Author: Michelle Madow
Series: Transcend Time (#1)
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing (2011)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“New Hampshire high school junior Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.
Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she seem to get him out of her mind?
Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, the pair of them soon find that fighting fate isn't going to be easy.“ GoodReads’ blurb
You know the terrible hype about this title? Well, it was so justified! I read Remembrance in two days, because I could not put it down!
The story’s told from Lizzie’s point of view, and if I tend to favor first person narratives in young adult romance, in this case it’s particularly fitting. The guy, Drew, is so compelling because we just can’t figure out what he’s up to. If you thought you’d read it all about complicated male leads who play elaborate mind games with unsuspecting heroines, then you really need to read Remembrance: Drew swings from caring and gentle to cold and hurtful, and we have absolutely no idea why! I loved having the “oh” moment along with Lizzie, towards the end.
Then, Lizzie’s best friend Chelsea falls in love with the guy and the mixed signals get even worse. It got to a point where I wanted to grab Drew by the neck, wring and shake until he explained his actions... which means, of course, that I could empathize with the emotional roller coaster Lizzie has to navigate through the book. Still, her chemistry with Drew was dizzying, so it’s normal she didn’t give up – I’d not have been able to, either!
I don’t want to say much more on this topic, because I don’t want to spoil what happens, but let’s just say that it’s not an easy road for our main character here, and still I admired her because she thought of the consequences of everything, and made her choices and stood firm by them.
That was perhaps one of the most original things about Remembrance, and one of the things I enjoyed best: while it’s a paranormal romance, there’s no hidden destiny and no mysterious superpowers – nothing beyond a love so powerful that it can transcend time in order to fight for a second chance. We end up with a tale that it’s all about normal people, facing normal problems, everyday situations we can all relate to. Okay, the circumstances are exceptional, because fate has brought a lot of old players back from... er... from what happened a couple hundred years back (which I won’t spoil), but the doubt, the betrayal, the insecurities, the rush of finding a soul mate... That’s something everyone can imagine easily, and I believe that’s the strong suit of Remembrance: a story that is both magical and intimate, that could be happening to the reader.
The secondary characters are not as fascinating as the main couple, but they’ll not leave anyone untouched. I mean it. I hated Chelsea with everything I had. I still do, but I’m tempering my visceral reactions because I’m truly looking forward to the sequel, Vengeance, which will feature Chelsea’s point of view – how is Michelle Madow going to make the book work, with such a main character? I can’t wait to find out the answer.
A detail I enjoyed is the fact that, while the book takes place, Lizzie has to read Pride and Prejudice for a school project. Since she hails back from that time period, she often brings up (unconsciously at first, then on purpose) similarities between her situation and the people who surround her with Jane Austen’s characters. It’s, at times, enlightning, hilarious, or plain cute.
I think you’ll enjoy this book as well, if you like romance. Granted, no save-the-world action in here, but I didn’t need it: it was all about saving Lizzie and Drew’s happiness, and I think that’s a far more worthy battle. So I’d recommend that you read this one, and soon! That way, we can wait for the sequel, coming up in December.