The Déja Glitch
Grade : B+

If you’re a fan of the movie Groundhog Day, or just an average person who’s made mistakes and had the thought that it would be nice to get a second chance at important moments in life, then you will enjoy The Déja Glitch.

The name sort of gives the plot away, so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by telling you that this is a story in which two people find themselves reliving a single day in their lives, over and over. However the thing which makes this book different from the many other stories of its ilk is that our narrator, Gemma Peters, isn’t aware she’s in a time loop as the book opens. She has been blithely going along with her routine for the past five months, but is increasingly feeling a sense of déja-vu as she repeats certain key moments. And all of this déja-vu seems to circle around one man: Jack Lincoln.

Jack, we come to learn, has been aware of the time loop since it began and noticed long ago that Gemma is the only person whose behavior seems to change, even if she’s not fully aware of their circumstances. In the time since the loop started, he’s gone from vaguely attracted to her when they originally met at a bar, to deeply interested once he sees she’s changing despite the loop, to head over heels in love as he comes to know her. But despite all his efforts, Gemma seems to forget him with every ‘new’ day… until he kisses her one night. And then the fun starts.

The story begins the day after their first kiss, and it’s clear that something about that moment altered their reality. Gemma’s sense of déja-vu upon meeting Jack again is strong enough that he notices, and probes her about it, and starts to feel hope that they will get out of this mess. The only problem is that Gemma is far from on the same page with him. She is by turns entranced with the handsome man who anticipates her so well, and skeptical of the lunatic who insists they’re in a time warp and even goes so far as to bring her to a theoretical physicist to back up his story. There is a real see-saw of emotions which keeps the story moving at a good pace without ever being too overwhelming.

I won’t spoil the surprise about what finally gets Jack and Gemma out of their loop, but I will say that they both make good use of their time there. While it’s painful, in some ways, not to be able to move forward in their lives, Jack and Gemma both use this unexpected pause to work through issues facing them. We’re able to directly observe these changes in Gemma, as she reaches out to estranged relatives and pursues career ambitions she was previously shy about, but Jack too has his own growth arc. I’m not sure if men mature more slowly than women or if it’s Jack who matures more slowly than Gemma – but it seems he truly needed his months stuck in the loop alone to work through most of his own career and life issues in order to wrap them up so neatly at the same time as Gemma.

The Déja Glitch sets a light-hearted and fun tone with characters who have good chemistry amidst very unique circumstances. But one of the things that hit the best for me was the way that Gemma and Jack put their extra time to good use. It’s a thoroughly satisfying story, and a great debut for Holly James.

Reviewed by Alexandra Anderson

Grade: B+

Sensuality: Subtle

Review Date : September 24, 2023

Publication Date: 08/2023

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  1. I read Ulrich’s book several years ago,it was excellent. American Experience on PBS did an adaptation of the book, it…

Alexandra Anderson

College student by day. Book enthusiast around the clock. With any luck I'll eventually be able to afford food AND books. But I've got my priorities straight.
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