[rating:3]
Author:  Alexandra Monir
Series: Timeless #1
Genre: Time Travel
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
First Published: January 2011
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This is a guest review by Philippa. You can find her on Twitter and Goodreads.

First Sentence:
Michele stood alone in the center of a hall of mirrors.

Timeless fits into one of my favorite genres – time travel. As soon as I read the blurb I was hooked and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Taking place in New York City, this story centers around Michele who is forced to move in with her wealthy grandparents after a shock accident. Friendless and alone in a new and completely unfamiliar world she discovers a diary which sends her back in time to 1910 where she meets the man quite literally from her dreams.

It was clear from the get go that this was written by a first time author. The prose and story are in parts clumsily written, but it was one of those books that even though you saw faults you still enjoyed the journey. The author managed to inject such sheer enthusiasm and passion into the story that you just can’t help but go along for the ride page by page.

The plot is intriguing and I loved the author’s originality weaving music especially written for the novel into the storyline. Unfortunately the prose felt quite rushed and would have benefited from a slightly more leisurely pace especially lengthening out descriptions and slowing the characters down, Michele especially always seemed so rushed I don’t know when the poor girl actually slept! I also found I had to go back over specific paragraphs a couple of times to work out the very logistics of the time traveling it didn’t always flow easily and at times seemed quite awkward.

While I liked the protagonist, Michele, I was disappointed by how lacking her character development was. And if I’m quite honest Michele’s development is lush and full when you consider the blank canvas that plays her male lead and love interest Phillip!  The instant connection they apparently feel for one another just doesn’t ring true – I really didn’t buy the star crossed lovers thing at all and I hope that book 2 really focuses on developing their relationship with one another.

While most people wouldn’t consider a location as a character, I think in this book you really must.  New York city plays such a huge part in the telling of the story and the rich detail of the different periods Michele travels to in the 20th century makes this book completely worth reading. I never had any interest in traveling to New York but after reading this story I caught the travel bug! The descriptions given are so dimensional – you can almost taste and feel the very textures of the sights, sounds and history of the different time periods.

While there are many problems with this novel, the overall story was so unique and enjoyable you can only expect the series to improve as Monir gains further writing experience. If you’re looking for a fun, light read I would suggest you pick it up!