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Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite
You Cannot Mess This Up by Amy Weinland Daughters is an emotional ride into the past. For some reason, the universe thought that Amy Daughters, a forty-six-year-old woman, must return to her past. As a result, Amy found herself in the year 1978, when she was only ten years old. If she were an invisible observer, the circumstances would have been less awkward. Instead, as per her time travel guide, her parents would think of Amy as their distant cousin. The journey from 2014 to 1978 rewarded her with a chance to meet the younger version of her parents, her ten-year-old self, and her dead grandparents.
You Cannot Mess This Up: A True Story That Never Happened by Amy Weinland Daughters does not exaggerate the effect of time travel. There were no huge issues to be resolved, yet Amy's journey back to the year 1978 changed her perspective on several things. In fact, the book implores us to realize that our memories don't always hold the full picture. We remember only the parts that our brain lets us remember. As a ten-year-old, she could not comprehend how her actions affected her parents. However, as a forty-six-year-old, she realized she was not an easy child. Yet, she knew little Amy was not at fault. The plot moves slowly, yet gracefully, and enlightens readers in the process. The cultural and technological differences between the years 2014 and 1978 are quite eye-opening. Amy Weinland Daughters has included enough drunken conversations and mandatory conflicts in the family to keep the entertainment quotient high. Overall, You Cannot Mess This Up is a must-read story to get a positive perspective on the past.