February 4, 2011

review: timeless

Timeless by Alexandra Monir
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.


Timeless is a beautiful time-traveling romance, rich with the American culture of the early 20th century. The story is passionate and tragic. I couldn't put the novel down until it was finished, and far too soon, I was turning the final page.

If you're a lover of time-travel and equally critical of it, you'll have the same problems I had with this book. While the tragic love story is all but heart-breaking, the conclusion doesn't make sense. The character's logic is severely flawed, and I feel like the author didn't put a whole lot of thought into the time-traveling itself. The focus is on the romance, which is fine. The romance is beautiful and exhilarating. But I feel like the author should have put more effort into the time-traveling. If she had, the book would be perfect. I'll always find problems with time-travel novels, so take that with a grain of salt.

The main character Michele is passionate and likable. Sometimes, her thought process doesn't make much sense, and she can be quite stupid at times, but those are her flaws and that's what makes the story so tragic. The other characters pretty much fell by the wayside as I wrapped myself in her romance with Philip, an enchanting aristocrat with a passion for music and a hatred of society. Music is a big part of the entire novel. Michele wants to be a lyricist, and Philip wants to be a composer. Michele's great-grandmother is a famous singer. Music is what ties everything together.

As for the time periods Michele visits, they feel more alive than the contemporary backdrop of Timeless. The author takes us back to the Gilded Age, the Roaring Twenties, and even the final years of World War II. Old New York does not disappoint.

All in all, I loved the book (as long as I chalk up the time-traveling mistakes to inexperience in the genre). But to be perfectly honest, I hated the ending. That's just me. Time-traveling romances are hard to get right in my book, so again, grain of salt. If it wasn't for the ending, the book would get five stars.

Reading Level: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Publisher: Delacourte Press

Rating: ★★★★☆

[Debut Author Challenge 2011]

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