Another indie Amazon YA freebie, but this one's a whole 'nother bottle of .. stuff that comes in bottles. It's great!
Summary: AJ and her friends Lex and Ipod are a family. Lilo and Stitch style, small, and broken, but they are more family than any of their real families can manage. Ipod's father is a bully, Lex's mother couldn't care less as long as Lex doesn't get in her way, and AJ feels responsible for the death of her mother and the disintegration of her father. On top of all this, she has a secret: She disappears, randomly, to who knows where or when, or for how long. Enter Constantine (what are the odds I'd pick up a book with an MC named Constantine just a couple of days after the gorgeous baby post on BL :). Anyway, Constantine is not just the new guy at school, he seems to have something to do with her disappearing, or at least knows more than AJ does about what's going on.
Anyway, this is really well written, the voice is spot on, the plot is engaging and makes as much logical sense as a time travel story ever can. It's definitely insta-attraction, and a bit of magical insta-love in at least one direction, but not without mitigating circumstances. There's a sort of love triangle (one character thinks another has a partner, although they don't), but it does serve to propel the plot forward rather than being a pointless artificial hindrance, so I got over it. There is a sequel coming, but this reads entirely fine as a standalone, no cliffhanger and all the plot threads resolved nicely.
This is the first 'zon freebie in ages I can actually recommend as a decent YA read, and it's the kind of thing my 14 year old will love - a twisty turning plot, engagingly real characters albeit in a surreal situation, no stupid girls pining over boys they can't have or are bad for them anyway, no sex, and a good old fashioned HEA for everyone, including the non-romantic leads.