Synopsis: high-school junior, Lizzie Davenport isn’t the most popular girl in school but she is intelligent with good grades. Her jock boyfriend wants desperately to change their “status” at school. He is now on the soccer team and is a rising star amidst his senior peers – and he wants Lizzie to ditch her closest friends and form new, less rewarding friendships with his teammates girlfriends. Turns out, Jeremy’s petty grievances are going to be the least of Lizzie’s concerns when she meets and feels an instant connection to the new transfer student, Drew Charmichael… and his arrival triggers memories in Lizzie’s sub-conscious mind that she never expected to feel… with results she never would have imagined…
My thoughts: in reading about Michelle Madow’s journey to writing this novel, she has unknowingly inspired my ambitious aspiration to write something – and actually complete a first draft of a novel. Even though it has barely gotten started I am more determined than ever to complete the measly few paragraphs that I have written until they resemble something like a story. This is Michelle’s debut novel and while it is definitely for the young pre-teen and teen crowd, I really enjoyed the creativeness that she put into its pages.
Reading this novel, what you’ll pick up on in Remembrance is its simplicity. There is very little detail in the plot. Michelle often skims over something that could have been better explained or she allows for events to happen before they should and given time, such twists would have been allowed to strengthen while seeming more… realistic.
Do not misunderstand what I am saying; I don’t mean this as a negative, quite the opposite. I enjoy simplicity in stories – it is probably how my writing tends more towards and I think that a less-complicated story allows the reader to get to know the characters better so that they become more than just characters on the pages of a novel. Michelle’s novel was inspired by Taylor Swift’s beautiful “Love Story” music video and although I can see similarities to the story that Taylor wrote so eloquently, for the most part, this book is nothing like Taylor’s words. Michelle created a story that is all from her own imagination and I applaud her for sticking with this story in order to see it through. If you like Alex Flinn or really any teen fantasy fiction, Remembrance is a must-read. It keeps its reader entertained without breath-holding suspense and I enjoyed the interaction between the main characters. I’ll confess that when I was reading the back cover’s description, I couldn’t help but cringe at the plot outline. It involved reincarnation and that really isn’t my “thing,” but that subject is something Michelle subtly allows time for in her writing – it is also one topic she barely addresses in terms of her characters recognizing that they are connected from a past life. There are references to Pride and Prejudice, a touch of fantasy, second chances, some beautifully well-worded plot twists and an overall lovely story that is – for once, wonderfully pleasant.
I certainly hope in future works that Michelle stays grounded in the tender, wholesome nature of her debut novel. If she does so, then I am one reader who is already anxiously awaiting what this up-and-coming author has in-the-works. Michelle wrote her own version of a “love story” and it’s charming.