Past lives are a terribly romantic notion, and I will jump on board with almost any book that implies the topic is going to surface. It leads me to great stuff, like Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea, but it also leads me to books like Remembrance. This book just didn’t have the chops to impress me, but I think it will have appeal for the target audience. I gave it three stars, but you might find it very romantic and engaging if you are in high school and you like contemporary YA romances with drama and unnecessary past life memories.
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.
Rememberance is a book that I think will appeal most to an audience who is young simply because age and life experience will impact a reader’s perspective. As an adult reader, I saw this as a drama filled contemporary high school romance were there is little added by a past life experience. The love story didn’t feel epic or important, and the past life is just a way to fuel the jealousy and love that is typically found at any high school at any time. Where I saw this as a low stakes story, a teen reader would probably believe the stakes are higher. Example – a hundred years ago, women couldn’t just walk away from a family approved romance without the threat of losing everything – I get that, but in contemporary society, Lizzie’s decisions about love will, at worst, cost her close relationships with friends who won’t really matter after she leaves high school. As a teen, the thought of losing your childhood best friend is much more dramatic than it is to an adult who knows how fleeting those bonds are when life beyond high school starts. I didn’t really care about these characters because I couldn’t really see how who you date in high school was really a big deal, and every person in the story came across as generic, one dimensional and flat. Themes were those a reader might encounter in any teen romance. I liked the things that Lizzie slowly uncovered about her past life, but there really wasn’t anything important about whether the scenario played out differently this time. There were no babies to save or evils of the world to prevent – she either got a happy life with the boy she felt connected to or not. Yes, there was some threat near the end, but it could have gone the other way without me really caring. I absolutely do not think that other readers will feel the same. I know some teen readers will see this as very romantic and engaging, but it fell flat for me.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.