30 Best Time Travel & Time Loop Books To Escape Reality

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Are you a fan of the mysterious and the unknown? Do you dream of exploring different eras and cultures? If you find yourself standing between the past and the future, you’re in the right place. Here, we explore the very best time travel and time loop books – the most enthralling, mind-boggling reads out there.

From classic novels like H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine to contemporary works, such as Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, this list has something for every time-hopping enthusiast. We’ll dive into what makes each of these stories unique and what lessons can still be learned from them today. So, prepare to take a journey through time and space – all without leaving the comfort of your own home.

What The Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

If you’re interested in exploring the historical romance genre through the lens of time travel, then What The Wind Knows by Amy Harmon is a great choice.

The novel takes place in Ireland in 1921 and follows the story of Anne Gallagher, a journalist who finds herself transported back in time to the year 1916. As she navigates the tumultuous political landscape of the time, she falls in love with a man named Thomas Smith. 

Overall, What The Wind Knows is a captivating read that will transport you to a different time and place. It’s an excellent option for anyone who loves romance, history, and the idea of traveling through time. 

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11/22/63 by Stephen King

If you’re looking for a thrilling time travel adventure with a touch of historical significance, then 11/22/63 is the book for you. The story follows English teacher Jake Epping, who discovers a portal that takes him back to 1958. His mission: to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

11/22/63 expertly blends elements of historical fiction, science fiction, and thriller to create a captivating read that keeps you on the edge of your seat. King’s attention to detail and character development make the story come alive, immersing readers in the world of the past complete with accurate descriptions of the era’s politics, culture, and lifestyle. 

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One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop follows the story of August, a young woman who falls in love with a girl named Jane, who seems to be stuck in time and only exists on the subway. August attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding Jane’s situation in order to be with her.

One Last Stop is a heartwarming and touching love story that delves into themes of identity, acceptance, and the transformative power of love.

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In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years is a beautifully written novel that explores the complexities of love and fate. The story follows Dannie Kohan, a successful lawyer who has her life mapped out down to the last detail. But after a vivid dream in which she wakes up five years in the future, in a different apartment, engaged to a different man, she begins to question if fate really has a plan for her.

If you want a book about time travel that delves into the complexities of relationships and the outcomes of our decisions, In Five Years is an essential read.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

For those who crave historical romance and a strong female lead, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is a time travel book not to be missed.

Set in 18th-century Scotland, the story follows Claire Randall, a combat nurse from World War II who is transported to the year 1743. Through her wits and determination, Claire finds herself caught up in the Jacobite risings and entangled in a passionate love affair with the dashing Jamie Fraser.

Gabaldon’s vivid descriptions and attention to historical detail create an immersive experience that transports readers back in time. But at its core, Outlander is a story about love, sacrifice, and the power we possess to shape our destiny. As Claire navigates the dangers and uncertainties of her new reality, she must confront whether she can truly belong in a time and place so different from her own.

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This Is How You Lose The War by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar 

Continuing to explore more intricate time travel stories, This Is How You Lose The War is a mind-bending, emotionally charged novel. Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar, who have been critically acclaimed for their works, combine forces to create a stunning narrative that blends science fiction and fantasy while exploring themes of love, loss, and the human cost of war.

The story follows two time-traveling agents, one from each side of a war that stretches across timelines and dimensions. As they engage in a game of cat and mouse, they begin to question the foundation of their conflict and whether or not they are fighting for the right side. 

With its intricate world-building and captivating characters, This Is How You Lose The War is a must-read for anyone looking for a book that challenges their perceptions and takes them on a thought-provoking journey. 

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Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red is a young adult novel that brings a fresh perspective to the time travel genre. The story follows Gwyneth Shepherd, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl who suddenly discovers she has the ability to time travel. Together with her time-traveling partner Gideon de Villiers, Gwyneth embarks on a thrilling adventure to uncover a centuries-old secret.  

