Book Review – Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins

Book Review – Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins
Book Review – Until We Meet Again by Renee CollinsUntil We Meet Again by Renee Collins
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: November 3, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
336 pages
Format: eARC
Source: ARC via publisher

They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time

Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it's his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence's life—into jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history…or risk losing Lawrence forever.

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Book Review:

Renee Collins’ Until We Meet Again is a young adult time-travel romance with a unique concept. It’s the story of two teens who meet despite being in two separate centuries. Both are at a crossroads in their lives and don’t know what they want to do with their futures.

Great Hook. Poor execution. This book had a really great concept but the book lacked development, good dialogue, and a clean execution. I’d seen several early reviews of this one and was really excited to jump into this book because, prior to picking up this book, I hadn’t read a young adult time travel novel before. This book ended up being really disappointing. Let me explain.

Character Voice. In the beginning, Cassandra is all brooding and upset because she’s forced to spend the summer with her mom and stepdad at their rented summer house in Massachusetts instead of vacationing in France. She tries to break into a neighbors’ pool but gets caught and subsequently grounded. The reason why she decides breaking into the pool is unknown, other than an excuse for her parents to be upset with her, which is convenient for the plot.

I struggled to like Cassandra. Granted, I know she is a teenager and teenagers make bad choices. But my problem was with Cassandra’s voice. It was very exaggerated and lacked subtlety. In the beginning, she came across as a very whiny teen with a cry for attention. As the novel progressed, I didn’t really find her to be a very compelling character.

Lawrence is from the 1920’s, so the dialect and manner of speech is a bit different to our modern ears. I wasn’t alive back then, but I just found the treatment of Lawrence’s voice to be a hokey.

I still can’t picture this “Internet” and “microfilm” she talks about. Sounds like a bunch of horsefeathers, if you ask me. But she seems to think it can help. I suppose I have no other choice but to trust her.

When the author tries to make 1920’s dialogue sound authentic by adding in terms of the day like “jalopy”, “talkie”, and “hooch” but doing nothing else, Houston we have a problem.

The Romance. This is a romance book. When I read a romance book, I want to be romanced, dang it! I felt absolutely nothing between the characters in this book. One moment, Cassandra and Lawrence are discussing modern technology and the next moment they’re in love, kissing, and expressing how they’re meant for one another. I think the author wanted to create this epic “love transcends time” kind of love story but that message didn’t translate.

Is it pathetic how quickly I assign a persona to a complete stranger and then start imagining what it would be like to fall in love with him?

The Narrative and Dialogue. This book suffered from really cheesy dialogue and narrative. My feelings on the dialogue was probably exacerbated by the fact that I felt nothing for the romance. Because there was no romance (in my opinion), all of the confessions of love came across as being really over-the-top.

How is it that these birds can be together, but Cassandra and I can’t?
A determination, stronger than anything I’ve ever felt, overcomes me. I won’t live without her.

If you’re a fan of time-travel romances, maybe this book will work better for you. Despite its appealing summary, the story was lacking and I didn’t enjoy it like I wanted to.

1 star

* I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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