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It Wasn't Always Like This
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Soho Press 2016
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
In 1916, Emma O’Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island off St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging—as do the Ryans, her family’s business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she’s in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O’Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder—Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.
On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the founding members of the Church of Light and their descendants. Over the years, a series of murders—whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her—indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the danger grows, so does Emma’s hope for finding the boy she’s certain is still out there . . .
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/17/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781616955892
ASIN:
B014BQVMQE
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Joy Preble. (2016). It Wasn't Always Like This. Soho Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Joy Preble. 2016. It Wasn't Always Like This. Soho Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Joy Preble, It Wasn't Always Like This. Soho Press, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Joy Preble. It Wasn't Always Like This. Soho Press, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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db8504c6-4c31-0918-57d8-59aeef64c301
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:54:40
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 17:54:40
Last Metadata Check:
Dec 10, 2023 10:42:36
Last Metadata Change:
Jul 17, 2023 20:01:41
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Dec 10, 2023 10:42:39
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Apr 14, 2020 00:27:15
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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      • bioText: Joy Preble lives in Houston with her family. She teaches and lectures widely on writing and literacy, and is the author of the Sweet Dead Life series, the Dreaming Anastasia series, and Finding Paris. Visit her online at joypreble.com or follow her on Twitter @joypreble.
      • name: Joy Preble
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Soho Teen
publishDate
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title
It Wasn't Always Like This
fullDescription
In 1916, Emma O’Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island off St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging—as do the Ryans, her family’s business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she’s in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O’Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder—Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.
On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the founding members of the Church of Light and their descendants. Over the years, a series of murders—whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her—indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the danger grows, so does Emma’s hope for finding the boy she’s certain is still out there . . .
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures
      • content: "Epic and addictive--a story with the soul of a romance and the pacing of a thriller."
      • premium: False
      • source: Margo Rabb, bestselling author of Kissing in America and Cures for Heartbreak
      • content: "Not since Veronica Mars has there been such a wry and captivating teen detective. This wonderful novel is fun, romantic, and impossible to put down. Joy Preble has crafted a mesmerizing story that will thrill you while it melts your heart."
      • premium: False
      • source: Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than NotPraise for Joy Preble
      • content: "A high-speed love story with an electric mystery at its center. Immortality hasn't been this haunting, romantic, and thrilling in a long time."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Examiner
      • content: "The Sweet Dead Life is mischief and mayhem, zippy one-liners, mystery and a tiny bit of tragedy. A-word: Awesome." --E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars "Preble artfully combines contemporary characters with classic figures from Russian mythology." --Romantic Times "Hallelujah! . . . A novel that breaks the mold." --Kirkus Reviews "Light, snarky, and heartfelt." --School Library Journal "Bizarre? Yes, very. Fun to read? Yes, very."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 8, 2016
        Immortality with the boy you love sounds dreamy, but it’s a nightmare in Preble’s (Finding Paris) intriguing if overplotted thriller. It’s 1913, and 17-year-olds Emma O’Neill and Charlie Ryan have been in love for years. Their happiness evaporates when a strange man persuades their families to drink his homebrewed anti-polio potion; while it wards off polio, it also prevents them from aging. After tragedy strikes, Emma and Charlie flee Florida to avoid the evangelical Church of Light, whose members believe that their immortality is a sign of the devil. In a move meant to be noble but that instead paints him as deeply unsympathetic, Charlie parts ways with Emma. In the present day, Emma becomes a private investigator, determined to find her lost love and the church members who are killing teenage girls in an attempt to draw her out. Preble’s memorable characters and unusual take on being forever young are mired in a tangle of unneeded story lines, including Charlie’s stint as a war pilot and the church’s dubious scheme to find Emma. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer Rofé, Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        March 1, 2016
        Nearly 100 years after accidentally drinking from the Fountain of Youth, perpetually 17-year-old Emma investigates a series of murders. Through flashbacks, readers learn how inadvertently drinking from the Fountain of Youth in 1916 eventually led to the tragic murders of Emma's and Charlie's families, both white, at the hands of the congregation of the Church of Light. While the two flee for their lives, Charlie decides separation is the safer choice and deliberately breaks Emma's heart to convince her to leave him. Both soon regret the decision, but without a plan or modern modes of communication, they are unable to reunite. Flash-forward to present-day Dallas, where Emma, still searching for Charlie, finds herself also investigating a string of murdered girls who she believes are also victims of the Church of Light. After a neighboring girl is kidnapped, Emma hopes to rescue her by using herself as bait--a decision that ultimately leads to revelations about the day when she and Charlie gained their eternal youth. Interspersed throughout Emma's mystery story are chapters dedicated to recounting how Charlie has spent his life; these effectively capture the loneliness, isolation, and even regret that accompanies the secrecy required by eternal youth. The novel's resolution is awfully quick, but the storylines' convergence is largely satisfying. A modern Tuck Everlasting with a thriller twist: fun, in spite of its improbabilities. (Paranormal mystery. 12-16)

