When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.

At first glance of the Timeless synopsis, it seems like just another time travel romance a’la The Time Traveler’s Wife,  but to say so would do this book a severe injustice. While there is plenty of romance, this book was more about dealing with loss overcoming the odds.

Without giving too much of the plot away, and without rehashing the synopsis, I will say that Timeless was a great surprise. I have not read a lot of books that deal with time travel, but I am rather history savvy. So when Michele, through a magical family heirloom, is able to travel back in time to the early 1900’s through the 1940’s, I was enchanted by the accurate descriptions and settings of each decade, right down to the dress, mannerisms and popular music. It was so neat to “see” Manhattan and its society in the various stages.

Michele Windsor was a great character. She’s been through a lot in her short seventeen years, having experienced catastrophic loss and major changes. Moving across the United States to live with the grandparents she believed beytrayed and abandoned her mother is not her idea of a good time. She receives a rather confusing, cold welcome at the Windsor Mansion and she feels more alone than ever. I really felt for her and can’t imagine being in her position.

When Michele finds that she can travel back to various decades, she is even more shocked by the fact that some people can see and interact with her. In fact, one woman from each generation of her family can see her and each woman is one who has experienced a major loss. As if any of this weren’t enough for one person to handle, on her first vist back in time, Michele meets Philip Walker- the handsome, sapphire-eyed boy who has appeared regularly in her dreams since she was a little girl. The strange thing is, despite existing solely in the 1900’s, Phillip knows her, too!

Through her travels back in time, Michele’s life is changed forever and soon finds that she can help change the lives of generations of women in her family. Meanwhile, in the brief moments when she is back in 2010, she discovers that her grandparents know more than they let on about her mysterious missing father. I loved “watching” Michele interact with the women in her family, especially her great-grandmother, who eventually becomes a famous singer. They each had wonderful, vibrant personalities, and it’s easy to see what traits Michele inherited from each of them.

The relationship from Phillip and Michelle was sweet, if a little rushed. I understand that they both felt like they knew each other, but I would have thought that the absurdity of the situation would have made them more cautious. However, despite that, I was rooting for them the whole time, even though I knew it was impossible for them to really betogether in one dimension. Toward the end of the book, Michele has to make a very tough decision that could change the past and the future forever. As soon as I read the last page, I was so anxious to read the next installment. Unfortunately, it won’t be out until January 2013, but it does give me something else to look forward to.

Will Michele and Phillip ever find a way to be together? Who was her father and is he still alive? What are her grandparents hiding? And just who is that cute new guy at her school?

I can’t wait to find out!