“What, you don’t like a good time loop story? Everyone likes a time loop story.”The Déjà Glitch
Yes, we do! Holly James’ “The Deja Glitch” is a cute, fun, and thoroughly engaging tale of falling in love… with a stranger. Inspired by Groundhog Day, this time loop romance novel shines with charm and intriguing fantastical elements.
We follow Gemma and Jack trying to find a way out of a time loop. One Thursday morning, Gemma crashes into Jack in a Starbucks and tells her something she finds unbelievable. Apparently, he has been stuck in a time loop for five months, and he believes she’s the key to getting out of it. If she can fall for him, that just might be the way to get out of the loop. There is an attempt to explain this phenomenon through science but I did not understand the technicalities. The premise works because of its reliance on fate and fantasy.
Falling in Love in One Day
The fun part begins when Gemma and Jack get to know each other and open up about their lives, exes, family drama and careers. Jack seemingly has the upper-hand, having seen Gemma for 147 days prior. It is a slippery slope not to make Jack a creep that’s blurting out intimate knowledge of Gemma’s life every 5 seconds, and Holly James manages to navigate this plot well.
Falling in love in 24 hours is hard, but this book made me root hard for this couple. Also, Gemma and Jack made good use of their 24 hours. I want that brand of 24 hours!
I enjoyed The Déjà Glitch. This story drew me in immediately, especially considering the light, light fantasy elements. It was so easy to read and funny at times. The book’s exploration of emotions and its portrayal of an instant deep connection between characters make the concept of falling in love quickly not only plausible but also heartwarming. There’s also music, which is a plus for me!
The main romance is great. But I also love that Gemma is inspired to go out of her comfort-zone in her career, and also explore her relationship with her father deeper. I do wish we got more fluff and personality and less of the ex and jealousy drama.
Gemma’s character is the anchor and her personality gels well with Jack. He’s supportive when she has an emotional reaction. Gemma can be hard to root for, and her flaws make her journey all the more intriguing and relatable. Because this is told from Gemma’s perspective, the other 147 days are not shown. This update to the time-loop trope works for the most part, but I can’t help but wonder what would happen to the other iterations of Gemma and Jack that we don’t get to see. At the end, Gemma gains the memories of the last days, which I was not expecting, but added a layer of depth to their relationship and evens the field for both characters.
“She reached her arm across him. ‘If I hadn’t met you, I never would have fallen in love in one day.’ His voice was warm and soft. ‘Today was the best day of my life.'”
Lila, the supporting character, did not resonate with me, and fell flat as the humorous friend. She champions the couple in the book, and even posts a video of them that ends up going viral. While her role was important, her impact in making this an enjoyable experience was questionable.
Finally, the exploration of Los Angeles was a big draw to me. In stories like this, getting familiar with the setting and seeing things from a romantic lens always makes it better.
The Deja Glitch is a delightful summer read and is great escapist fodder. I recommend you add it to your autumn reading list.