Genre: Young Adult
*I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.
Endless by Amanda Gray is a fantasy novel with some science fiction elements. The story is about a girl named Jenny who is not like most teenagers. She is able to see the past lives of people around her, and this ability has a dramatic impact on her life.
Jenny befriends Ben, the new boy in town. They end up discovering an old music box that shows the two are more connected than they thought. After a mysterious figure appears in Jenny’s paintings, she meets a boy named Nikolai and soon discovers there is a connection between Nikolai and the figure in her paintings. Nikolai claims to be a love from a past life, and Jenny must deal with the fact that he has traveled through time to be with her. However, the Order, an organization who keeps people in their correct time periods, wants to send Nikolai back to his time. With help from Ben, Jenny and Nikolai must fight against the Order or be separated for eternity.
Even though Endless has short chapters and should have been a quick read, I found myself struggling to get through this book. It took a while before anything really happened in the story, and I found myself putting it down and not having an urge to pick it back up. This may have been due to all the story elements. There are quite a few of them. The story contains pasts lives, romance, psychic abilities, time travel, and the Romanov family. While this makes an interesting premise, each element is easily lost within the others. There isn’t a great deal of focus on any of the elements, and they are not explained well. I wanted more details about Jenny’s “gift,” how the time travel worked and more information about the Order. I know they are the bad guys, but they seem to have some merit and only want to keep the time periods in order.
However, I enjoyed the scenes with the Romanov family, and I would have liked even more from that perspective. It was an interesting take on this family. I also really liked Jenny’s best friend Tiffany. She was down to earth, and she stuck up for her friend when Jenny was in trouble. Ben was another character I enjoyed. Although he was moody and distant at the beginning, he changed into a pretty likable person. He was there for Jenny when she needed him, and I really wanted Jenny to end up with him instead of Nikolai, which leads me to the romance of the story.
The romance was probably the weakest part of this story for me. I didn’t feel a connection between Jenny and Nikolai because it felt more like insta-love than anything else. I understand they were together in a past life, but in the present, Jenny just met this boy. Yet, she claims to already love him. She knows hardly anything about him, and even the reader doesn’t learn much about Nikolai. In the Romanov chapters, there is not a lot to show how Nikolai and Jenny’s past life, Maria, fell in love. It mainly showed their first meeting and then in the next chapter, they were already in love. I felt there was more of a development between Ben and Jenny. It’s a shame they couldn’t have been together but that might just be me.
I’m not entirely sure if Endless will have a sequel or not, but I will most likely not pick it up. I would be willing to read something else from this author because the book was well-written, and it had potential, but sadly, this story wasn’t for me. I didn’t enjoy the romance, and most of the story elements were lost. Overall, it was okay, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it. Others have enjoyed it though, so it’s always up to the reader.
My Rating: ★★