What sets Ruby Red apart from other time travel books is its focus on the characters and their relationships. Gier masterfully weaves elements of romance, humor, and mystery into the story, making it an engaging read for both young and older audiences.

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All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Elan Mastai’s All Our Wrong Todays is a unique take on the time travel genre. The novel explores the concept of alternate realities and the idea that one small change in the past can profoundly affect the future. Mastai’s writing style is engaging and fast-paced, keeping readers hooked from start to finish.

The protagonist, Tom Barren, lives in a futuristic world that is the product of a technological revolution brought about by a time travel experiment gone wrong. But when Tom goes back in time to fix a mistake, he inadvertently creates an alternate reality vastly different from his own. The consequences of his actions are far-reaching, forcing Tom to question his values and his life choices.

All Our Wrong Todays is a must-read for readers who enjoy a good mix of science fiction, romance, and adventure. 

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Kindred by Octavia Butler

Another book that explores the complex themes of time travel is Octavia Butler’s Kindred. The story follows Dana, a young black woman living in California in 1976, who inexplicably finds herself transported back in time to the antebellum South. As she navigates this dangerous and oppressive world, she learns she is a direct ancestor of the heir to an enslaver’s plantation. And to ensure her own existence, she must keep her ancestors safe. 

Butler’s writing is powerful and thought-provoking, addressing important themes such as identity, power, and justice. She masterfully weaves together elements of science fiction and historical fiction, creating a captivating and impactful story. If you’re looking for a book that will leave you thinking long after you’ve turned the last page, then Kindred is a must-read.

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See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon

From Rachel Lynn Solomon comes See You Yesterday, a novel about college student Barrett Bloom who finds herself stuck in a time loop with her nemesis Miles. Together, they must figure out how to break free from the loop and fix the timeline. However, nothing is ever as simple as it seems, especially when you add love to the equation.

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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

From Claire North comes The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, a mind-bending novel that explores the idea of living multiple lives, each time retaining the memories of the previous one. The story follows the titular character, Harry August, who is born in 1919 and discovers that he is a “kalachakra,” a rare person who is reborn over and over again, constantly restarting his life at the beginning but with all of his memories intact.

As Harry navigates his many lives, he becomes embroiled in a centuries-long conflict with others like him, who seek to use their knowledge of the future to reshape the world to their liking.

The novel is both a thrilling adventure and a meditation on the nature of time, memory, and identity. If you’re a fan of time travel stories that challenge your preconceptions, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a must-read.

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Displacement by Kiku Hughes

For those interested in exploring unique time travel concepts, Displacement by Kiku Hughes is a must-read. This novel offers a captivating and authentic perspective on the Japanese American internment during World War II. The story is told through the eyes of a modern-day teenager who is transported back in time and experiences firsthand the challenges and injustices faced by her ancestors. 

Displacement highlights the importance of acknowledging and learning from history, and it is a powerful reminder of the lasting impact of systemic racism and discrimination. For readers looking to expand their understanding of the world and how the past has shaped it, this page-turner is an excellent choice.

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This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

Emma Straub’s novel This Time Tomorrow follows Alice, who, on her fortieth birthday, suddenly finds herself transported back to her sixteenth birthday in 1996. However, what surprises her is not reliving her youth but meeting her happy and content forty-something-year-old father. With her newfound knowledge and mature perspective, Alice must decide whether to alter anything from her past.

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Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle

Are you ready for a gripping journey through time? Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle is the story you’ve been looking for. Dr. Sam Anderson wakes up to find his wife murdered and himself and his daughter Adeline accused of her death. In the future of this mystery-filled adventure, criminals are transported 200 million years into the past—the age of the dinosaurs. 

To save his daughter from a bleak fate, Sam does the one thing that seals his own fate: he confesses. However, Adeline will stop at nothing to save her father and clear their names. Follow her as she fights her way through time, where the laws of space and time no longer apply. Will she be successful in her mission, or will they be lost forever in time? Find out in Lost in Time.

