such a nice, down-to-earth future if she hadn’t time traveled in the first place? I have to imagine an endless loop of time travel because without it, Kelli would have lived a vain, superficial existence until dying in some tragic accident in her thirties.

So, I didn’t love this so much. Maybe if you don’t want to think too hard, you won’t hate it.

Rating: C-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Fast Forward
by Juliet Madison
Release Date: February 1, 2013
Publisher: Escape Publishing

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