Review: ‘Once Was a Time’ by Leila Sales and Contest Giveaway

Review: ‘Once Was a Time’ by Leila Sales and Contest Giveaway

I received this book for free from publisher request pitch in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Once Was a Time’ by Leila Sales and Contest GiveawayOnce Was a Time by Leila Sales
Published by Chronicle Books on April 5th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy & Magic, Friendship, Historical, Love & Romance, Time Travel, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: publisher request pitch
In the war-ravaged England of 1940, Charlotte Bromley is sure of only one thing: Kitty McLaughlin is her best friend in the whole world. But when Charlotte’s scientist father makes an astonishing discovery that the Germans will covet for themselves, Charlotte is faced with an impossible choice between danger and safety. Should she remain with her friend or journey to another time and place?

Her split-second decision has huge consequences, and when she finds herself alone in the world, unsure of Kitty’s fate, she knows that somehow, some way, she must find her way back to her friend. Written in the spirit of classic time-travel tales, this book is an imaginative and heartfelt tribute to the unbreakable ties of friendship.

“Rewarding and uplifting.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Will delight those who revel in the vast mysteries of time and coincidence.” —The Horn Book Magazine

“Shines in its portrayal of friendship.” —School Library Journal

“The bond between Lottie and Kitty-proves to be both tender and unstoppable.” —Booklist

"An imaginative and heartfelt tribute to the unbreakable ties of friendship."— Middle Shelf Magazine

About Leila Sales

Leila Sales is the author of many critically acclaimed young adult novels, including Tonight the Streets Are Ours and This Song Will Save Your Life. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at

Chapters/IndigoThe Book DepositoryAmazon CanadaGood Reads



Charlotte Bromley’s scientist father has been working on creating a theory that time traveling can exist. So when he doesn’t come home one day, and her and her very best friend Kitty gets kidnapped by the Nazis, she has to make the very hard decision to stay or leave. This one decision changes her life, and with it, her ideal place called home.


Charlotte is still very young, and it was quite disturbing to see how the “mean girl” route between tweens emerged. I couldn’t even imagine having this type of friend back when I was in school, but lo-and-behold, I’m sure it was always around and I was lucky enough to stay away from it. Girls are mean, and Charlotte gets in with the popular crowd. I’m glad that she ends up realizing the truth though.


One thing I loved about this was that it felt like an adventure. One where our main character gets to figure out how to fend for herself even if she is still a child. I was remarkably pleased that she had the determination to find her best friend. And sure she had a minor set-back, but her friend Jake helped her when she needed it the most. I loved how quick the story went. Maybe it went too quickly because before I knew it, I was finished. I loved reading the ending, and it made me tear up a bit. SO sweet.


I love books about friendship, and this one is definitely one to read! Leila Sales sure knows how to tug at your heart-strings!


When something seems like an unbelievable coincidence, then consider that it might not be a coincidence. (5)
I liked my adventures to stay where they belonged: in books, where I could shut the cover on them any time I wanted. (9)
What do you do when you learn, without a doubt, that you’ve lost everyone you love and you’re trapped by time forever? (87)
Since the people who most need a library are the ones who can’t pay for it; the people who need our free internet and computers and reference materials and a quiet place to sit because they can’t afford to buy any of that for themselves. (175)
When somebody leaves, they leave you. Even if you’re not the reason why they leave, you’re still the one left behind. (177)
But I just keep telling myself that maybe this adventure needs to come to an end so that a new adventure can begin. (221)
Because this isn’t just a question about who you hang out with. It’s about what kind of person you are. (224)
I just don’t get why you have to change who you are in order to get people to like you. (256)

If you pretend to be someone for long enough, then it doesn’t even feel like pretending anymore. (296)[/su_quote]

reading progress


contest giveaway

rules and regulations

  • Ends on May 1st, 2015 at 12:01AM (EST)
  • Canadian/USA  icon_canada icon_united-states  residents only.
  • Canadian residents must answer the skill-testing question correctly to qualify.
  • The publisher will be in charge of shipping.
  • Book Nerd Canada will not be responsible for lost or damaged packages.
  • Total prize value is approximately $23 CAD.
  • The winner will be announced on Twitter and in the Rafflecopter Widget.
  • For the complete set of rules and regulations click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway






  1. Valerie Mallette

    April 29, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    No, I haven’t read any of Leila Sales books yet but I’d like to. 🙂

  2. Jacklin Updegraft

    April 20, 2016 at 4:59 PM

    I have read Tonight the Streets are Ours and I thought it was pretty good. I started listening to the audio book for This Song Will Save Your Life but I didn’t really like the way it was narrated so I’m gonna try in physical form.

  3. Celeste

    April 15, 2016 at 3:54 PM

    This book looks great

  4. Summer

    April 12, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    I really enjoyed This Song Will Save Your Life, I loved the music and seeing the heroine gain confidence, but I think my favorite part was the little sister, I just adored her.

  5. Doris H

    April 6, 2016 at 11:34 PM

    I haven’t read her work yet…always love to check out new authors, so even if I don’t win, I’ll likely order her book.

  6. bill norris

    April 6, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    i have not, but it sounds cool.

  7. Cindy's Love of Books

    April 6, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    I haven’t read any of her books and I don’t know why? She sounds like an awesome author

    • giselle

      April 7, 2016 at 10:12 PM

      I hope you give her books a try

  8. Lisa Richards

    April 6, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    I haven’t but this sounds full of genres I love

  9. Alyssa

    April 6, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    I loved This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales & I love this cover! The story sounds really good…I didn’t know that it was going to be some historical fiction. Really hoping to read this 😀

    • giselle

      April 7, 2016 at 10:12 PM

      I love that one too. One of my faves!

  10. Kara Lauren

    April 6, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    I haven’t read any of Leila’s books yet, but this one looks good!

    • giselle

      April 7, 2016 at 10:11 PM

      Her other books are just as excellent

  11. Linda Romer

    April 6, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    No, I haven’t read any of Leila Sales books yet. I love Time Travel books and would love to give this one a try. Thank you

  12. Angel @Angel Reads

    April 6, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    I don’t think this is one that I am going to like, however it does sound interesting. Thanks for the review.
    Angel @Angel Reads recently posted…March Wrap Up (2016)My Profile

  13. Heather

    April 6, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    I’ve never ready anything by this author, although there are a few of hers now that I’ve added to my TBR list. This one especially sounds interesting and can’t wait to pick it up 🙂

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