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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Book Review: Timeless by Alexandra Monir

TimelessTIMELESS by Alexandra Monir

Reading level: Young Adult 
Publisher: Delacorte Books (January 11, 2011) 
Interest: Time Travel & Romance

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.

Book Opening:

"Michele stood alone in the center of a hall of mirrors. The glass revealed a girl identical to Michel, with the same chestnut hair, ivory skin and hazel eyes; even wearing the same outfit of dark denim jeans and black tank top. But when Michele moved forward, the girl in the glass remained still." – Page 1 Timeless
Notable Scene: 

"I'm back.

Michele looked around her in amazement. She was standing in the front garden, just behind the gate where she had left Philip. It was a starless, chilly night, and from the stillness around her, she knew that it was just as late as it had been in 1910. She instinctively turned to the site of the Walker Mansion, and when she saw the modern apartment complex in its place, she felt her heart clench. He's gone now, she thought. He doesn't exist anymore.  

If TIMELESS was a meal, I’d ask for seconds! What’s not to love about time traveling, love, music and the glitz and glamour of  New York City? 

I found Alexandra Monir’s writing much like main character Michele- elegant, relatable and charming. I could also tell Monir did her research before undertaking a book spanning so many different eras as Timeless does. The descriptive quality of her writing made me feel as if I had stumbled backward in time myself. I was right there with Michele--from the grandeur of Old New York in 1910 to the Cotton Club of the 1920’s and finally to WWII- it was all tasteful, vivid and enchanting.  The incorporation of Michele's songwriting with Philip's piano playing intrigued me and was an added cherry on top. I thought it all melded together so beautifully – music, time travel and love.  That's my kind of book.

While I found Michele’s relationship with Philip romantic, it was actually the time travel pieces that interested me the most. Since Michele had been dreaming of Philip her whole life, I had a feeling that upon seeing one another the two would be instantly drawn to one another. That made sense to me and I was able to just go with it. But, it did seem a little too convenient that everyone able to see Michele was so accepting and generally nonplussed by her appearance. For example, if I was Clara and a strange girl materialized in my bedroom such as Michele did, I think I would’ve thrown things and screamed my head off!  

My favorite part of the book was in 1910, when Michele initially stumbled backward in time and first met Clara and Philip. It all was so exciting! Clara's situation really pulled at my heart-strings too. I also loved envisioning New York as the place it once was- without all the bright lights, noise and urban development we associate with the city today. I wanted to walk down the street with Michele and Philip, soaking it all in. From the gas lit street lamps to the horse drawn hansom cabs-I loved it all. 

TIMELESS ends on a major cliffhanger. I was not expecting that twist at all and it left me stunned. I am definitely going to be checking out the next book. Philip and Michele's bond was enduring. It's a love that spans time and I look forward to where Monir will take us next.  


Alexandra MonirA singer and first novelist, ALEXANDRA MONIR divides her time between Los Angeles and New York.
Read my interview with Alexandra  Monir. 


Danna (Friendly Reader) said...

Thanks for the review! Now I know which book I'm gonna get next:)

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

Sounds great! I'm glad to hear that the research and writing style were well done. I love timeslip fantasies, so I'm eager to read this one. Glad you enjoyed it!

the epic rat said...

This sounds really interesting! I hadn't heard much about this book, but your review definitely puts it on my TBR pile :)


yearningtoread said...

OOOHH!! i just bought this and can't WAIT to read it! :)))

Alyssa@Teens Read and Write said...

I just received this one and am now even more excited to read it!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Wow. Now I want a slice of NYC/Timeless pie :) Great review :)