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Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore 

If you’re in the mood for a time travel novel that explores the human experience in a unique way, Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore is worth checking out. The novel follows Oona, who wakes up every New Year’s Day at a different point in her life, jumping back and forth through time without any control over the process. As she tries to navigate her life out of order, Oona discovers that the consequences of her actions can be both unexpected and far-reaching.

Montimore’s writing is both clever and heartfelt, making for a compelling read that will stay with you long after you turn the final page. 

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In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren

For those seeking a bit of holiday cheer mixed in with their time travel escapades, In a Holidaze from Christina Lauren is a delightful addition to the genre. This feel-good romantic comedy takes readers on a journey to a cozy mountain cabin, where protagonist Mae finds herself stuck in a time loop, reliving the same holiday vacation over and over again. Along the way, she navigates her own feelings for her longtime friend Andrew and learns the importance of following her heart.

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Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister 

October 30th is the night Jen’s world is turned upside down. When her son Todd is arrested for murder, all she can do is watch. But the next morning, Jen wakes to find it’s the day before. With time reclaimed, her one chance to unravel the truth and save Todd from his destiny. 

Gillian McAllister’s Wrong Place Wrong Time is a time traveling murder mystery that takes readers on a wild and unforgettable ride. Don’t miss out on this remarkable piece of suspense!

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The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Jose Silver

Josie Silver’s The Two Lives of Lydia Bird offers a unique take on the idea of parallel universes, exploring the concept of “what if” and the impact of our choices on our lives. The novel follows the titular character, Lydia Bird, who finds herself jumping between two separate lives, each one a product of a different decision she made in the past. As she navigates the emotional complexities of her situation, Lydia must confront the reality that the life she once imagined for herself may not be the one she truly wants.

Silver’s writing is raw and emotional, delving deeply into the psychological turmoil that comes with regret and the desire for a different outcome. Readers will find themselves fully immersed in Lydia’s journey, empathizing with her struggles as she grapples with the consequences of her choices. 

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Recursion by Blake Crouch

For readers who enjoy intricate, mind-bending plots, Recursion presents an inventive take on time travel. With an intense focus on memory and its effect on identity, Crouch weaves a complex tale that explores technology’s power to manipulate time. As characters grapple with the consequences of their actions and the weight of their memories, readers will be drawn into a gripping story that challenges their perceptions of reality.

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The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston

From the author of The Dead Romantics comes The Seven Year Slip, a story about a publicist who finds herself in an impossible situation when she falls for her temporary roommate…one who happens to live seven years in the past.   

Readers looking for a time traveling summer escape will undoubtedly find that in Ashley Poston’s upcoming release. It will undoubtedly become one of the time travel books of 2023.

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Replay by Ken Grimwood

In Replay by Ken Grimwood, Jeff Winston dies of a heart attack at 43, only to wake up in his 18-year-old body with all his memories intact. He quickly realizes that he has a chance to relive his life and make different choices. Jeff cycles through several lifetimes, each with unique challenges and rewards. As he becomes more skilled at navigating these experiences, he begins questioning the purpose of his never-ending cycle.

Replay is a fascinating exploration of what it means to live a life without end and our choices’ impact on ourselves and those around us. The character development is excellent, and readers will find themselves rooting for Jeff as he struggles to come to terms with his new reality.

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Here And Now And Then by Mike Chen

Another novel that delves into the complexities of time travel and human relationships is Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen. This book follows Kin Stewart, a time-traveling agent from the year 2142, who becomes stuck in 1996 after a mission goes wrong. He creates a new life for himself, marrying a woman and having a daughter, but when his agency finally finds him, he must choose between returning to his old life or staying with the family he has grown to love.

Chen’s writing is a beautiful exploration of the love between a parent and child and the extent to which we are willing to go to safeguard those we hold dear. The novel also raises thought-provoking questions about the impact of time travel on personal relationships and the human experience.

