Remembrance by Michelle Madow
Published: July 27, 2011 (Dreamscape)
Series: Transcend Time Saga (1)
Final rating: 3 1/2 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...
I was very curious and also a bit apprehensive about reading Remembrance by Michelle Madow, a book that, by the author's own admission, was at least partially inspired by the Taylor Swift song, "Love Story." But after I made it a few chapters into Remembrance, I was hooked, proving that authors often find inspiration in the strangest places - and such unorthodox muses can lead to a satisfying pay-off.
Remembrance introduces us to Lizzie, a junior in high school, whose entire life changes with the start of the new school year. Lizzie has a huge heart, and cares a great deal about her friends, family, and loved ones, including her boyfriend, Jeremy. I'll be honest - I spent the majority of the book caught between two warring desires - to either shake or slap Jeremy. He cares about Lizzie, but the boy is clueless. He treats her callously at times, and my heart went out to Lizzie, who spends most of the book trying to save a relationship that is clearly not meant to be. I wanted to hug tender-hearted Lizzie so many times, and I saw a lot of myself in her - her loyalty, her determination to champion a cause, even if it's sometimes lost. I thought she had a quiet sort of strength, and I admired her a great deal for that.
Drew was another story entirely though. Up until about the last fourth of Remembrance, I wasn't sure what his deal was, and that was frustrating. He was very swoon-worthy, and he seemed like a genuinely awesome guy, until he made a few very non-awesome choices that had me ready to throw something at him. I understood his motivations in the end, but I think he was unnecessarily cruel sometimes, and the hot-cold-hot-cold thing he had going on (while somewhat justified but also convoluted) took away some of my enjoyment of the book.
Drew and Lizzie saved Remembrance for me. I had some other issues - the book felt too short, and the pacing was off here and there, but the absolutely heartfelt connection between Lizzie and Drew (or Elizabeth, as only he calls her, which made me melt), rang so true throughout Remembrance that I'm still thinking about them, and wondering what's in store for them in the sequel. Michelle Madow has created two characters in Drew and Lizzie with so much potential. They care so much for one another that it's hard, maybe impossible, NOT to cheer for them.
Remembrance is just what I hoped it would be: fun when it should be, flirty when the moment calls for it, with mysterious twists and turns; sometimes serious and heart-pounding, other times, vivacious. Michelle Madow has written a thought-provoking debut, which asks the question: what if this is not necessarily our only life, our only chance at happiness?
“But it was time to realize that I wasn't Cinderella, and no matter how hard I wished it were true, life wasn't a fairy tale where everyone lives happily ever after.”