Top critical review
Inspirational tale, but meant for younger audiance
Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2011
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I loved she story - it was inspirational and bitter sweet. I appreciated the questions it raised, and the fact that it made me wonder. On the other hand, I felt some of the characters were unrealistic, and the quality of writing wasn't there.
After a tragic accident takes Michele's mother, she is sent to live with wealthy grandparents she's never met before. Her mother also leaves her a key that allows her to travel back in time. In the past, she learns to cope with her own grief by connecting with and helping her ancestors at key points in their lives. In 1910, she also meets and falls in love with Phillip Walker, the young son of a rival family. While the love story is poignant, I felt like this whole book was really about Michele coming to terms with being a Windsor, even more than it was about her falling in love. The time travel elements in the story were a clever way to tie Michele to her family legacy.
The love story is bitter sweet at best. In the beginning it's almost sappy how much these two beautiful, perfect characters love one another, but how can a two people from different times make a romance work?
I liked all of the characters in Timeless, both past and present. Michele was lovely - she's nobel, unselfish, brave, and caring. She suffers greatly in this story but yet you never once see her whine or complain - all in all a very admirable protagonist. However, she's almost too perfect, which brings me to one of my bigger nitpicks with the story. I had issues connecting with the characters. Why? After much debate, I've concluded they were just too perfect. It seems almost silly to say that, because perfect is good right? But I think it's essential to have some flaws in a character to make them likeable. The audience of any book is innately flawed (we're human after all) therefore the characters should also have flaws that allow us to identify with them.
The whole book has a sort of Disneyish feel to me, which made things seem a bit unrealistic. As a 34 year old, I realize I'm not the target audience for this novel though *sheepish grin*, so take that assessment with a grain of salt. Timeless was definitely meant for a preteen and young teen audience, and I'm sure I'd love the book if I still fell into that age range. While I enjoy YA fiction, I tend prefer YA books that sort of lean towards the adult side, and this is not that kind of novel.
Timeless is a great discussion book. It's, by far, one of the things I appreciated most about the novel. The time travel elements raise TONS of questions. The book was assigned by my reading club, and we have pages of theories and thoughts on some of the novel's time travel mysteries. Which is all good fun. I just hope the author can deliver answers that will make us all happy in future books.
If you are an adult that enjoys reading YA books, Timeless might be a little too fluffy for you, but the story is still enjoyable. It is inspirational and touching. Despite my concerns, I'm definitely looking forward to the next book. Timeless piqued my curiosity and I really look forward to seeing where the author goes with the story.