Amanda Gay’s ‘Endless’ is a touch of romance, a bit of reincarnation, and a lot of everyone’s favorite Russian family. Rating: 2.5/5
*This is book #18/28 for my 2014 book challenge. This is also book #2/7 for my YA-MA book challenge. You can take a look at the reading challenges here.
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.
I don’t like rating books less than a three. It hurts my soul a bit, because I understand how much goes into writing and publishing a book. Normally I would reserve a less-than-three rating to a book only when I truly hated it, but Endless is an exception. I didn’t hate the book, in fact, at times I happened to like it. The problem here is that the book was too chaotic and all over the place for me to full enjoy. When I spend the majority of my time reading thinking about ways that the book could have been better…. well that’s never a good sign.
There was just so much wrong here. So many clichés and repeated words and phrasing (and this one is extra annoying because these repetitions would happen so close to each other). Amanda Gray acted as if she needed to summarize everything that had happened along the way. Every few chapters or so the main character would narrate things we already knew to remind us of things. Great mysteries, which this could have been, need to allow us to interpret events and possible clues on our own. It is important to write as if your reader is intelligent, because we are. I don’t like feeling like I am being walked through a story as if I am incapable of keeping up on my own.
There were also a lot of sub-plots that seemed unnecessary. Like they were just thrown into the mix to add unnecessary drama and conflict for the characters. I will not go into details so as to avoid a plethora (good word choice, Rae!) of spoilers, but there were many aspects that were incredibly insignificant. Gray attempted to push the story further with these sub-plots (for example, the music box from the book summary) but she could have gotten to those points of the story in other ways which would have limited how complicated everything ended up being.
Finally, we need to discuss the characters. I have always been obsessed with the Romanov family. Which, if you are unaware, the Romanovs were the last royal family of Russia. The most recognizable of the Romanovs is Anastasia. She had an animated movie about her, and it was long rumored that she was the sole survivor of their tragic execution – claiming she was able to escape the attack at last minute. It was interesting to see how Amanda Gray tied the Romanovs into the story, but I wish that it was done better. My favorite moments were when Jenny was actually Maria, and I wish that we were given more of that. For a character that has an unexplained gift and experiences some unexplained stuff pretty early on in the book, it blew my mind that she was still so fucking close minded about the possibilities of everything else. Meanwhile, her friends were TOTALLY ON BOARD with everything Jenny threw at them. It made no sense. The characters also spent the majority of the book arguing about things for much longer periods of time than were necessary. It was exhausting.
While I didn’t love the book, I’m shocked to see that this isn’t already/becoming a series. Endless ended on a note that would have been perfect to pick up on for a sequel, and I feel like the sequel could have been much better seeing as how the necessary information was out of the way. While I don’t feel any sort of connection to any of the characters, it always annoys me a tad when the reader is left wondering what the fuck is going to happen now. With so many characters futures up in the air, I want to know what happened. The way it ended, and seeing that it wasn’t going to delve into another book, contributed to its low rating.
If you’re interested in reading my GoodReads updates from this book you can do so here. I must say, they’re quite entertaining. It will tell you exactly what I was thinking on certain pages.
PLEASE NOTE: I received a free e-galley version of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions held within this review are my own thoughts and feelings and do not reflect upon anyone else.
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