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The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

From Heidi Heilig comes The Girl From Everywhere, a captivating tale that combines history, mythology, and time travel. The story follows the adventures of Nix, a young girl who has spent her life aboard her father’s ship, The Temptation. Nix’s father is a navigator who can travel through time using maps from different eras. Their mission is to find a map that will take them back to 1868 Hawaii, where Nix’s father hopes to save her mother’s life. But as they journey through time, Nix begins to question whether saving her mother will come at a cost. 

Heilig creates a vivid and intricate world with a cast of complex and relatable characters. Through Nix’s journey, the book explores themes of family, love, and the consequences of our choices. The Girl From Everywhere is a must-read for anyone seeking an exciting adventure with a hint of enchantment.

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If I See You Again Tomorrow by Robbie Couch

Tired of living the same Monday over and over? Then Robbie Couch’s “If I See You Again Tomorrow” is the perfect time travel book for you! Join Clark on his 310th Monday, when an anomaly turns his world upside down, and he makes a daring journey with Beau to unravel the mystery of the time loop. With Couch’s unique twist on the classic time travel trope, this is one adventure you won’t want to miss!

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The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Stuart Turton’s The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle presents a unique take on time travel by immersing the reader in a murder mystery that is solved over the course of eight repeating days. The protagonist, Aiden Bishop, wakes up each morning in a different body, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, and must solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle to escape this time loop.

Turton’s writing is both clever and complex, keeping the reader engaged with each new twist and turn. The intricate plot demands close attention, but the payoff is a satisfying resolution that will leave you stunned.

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The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells’ 1895 classic The Time Machine breathed life into the idea of time travel, inspiring generations of readers to explore its thrills and possibilities with each re-reading. The novel is not only a thrilling adventure but also reflects on society and the human condition, demonstrating why it continues to be a beloved classic for people of all ages.

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Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five is a classic novel that takes a unique approach to time travel. The story follows Billy Pilgrim, a World War II soldier who becomes “unstuck in time.” He experiences his life out of sequence, jumping between different moments in his past and future. The time travel aspect of this book is not the main focus; rather, it serves to underscore the trauma of war and the human condition. 

Vonnegut’s storytelling is compelling and thought-provoking, making this a must-read for anyone interested in the power of storytelling. If you’re looking for a time travel book that delves into deep philosophical themes, Slaughterhouse-Five is a great choice. 

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One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle 

Katy’s life is thrown into disarray when her mother, Carol, passes away. But when Katy decides to go on the planned mother-daughter trip to Positano—the place where Carol spent a summer before meeting Katy’s father—she begins to feel her mother’s spirit drifting along the Amalfi Coast. That is, until she literally bumps into her mother—young, tan and carefree—just thirty-years-old. Though it’s impossible to explain, Katy gets to spend one last summer with her mother in the place that meant so much to her. 

One Italian Summer is the perfect time traveling beach read that will transport you to the Italian coastline and leave you with a newfound appreciation for the summer. 

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The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

From Matt Haig comes The Midnight Library, a thought-provoking and emotional journey that explores the concept of parallel universes. The protagonist, Nora Seed, finds herself in a library that holds infinite books, each representing a different life she could have lived if she had made different choices. As she travels through these alternate lives, Nora comes to understand the value of her own life and the impact she has on those around her.

Haig’s work offers a unique twist on time travel, using it as a tool for personal growth and introspection rather than as a means of altering history. Readers will find themselves immersed in Nora’s journey of self-discovery and reflection, encouraging them to examine their own lives and the paths they have taken.

The Midnight Library is a must-read for those who appreciate deeply emotional stories. The book seamlessly blends science fiction and philosophy elements, creating a poignant exploration of what it means to be alive. 

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The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

If you’re looking for a complex and emotionally charged time travel story, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is an excellent choice. This novel follows the love story of Henry, a librarian with a rare genetic condition that causes him to time travel, and his wife Clare, an artist who patiently waits for him to return to her.

What sets The Time Traveler’s Wife apart from other time travel stories is the emphasis on the power of love and how it can transcend time and space. Niffenegger’s writing is both beautiful and heartbreaking, making this a truly unforgettable read.

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