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: School Library Journal
      • content:

        April 1, 2016

        Gr 8 Up-Seventeen-year-olds Emma O'Neill and Charlie Ryan are immortal and in love forever. In 1913, they and all their family members, living together to jointly run a Florida nature museum, were tricked by a huckster into drinking a tealike potion concocted from the plants and waters of the elusive "fountain of youth," believing they were receiving a potential vaccine against polio instead. Eventually, when the fanatical leader of the local cultish Church of Light realizes that no one in either family is aging, even Emma's toddler brother, he declares them evil and burns their buildings to the ground. Only Emma and Charlie escape and hence survive, since burning is one method of killing immortals. After splitting up for safety, they elude resolute Church descendants through the decades until the present. Emma, who becomes a private investigator, follows trails of murder victims who look disturbingly like herself and Charlie. Charlie goes to war and adopts several identities. All the while, both try desperately to reconnect with the other. Told in third person with chapters set in decades past and present, the story holds convincing characters, a captivating plot with some twists, an aura of time travel, and an array of vivid settings that make it easy to suspend disbelief and accept the slightly pat yet satisfying ending. VERDICT Teens who relished the classic Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt will revel in this tale with a related premise for older readers.-Diane P. Tuccillo, Poudre River Public Library District, CO

        Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2016
        Grades 9-12 Emma O'Neill has been 17 for nearly a century, thanks to the immortality potion she and her boyfriend, Charlie Ryan, and their families drank one night. When a fanatical religious group convinced that immortality is an abomination traps the O'Neills and Ryans in a building and burn it to the ground, Emma and Charlie manage to escape, but they're separated in the aftermath. Over the next 100 years, Emma searches for Charlie and hones her PI skills, which come in handy when those fanatics' followers murder a string of girls who look just like her. When one abduction hits close to home, cynical Emma uses it as an opportunity to track down the killers in the act. Preble adeptly weaves together snippets of Emma's past and present, gradually outlining her transformation from an optimistic, winsome teen to a hardened, lone-wolf type, albeit one whose heart still flutters for a certain eternal boy. The investigation is the heart of the story, but teens will be equally charmed by Emma's noir-inflected narrative and her decades-long romance.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: The Horn Book
      • content:

        July 1, 2016
        Seventeen-year-old Emma and her boyfriend's families drank an anti-polio vaccine that rendered them immortal; pursued by religious fanatics, the teens separate. In an alternating narrative in the present day, Emma has been searching for Charlie for nearly a century and girls with a striking resemblance to Emma are being murdered. Tuck Everlasting meets the thriller genre in this satisfying era-hopping novel.

        (Copyright 2016 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

popularity
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shortDescription
In 1916, Emma O’Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island off St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging—as do the Ryans, her family’s business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she’s in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O’Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder—Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.
On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the founding members of the Church of Light and their descendants. Over the years, a series of murders—whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her—indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the danger grows, so does Emma’s hope for...
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      • description: Young Adult Fiction / Romance / General
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