The 12 Best Time Loop Books

Here are the best time loop books that take the Groundhog Day concept to the next level.


1. Replay

replayby Ken Grimwood, 1986

Jeff Winston, forty-three, didn’t know he was a replayer until he died and woke up twenty-five years younger in his college dorm room; he lived another life. And died again. And lived again and died again – in a continuous twenty-five-year cycle – each time starting from scratch at the age of eighteen to reclaim lost loves, remedy past mistakes, or make a fortune in the stock market. A novel of gripping adventure, romance, and fascinating speculation on the nature of time, Replay asks the question: “What if you could live your life over again? ”


2. All You Need Is Kill

all you need is killby Hiroshi Sakurazaka, 2004

When the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally–the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?


3. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

the first fifteen lives of harry augustby Catherine Webb(pen name Claire North), 2014

Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. “I nearly missed you, Doctor August,” she says. “I need to send a message.”

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.


4. Before I Fall

lauren oliverby Lauren Oliver, 2010

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.


5. Strange Life of Ivan Osokin

strange life ivan osokinby Pyotr Ouspenskii, 1915

“The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin” is a novel by P. D. Ouspensky. It follows the unsuccessful struggle of Ivan Osokin to correct his mistakes when given a chance to relive his past. The conclusion fully anticipates the Fourth Way Philosophy which typified Ouspensky’s later works, in particular the final chapter’s description of the shocking realization of the mechanical nature of existence, its consequences, and the need to work in an esoteric school.


6. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

7 deaths evelynby Stuart Turton, 2018

Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.


7. A Week of Mondays

a week of mondaysby Jessica Brody, 2016

Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason! As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?


8. Neverworld Wake

neverworld wakeby Marisha Pessl, 2018

It’s been one year since graduation, and Beatrice Hartley has mixed feelings about joining her friends a weekend reunion. She’s right to be worried. After a night out, they narrowly avoid a collision with a car on a deserted road. Or so they believe.

Back at the mansion where they are staying, a mysterious man knocks on the door during a raging storm. He tells them that they must make a choice: one of them will live, and the rest will die. And the decision must be unanimous.

Soon time backbends. Beatrice and her friends are forced to repeat that dreadful day so many times they lose count. With each replay, events twist and fears come alive in horrifying ways. This nightmare, this nothingness . . . this is the Neverworld Wake. To escape, they have to vote. But how do you choose who to kill? And then how do you live with yourself?


9. The Loop

the loopby Shandy Lawson, 2013

Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal day–both the best and worst of their lives–they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man who is destined to kill them.

As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate’s clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie’s only shot at not dying is surviving apart?


10. Pretty In Punxsutawney

pretty in punxsutawneyby Laurie Boyle Crompton, 2019

Andie is the type of girl who always comes up with the perfect thing to say … after it’s too late to say it. She’s addicted to romance movies—okay, all movies—but has yet to experience her first kiss. After a move to Punxsutawney, PA, for her senior year, she gets caught in an endless loop of her first day at her new school, reliving those 24 hours again and again.

Convinced the curse will be broken when she meets her true love, Andie embarks on a mission: infiltrating the various cliques—from the jocks to the nerds to the misfits—to find the one boy who can break the spell. What she discovers along the way is that people who seem completely different can often share the very same hopes, dreams, and hang-ups. And that even a day that has been lived over and over can be filled with unexpected connections and plenty of happy endings.


11. Life After Life

life after lifeby Kate Atkinson, 2013

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can — will she?


12. Paris on Repeat

paris on repeatby Amy Bearce, 2020

GROUNDHOG DAY gets a hilarious French twist in this delightful upper middle grade novel about first crushes and friendship when an eighth-grade class trip to Paris goes horribly wrong and the worst day of one girls life keeps happening over and over. Fourteen-year-old Eve Hollis is ready to push through her fears and finally let her crush know how she feels. And what better place to tell him than on top of the Eiffel Tower in the City of Love? But things don’t go as planned, and Eve is sure she’s had the worst day of her life until she wakes up the next morning to realize the whole disaster of a day is happening again. She’s trapped in a time loop. Desperate to make it stop, Eve will have to take some big risks and learn from her mistakes or she’s destined to live the most awkwardly painful day of her life over and over again, forever.