Reading level: Young adult
Trade paperback: 304 pages
Genre: Time travel romance
Release date: March 13, 2012
Series: Timeless #1
Reviewed by: Jenn
When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.
Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.
I've recently discovered I'm a total sucker for time travel romance. THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE really resonated with me and I was hoping to have a similar experience with TIMELESS by Alexandra Monir. And while TIMELESS didn't rip my guts out the way THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE did, I really enjoyed it and am happy that I have an ARC of the sequel waiting on my shelf because I love Alexandra Monir's writing and the worlds she's created for this series.
TIMELESS starts off with a huge tragedy that forces Michele to move away from her lifelong home in California to live with grandparents she's never met. It's a beginning designed to get you on Michele's side from the get go and it's pretty effective, though I did have some moments in the novel where I found Michele to be a bit juvenile. Not unreasonably so, given her circumstances, but her youth definitely shone through in certain moments. To be fair, of all of the contributors on the blog, I am the least likely to read YA, which may be why I didn't click 100% with TIMELESS' protagonist. That being said, Michele won me over as the novel progressed and I was completely engrossed in her story. By the time I hit the last third of the novel, I was desperate to see if she and Philip (the guy she meets in 1910) would be able to be together.
Alexandra Monir has a beautiful writing style. I love her voice. She describes all of the settings so vividly that you get a clear picture of both Michele's modern life and what she sees when she travels back in time. I felt like the past was pictured in a very evocative manner and it really had a sense of place. You're completely immersed in the past and those scenes were definitely my favourites. The author's done a great job of capturing the romance of the past and also some of the practical differences.
Michele's romance with Philip is also quite lovely. He has turn-of-the-century values s there aren't many physical expressions of feelings. Instead, it's all words and emotion, a nice, more old-fashioned change of pace from a lot of stories set in modern times. You can see the connection that Philip and Michele have, even after a few meetings.
I really liked the way that Alexandra Monir handles the time travel aspects of TIMELESS. The mechanics aren't completely explained because Michele doesn't completely understand what's happening to her, but she makes some interesting discoveries and does contemplate the ramifications of her actions, which was refreshing. She's not a genius but she tries very hard to understand what is happening to her and how it might impact the lives of those around her. I appreciate how much Michele thought about her impact on the past and can't wait to see what happens next since TIMELESS ends in a really neat way.