Today, its Ellen’s turn to take part in the blog tour for The Undoing of Arlo Knott by Heather Child, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down.
About the author:
Heather Child’s experience in digital marketing has brought her into close contact with the automation and personalisation technologies that herald the ‘big data’ age. She lives in Bristol and Everything About You is her debut novel. Find her on twitter at @Heatherika1
About the book:
What if your life had an ‘undo’ button?
Arlo Knott discovers he can rewind time – just by a minute or two – enough to undo any mistake, say the right thing or impress his friends with his uncanny predictions…
But second chances aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. As wonderful as his new life is, a mistake in Arlo’s traumatic childhood still haunts him and the temptation to undo, undo and keep undoing is too much to resist.
Where to start with reviewing this mind bending, time twisting gem of a book!? I was immediately drawn to the beautiful cover, the twisted snake reminding me of the Ouroboros which is a symbol of eternity and renewal of life. Renewal is definitely the hot topic in Arlo; at a young age he discovers he can reverse time. Only by seconds at first but this gradually increases as the story progresses. Of course Arlo initially uses his secret talent to benefit himself, after discovering he cannot retain specifics (lottery numbers) as he “undoes” time he turns to easier ways of raising funds with scratch cards and casinos. Arlo does come across as quite a greedy, unlikeable person but given the skill to always be able to say the right thing, take back a hurtful word or action it is understandable that he appears aloof. He does redeem himself, after dabbling in the magic business, by focussing on a career where he can save people. It was difficult to read some parts where Arlo desperately tries multiple times to “correct” mistakes and it’s a miracle that he continues to try especially when fate is determined to have its way.
The Undoing of Arlo Knott definitely gives you a lot to think about; if you could rewind time would you? It’s a tricky one, I can see the benefits but I doubt I would be as brave (foolish) as Arlo, the temptation to push your luck knowing you have a rewind option might prove too much. With great power comes great responsibility and all that! At the heart of the story is a loss Arlo suffered as a child and it is obvious that this steers a lot of his later life choices. His inability to take back a mistake in his childhood appears to be the push behind his decision making process on where to concentrate his power.
An intriguing and emotional read and one that I highly recommend!