If you’re a movie buff, you’ve certainly come across a time loop or two. Groundhog Day, Happy Death Day, and Palm Springs are just a few examples of this trope. TV is no different, with Supernatural, Russian Doll, and other shows devoting an episode or an entire series to the concept of repeating a day.
You know how it goes: a character wakes up, usually to a radio playing a song or the ring of a phone. They go about their day, showing their personal flaws or problems in their life. Maybe they’re arrogant, maybe they’re selfish, maybe they mess up miserably and hurt the people around them. But, then the day is over. It’s time for bed.
Only, when they wake up, the same song is playing. Weird coincidence, right? But, then, their neighbor greets them the same way. Their best friend is confused when they say they feel like they’ve lived this day before. It’s just deja vu. But moment after moment, the same things happen. They go to bed, thinking it was just a weird day.
Boom! The same song plays. They’re living the same day, and this time it’s not a coincidence. They’re trapped! Now they have to set out to figure out how to break the loop and get back to living their life!
If you love reading about repeat days from the comfort of your linear time, here are ten of the best time loop books to make you happy tomorrow is coming.
10 of the Best Time Loop Books
Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
Jack meets Kate at a party, and they talk until sunrise. They both love the same cereal, the same movies. He’s in love! She’s The One, he’s certain. Kate and Jack start to date, and everything is going according to plan. But then Kate ends up in the hospital, and she dies soon after. Jack is crushed. Suddenly, Jack is sent back to the first moment they met. He’s determined to save her this time. Time and time again, Kate dies despite his efforts. But Jack isn’t ready to give up just yet.
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until Aiden Bishop can solve her murder. And Aiden, each day, wakes up in the body of a different guest at the scene of the crime, Blackheath Manor. Through each person in this locked-room mystery, Aiden must put the pieces together and determine who killed Evelyn to break the cycle for them all as more and more people get trapped alongside them, including one out for their blood.
All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Translated by Alexander O. Smith
The human race is under attack when the aliens, Gitai, invade. Soldiers are needed to save everyone, and Keiji Kiriya is one of many thrown into the battlefield. After an ambush in his first battle, Keiji kills a Mimic, but then he dies. And wakes up two days before. Now he’s stuck in a time loop with no way out. He tries everything to get out before resigning himself to his fate. But then he starts talking to legendary warrior Rita Vratraski. Will she be able to help him get out of this alive?
Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Andie has to start at a new school her senior year. And she’s not exactly the best at making friends. She prefers romance movies to the reality, her never-been-kissed a testament to that fact. So, of course, she gets caught in a time loop of her first day of senior year with no way to break the curse in sight. Her solution? Find the right boy to break the spell with a kiss. She sets off, integrating in different friend groups, to locate her curse breaker.
Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out by Mo Yan, Translated by Howard Goldblatt
This one’s a different kind of time loop. Ximen Nao has his land taken away and is executed after Mao’s Land Reform Movement in 1948. Then, he is reborn onto his own farm, but as a donkey. Then, an ox. A pig. A monkey. A boy. Through his reincarnations, Ximen illustrates the backstory of his family and decades of Chinese history as he lives them from the eyes of these animals.
Version Control by Dexter Palmer
Rebecca met her husband on a dating app, the very app she works customer support for. She’s managed to make a life for herself, despite a car accident in the past that killed her son. Her husband, a physicist, is working on a machine (totally not a time machine). And, around him, Rebecca feels weird. Like walking into a room and forgetting why kind of weird. Time loops around in ways she doesn’t expect. This exploration of physics, time travel, and modern technology is as fascinating as it is touching.
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
Maelyn loves spending Christmas in a Utah cabin every year with her family and the family of her long-time crush Andrew. But this will be the last one. Andrew’s family is selling it. As she drives away for the last time, she wishes for what will make her happy. And then she crashes, and the world goes dark. She wakes up…on the plane to Utah again? Now, Mae has to figure out how to break the time loop as Christmas traditions and yuletide cheer surround her and the rumblings of love appear beneath the mistletoe.
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
Beatrice and her friends used to be the cool kids. Inseparable. But then, her boyfriend and group leader, Jim, dies and the group falls apart. One year later, they plan a meet up and Beatrice is determined to get answers about the mysterious nature of Jim’s death. During the meet up, the group gets into a car accident and end up trapped in a same-day-over-again purgatory called “neverworld wake.” Now they’ve got to figure out how to break the time loop and solve Jim’s death while they’ve still got time.
A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody
Mondays suck. Ellison’s speeding ticket, horrible school picture, failed attempt at trying out for the softball team, forgotten umbrella, and sudden dumping by her boyfriend can attest. She wishes she could just do it all over again! Then, she wakes up and it’s Monday. She got her wish. Now, she needs to make things right and stop her boyfriend from dumping her out of the blue. She has seven Mondays to do it.
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
Oona is turning 19 at midnight on New Year’s Eve with her whole future ahead of her. She faints, and wakes up in her body, but 32 years in the future. Each year, she jumps into a different age, while still feeling 19 inside. Oona’s story of self-discovery, but out of order, delves into the value of family, the endurance of love, and the way we change over the years of our lives.
I hope you enjoyed this list of best time loop books to make you grateful for tomorrow. If you like time travel books, try these 20 must-read time travel books to add to your TBR or these middle grade time loop books!