Author: Ann Brashares
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Release Date: 20 Jan 2011
Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. For all the times that he and Sophia have been connected throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart.
But just when Sophia (now "Lucy" in the present) finally awakens to the secret of their shared past, the mysterious force that has always separated them reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.
This review may contain spoilers!
I was looking for a book for a customer on the shelves at the library when I saw this. The cover grabbed me and I am a fan of Ann Brashares (from her Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books) so I picked it up for a closer look.
The book sounded good, a bit of a cross between 'Fallen' by Lauren Kate and 'Everlasting' by Alyson Noel. As I like both of those books I thought it was worth a shot. It looked like it was going to be a good book.
The book for me started off quite slow. It is split between two perspectives - Daniel and Lucy's.
Lucy's is narrated from the present time. She sees Daniel at school - he is the good looking mysterious stranger that she is drawn to but never gets to speak to. They have one night (prom night) where they meet for real and get talking. Daniel tells her that she is the next reincarnation of a soul he fell in love with thousands of years ago - the same soul he meets in each life time and falls in love with. Thinking he is crazy she runs. The story then continues on through her life - college etc, but Daniel is still always on her mind and she starts to find out extraordinary things about him.
Daniel's chapters start right back to his 'first life' in something like 520 AD. Each chapter goes through one of his lives - briefly where and when he was born - what sort of family/lifestyle and how he meets and falls in love with 'Sophia'. (her first name sticks with him throughout)
I did find the past lives quite interesting and I liked the wide range of lifestyles and traumas they suffer once more keeping them apart.
I did find myself getting into the story and then I realized I couldn't put it down because I had to know what would happen to these two. Could they ever really be together or would something keep them apart again. I was starting to really enjoy it and was glad I had picked it up. I even told my friend that she should read it when I was done. I had completely got into it and loved it.
The book then got very exciting around page 300 and I couldn't put it down. I was desperate to finish so I could find out what happened. I completely got lost in it.
That's when the magic disappeared. About 3 chapters from the end It kind of washes out. After reading 400 pages I expected a good solid ending, but what we are left with is very open with no real closure at all. After falling so fast into the book and really getting into it, I just felt let down.
Up to that point I would have marked it 9/10, but the ending ruined it for me. It really did feel like the whole book led up to this moment and then just stopped. Left me feeling really unsatisfied and frustrated.
I would give this book 6.5/10 - promising start, good story idea, great back-ground research but the ending is a let down. disappointing.
The actual story is worth reading, just bear in mind it doesn't have closure! But still worth giving it a go.