Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Length: 314 pages
Source: Author Newsletter Giveaway
Lizzie can't understand her deep attraction to mysterious transfer student Drew. Are they connected by their past lives? This enthralling tale of love and fate has over 100 five-star reviews on Amazon!
Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from 1815, England ... but she doesn't realize it until she meets her soul mate from the past and he triggers her memories to gradually return.
When Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school, she feels a connection to him, like she knows him. But he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching Drew is more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has 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 get him out of her mind?
Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, but fighting fate isn't easy, and she's determined to unravel the mysteries of the past.
Protagonist: Lizzie has lived a fairly normal life so far. She's got a great best friend, a competitive and successful boyfriend, and her outlook for the new year looks bright. However her world changes when a new boy transfers to her school. She's can't put her finger on it but he feels so familiar to her. There's definitely an undeniable connection between them, but she already has a boyfriend, and besides he doesn't really seem interested in her. Then she begins to feel parts of a life that can't be hers, a life where she and Drew are together. A life in Regency era England. So honestly, Liz isn't that great of a protagonist. In fact she is kind of a pushover for most of the book. Her character does develop and grow, but not as much and not as quickly as I would have expected or wanted for a first installment. That's actually really all I can say without going into other parts of the review, she's not really a strong character and it's hard to really pin down a strong personality in her, which was kind of disappointing because she definitely had a lot of promise.
Romance: Okay, so this romance was kind of awful. First off there's a love triangle of sorts, though you can't take Liz's boyfriend Jeremy seriously at all. In fact he's the kind of character that's just there to add drama and tension. The guy's a complete tool and he just gets worse and worse as the book goes on. Drew's no peach either. Granted he's the much better choice, but compared to Jeremy almost anyone would be. The thing is, I didn't dislike Drew, even though he did make stupid decisions, but it was that I couldn't find the love believable between him and Liz. With something like a past life story, you can't put all the romance and connection on that aspect or plot point, there has to be a connection with them in the present and with Drew so hot and cold for a lot of the book it's not like they could ever really form that connection. The romance just really reminded me a little too much of Twilight which bothered me, though since they're both inspired by Pride and Prejudice, it much just be a P&P thing.
World Building: So this past life thing, I honestly thought, and hoped that it would have a greater bearing on the story. I though maybe there would be a mystery of the past that needs to be solved in the present, something not completely unrelated to the romance, but not something completely entwined with it either. However, it more than anything just adds a little bit of an interesting wrinkle to the story. With this being Madow's debut novel I knew that the writing was probably going to be a bit rough and it was. It's not really something that I think will impact the rating too much, but just something that bothered me a bit. Things were over explained, it seemed like it was hard for the author to find the balance between showing and telling, leaving parts of the book too described ad others not enough. Another things is that this book is loosely inspired by Pride and Prejudice, which I'm sure is great (I've never read it,) but I kind of felt like the author was holding my hands through all the parallels and coming from someone who's never read the book or seen any of the movies, and someone who's read other books based on things he has read, just leave it up to the reader to figure out, as long as they know or can tell where the inspiration comes from they don't need there hand held the entire time
Predictability: This book was also insanely predictable, Not in the definite sense, where I could pinpoint exactly what was going to happen, but more in the sense that I knew how the story would unfold. It wasn't hard to see the pattern after the story got going a bit. The story seemed so familiar, not in a copyright sense but more in a trope/cliche sense. A little drama here, some more there, all leading up to an intense finale.
Ending: I've been trying to write this ending segment for a while now. Honestly there was a lot to like about the end. There was a lot that was finally resolved, for better or worse, but I don't know I think I just expected more. The final climax of this book was pretty intense though some of the choices Liz made, even the ones that I agree were necessary, were pretty stupid. That being said though things did find a way to get resolved, and that's the thing, going into this, I knew that this book is a duology with a novella in the middle, however unsatisfying as the ending is, things are resolved. That being said, because of how unsatisfying the ending is, my interest is peaked for the next part of this story.
So this book isn't a bad book. I just think my expectations were a little high. There's still a lot to this book to keep it interesting and I think there's still a lot of promise to this story. Liek I said my interest is peaked and I'll keep going and keep you guys posted. Before I go I'll say this, if you're still a fan of Twilight and you like past life stories with a lot more of a realistic and contemporary edge I think you'll enjoy this book a lot more than I did.