"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Timeless by Alexandra Monir

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Summary: After her mother's death, Michele is sent to live with her wealthy grandparents and can travel back in time through her family's antiques and memorabilia.

I wish I liked this book better. It wasn't bad, but I just couldn't find myself connecting to the characters or caring that much about the story.

Michele Windsor and her mother have lived in California her whole life, estranged from her mother's wealthy relatives. When Michele's mother is killed in a car accident, Michele is sent to live with her elderly and quite stuffy grandparents. The grandparents offered Michele's father a bribe to leave Michele's mother and while he didn't take it, he did disappear one day, just before Marian (Michele's mother) discovered she was pregnant with Michele.

So Michele has grown up poor and without knowing her Windsor relatives when she's transplanted to New York. She is still grieving her mother and having trouble fitting in at her exclusive private school in Manhattan. One day, she opens an old diary and is transported one hundred years exactly to the past. Only certain people are able to see Michele, while she is invisible to people around them. She visits her relative Clara, and meets Philip Walker, son of the rival Walker family, competitors with the Windsors both now and back then. She and Philip develop a romance, even though Michele keeps popping back and forth between 1910 and 2010 Manhattan. Perhaps my biggest complaint about the book is that the time travel seemed so random, so illogical. What exactly brings her back to the past and why does she have no control over when she returns to the future? How does time pass in the past and in the future?

Philip breaks off his engagement to Michele's ancestor Violet because of his great love for Michele. Philip is a composer while Michele is a songwriter, and together they create two songs that become signature songs of Michele's famous ancestor and great grandmother Lily Windsor. It's got the typical time travel dilemmas and young adult romance, but I just couldn't get into it.

The writing was okay for a debut novel, but I won't continue this series because the time travel seemed convenient for the plot, but not logical. It also begged credibility for Michele - a sixteen year old modern girl - to swear lifelong fidelity to Philip, but of course, I think this sentiment was meant to capitalize on those who swoon over the Twilight romance.

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