Thursday, November 5, 2015

ARC Review: Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins

Title: Until We Meet Again
Author: Renee Collins
Published: November 3, 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

*** I received and advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion ***

When I saw this book on Netgalley I was immediately attracted to it. It sounds like an interesting time travel story with a star-crossed romance and a complex plot. Totally up my alley. And while I did really enjoy it, some parts didn't totally work for me. Okay, so now that you have read the synopsis who wants to take bets as to which part of the book I enjoyed and which part of this book didn't quite work for me? By now this should come as no surprise to you.

One thing I did love about this book was the general plot development. I went into it expecting this to be a pretty typical time travel storyline but it had that and more. The time travel stuff was actually pretty interesting. I wasn't at all sure what was going on with that part of the story, and there was even a period where I thought maybe this wasn't time travel at all but when it really started diving into the aspects and the effects of time travel, that's where it hooked me. It had a real interesting feel to it that both felt traditional and creative. As someone who loves time travel stories I enjoyed all the nods to the tropes. I also really liked the 1920's subplot. I wouldn't really call it historical fiction but it did have some great elements of the period. But the thing that I liked most about it was that there was so much mystery with this plot point that kept me reading and had me curious and questioning. And while the reveals didn't come as much of a surprise it did keep me engaged and intrigued throughout most of the book.

However the pacing didn't quite work for me. I already mentioned that I wasn't at all sure what was happening with the time travel stuff in the beginning and I think that was part of what slowed the book down for me. I'm not sure if it was trying to build exposition or suspense but it didn't completely work And while most of the middle of the book had me really engaged in the action and mystery, it took it's time before it really got to that plot development. This is not a very long book but it took me longer to read than I expected because it took me awhile to get into it. I also felt like reaching the actual conclusion took a little too long as well. I actually found myself thinking "just get to the end already." But when it was all over I was actually wishing there was more. It was such an odd feeling because by that point in the story I was so invested in it, I wanted to see how it would end but I didn't actually want it to be over. And speaking of that ending, that was the moment I realized that I actually liked this book. It was such a perfect ending. Not at all what I expected and totally bittersweet but so perfect.

As far as the characters go, I am a bit on the fence when it comes to them. Many of them were interesting and engaging but some more than others. To be entirely honest, I found the characters in the 1920's to be much more engaging than the ones in the present. I really liked Lawrence, the male lead. I mean who doesn't love a charming poet from the 1920's. I also found Fay really complex and interesting. She is kind of his love interest before he meets the main character and I loved her development throughout the book. Plus Lawrence's family and friends were really interesting as well. Cassandra however didn't totally jump off the page for me. She felt a bit one-note to me. I liked her commitment to solving the mystery but I'm not sure I can point to any specific personality traits for her that I either liked or didn't like. She just felt a little basic. Which is really a shame because we have the same name and I always want to like characters named Cassandra.

And I'm not sure if it's the fact that I didn't love the female lead or because I am in general not a huge fan of romance, but here that subplot didn't totally work for me. It started as a bit of your typical insta-love romance so I didn't have an immediate connection to it (side note probably that was one of the reasons I didn't enjoy the beginning of the book). But as things went on it did grow into a more star-crossed thing that I liked. But as someone who is hard to please when it comes to romance I will say that it had it's moments and by the end it did actually kind of grow on me. And then again when I was finished reading I actually had to question whether or not I even shipped it. It saw such a perfect and sweet ending that I may actually have enjoyed the romance. Most of the book I was so unphased by the relationship, I mean at one point on Goodreads I complained about how I wanted less kissing, but by the end I had sort of changed my tune.

On the whole, Until We Meet Again was a good read with lots of good elements. Despite some things that didn't really work for me, in the end it was an interesting and engaging read that left me wanting more.

I give Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins 8 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. If you are looking for a good YA time travel romance ala The Time Traveler's Wife or Outlander then I would definitely recommend this book. Fans of romances will probably enjoy it more than if you are looking for something with a complex Science Fiction/Fantasy time travel thing but it does have a bit of both. It had a really interesting plot and despite not totally connecting with the characters or romance I enjoyed it.


  1. I have heard good things about this book. I love time travel stories, so I want to read it. I love your review. You're so conflicted about this book, obviously. That actually makes it all the more intriguing. :)

    1. I am really conflicted. I liked something's but really didn't like others. But I hope you enjoy it.

  2. Brilliant review, if I was in to these types of books, then you'd convince me to pick it up. Actually... I think I may give it a try, a break from my usual epic fantasy. :)These sort of stories always remind me of that movie, The Lake House. I cried so much during that movie!

    1. It's always good to take a break from those epic fantasies. For me, they all seem to blend together if I don't. And yes! I totally agree about it reminding you about The Lake House. It reminded me of it too and I never same the movie.