Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Book Review: Remembrance by Michelle Madow

Title: Remembrance
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Self Published
Page Count: 302 Pages
Release Date: July 27th, 2011
Format: Finished Copy
Source: Author

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.
"A solid debut from an author that has a lot of promise. Michelle's writing style is light and well-done, but a few signature author pitfalls keep Remembrance from achieving it's full potential."

I was extremely reluctant to start reading Remembrance. I knew the author was one of the nicest people I'd ever met, and when I got her book in my hands, I read the first chapter and...lost interest. Putting the book down, I noticed how Michelle seemed to try a little too hard to prove that she knew how to write. It turned me off instantly. So, I read many other books, and just recently picked it back up.

 Surprisingly, I read a good fifty pages within the next thirty minutes, and by the next night I was done. A light, fast read, and a solid, good jump into the publishing world for a debut, self-published author like Michelle. She's definitely gotten eyes on her book, and I've heard about it from a lot of bloggers and seen it on a ton of blogs. I think it's really, really cool how big this book is, and it deserves to be.

 Michelle has a nice writing style. It was easy to read, nothing to advanced, and i was able to connect and slip into the characters. She used a simple vocabulary, and the conversations and thoughts going through the character's heads were normal, relateable, and not awkward or stilted. Everything flowed well, everything was attached and well written.

 But there were a few problems with Remembrance, the first one being the overall lack of real plot. The book is 98 percent romance and about 2 percent about the whole reincarnation thing. From the very first chapter the main focus is how drawn our main character is to our new, mysterious boy, and her choice between the one she used to love and the new, mysterious love. Somewhere in the middle of the book, we have this odd thing happen, and suddenly our main character just knows she's been reincarnated?

 I thought that the big reveal of the story didn't have as big of an impact as I thought it would. When the "flash" from the past came to Lizzie, she went home and just went to Google and went to look for reincarnation. She's like: OMGZ guys I'm reincarnate...NBD <3! And it was just...dull? I wanted some big reveal, some huge, life-changing thing that would affect her. But all she seemed to care about was Drew, the boy who's mysterious and connected to her.

 The characters also kept me from totally loving this book. I get easily irritated about the stereotypes that Twilight and it's sequels have plagued many novels with, and I noticed a good one hundred pages into the book that Lizzie, our main character, was annoying backboneless and let her boyfriend, who was a total jerk, push her around. It annoyed me.

 And Drew, our mysterious boy who walks in on the first day of school, got many an eye-roll from me. The love triangle mixed with the hunky, mysterious boy who Lizzie is "drawn" to led to a little impeding in Remembrance reaching its true potential.

 The character development was crafted well, though. Lizzie changed over the course of the novel, and I found myself liking her a lot more now that she'd gotten a backbone and didn't flinch away when people insulted her. She stood up for herself and thought for herself, which was something she was unable to do for the first one hundred pages.

 Self published novels that are actually good are hard to come by. I just happened to stumble upon Remembrance, which is an enchanting debut that is written fabulously and characterized well. Michelle, like any author finding her feet, finding her voice, has fallen into the pitfalls of an every-other YA novel, but overall made up for it with good characterization. Michelle has room to grow, and I have no doubts she will, and I will be eagerly picking up the next installment in the Transcend Time Saga!


  1. I love this review, HD.

    You look at the book from so many different angles and you took the time to really EXPLAIN what worked and didn't work for you.

    I agree about Michelle's writing style. It's awesome!

  2. Thanks for the wonderful review H.D. I bought this for my nook a while back and still haven't gotten to it. I am hoping to get to it soon. I hope the whole love triangle thing doesn't annoy me too much.

  3. Great review it was a really cute book wasn't it!? And yes Michelle is wonderful I love her!

    Xpresso Reads

  4. Fabulous review! Like you, I found this one hard to get into. Repetition, to me, coupled with Lizzie's consistent ability to overanalyze situations, was a big letdown in the story. You do a great job here of balancing the good with the bad. Love your review style.
    -Jenna @ Fans of Fiction

  5. I've been wondering whether or not to get this one. Now I think I will though!

  6. Fantastic review! I am a new follower thanks to my friend and yours Roro.
    Stop by and ck out my blog and giveaway.

  7. The very story was gripping. Add in the *hotness* of Drew Carmichael. ;) It's one of those books which you could never put down. I wanted to read more and more of it. I liked the mystery that was presented by Drew's character. Even though I already knew about the reincarnation part of Lizzie's life, I still looked forward as to how Drew could affect that.

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