Review: Endless by Amanda Gray

18157967Endless by Amanada Gray
Published: October 8th 2013 by Month9Books, LLC
Pages: 384

Jenny Kramer knows she isn't normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them.

When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought. Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren't alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has travelled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back.

While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock - and the Order - Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life - and beyond death.
"We have time. Right?" 
His expression was somber but he reached across the counter and took her hand, squeezing it and saying exactly the thing she needed him to say. 
Thank you Month9Books, LLC and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

From the day I watched 20th Century Fox's Anastasia, I slightly became obsessed with the Romanov family, their assassination, the mystery involving Anastasia, a girl who's also known as the lost princess because her body was never found upon a few years ago. Finding a book on Netgalley that not only involved time travelling, but also the Romanovs? I can easily compare it to a dream come true. Endless was a book that started out great for me, but the second half wasn't my cup of tea.

The plot itself was fantastic. Now that you're aware of my Romanov obsession, I can't say I didn't love that aspect of the story, because I did. I loved that. The flashbacks to that particular time were so well done. I felt like I was really pulled into the scene. Every flashback was part of the big mystery this book handles, and they all built up to the climax at the end. I really liked the way this was done. One moment I was so intrigued I almost started flying through the pages. It didn't last long though, because after a short while I was able to figure out the rest of the book. There weren't plot twists left for me to gasp at, nor a will to keep reading because of the incredibly slow pace. Besides the research and discovering of secrets regarding the big mystery, there wasn't much left to hold my attention. After a while it started dragging, especially when the so-called romance came in.

I have my reasons for calling the romance 'so-called'. Starting off with a typical problem with love triangles: when the girl starts a cute friendship with one guy and you start shipping them, but then, another one comes in and suddenly the girl is head over heals for that one. The reason why makes me want to roll my eyes over and over again. The mysterious guy who just came in happens to be the love of the girl's life. They are destined lovers and promise each other eternal love and joy. Not only is that just ridiculous, especially for a seventeen-year-old girl, but it also reminded me a bit too much of other books I really didn't enjoy. The romance itself didn't grab me. I can't mention a scene when sparks were flying, and because of the destined-to-be-lovers, it came across way too unbelievable for my taste.

Despite the romance being a complete flop, the characters were an overall okay for me. Jenny was a good protagonist. Although her choices and actions regarding the romance aspect were just stupid, she had something special while still being an ordinary human. Her talent in painting was really something I appreciated, though I don't know why. I guess I have always fancied characters with an artistic touch to them. Jenny's passion for painting is special, without it being mentioned on every single page. What she wanted to do with her hobby in the future is portrayed realistically. She loves to paint, and the society we live in, even now, isn't that encouraging when it comes to a career in the fine arts. Another thing about Jenny is that she doesn't give up. She stands up for what she wants in life and who she cares about.

I can't express enough how much I liked Ben, and how disappointment I am because he is the poor character who needs love. Everyone in his environment was too dumb to see it, while my love for him kept growing. His backstory was touching, his personality was lovable and he as a character was so unique. He is the hero of the story, certainly of what happened at the end. Nikolai, on the other hand, can leave for all I care. There was little to zero character development in his character, and even after so many pages I still don't know anything about him. Hopefully there will be a possible sequel to clear that up, because I am not that kind of girl who would fall for a mysterious guy who was suddenly a destined a lover because the universe was trying to tell something.

In a nutshell, Endless was an okay read. A fantastic plot with lots of mystery, and aspects of time travelling. The romance ruined it but the characters I liked managed to keep me reading. I'm currently crossing my fingers in the hope of a better sequel.

Aurélie Cremers is an eighteen-year-old living in Belgium. As an active member on Goodreads, Edelweiss and Amazon, she's always spreading her reviews to express her opinion and influences her followers to read the books she fairly enjoyed. When she's not writing, you can find her at her local bookstore or in a classroom. With her blog, "Exploring Pages", Aurélie hopes to gain a larger public in the near future and to continue that what she'll always love doing: writing.

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