Title: Another Time, Another Love
Author: Vivian Schurfranz
When I first read this book, I was in Intermediate school. I had found it in the library and, after checking it out once, I had fallen in love with it...until I lost it when I was only half way through (long story). I scoured every library and bookstore I could (this was before our friend the internet) to find it again because I just had to know the rest of the story! Eventually I found a copy, the very copy I read for this review. Anyway, I read it and re-read it I don't know how many times for the rest of my Intermediate School Career and even at least once I moved up to high school, when I decided the book was "too easy" for me and I packed it away. Recently. I found my cherished copy again and was super excited to read it again and see if it stood up to the the enduring memories I had of it from my childhood.
What's it about?
It's Christmas time and Cathy is excited. Well, mostly. She's excited to spend more time with her super busy college boyfriend Mike, and she's excited to visit her Aunt Hannah and Uncle Frank in Princeton. What she's not excited for is her mom's boyfriend, Zack. So when it's time for her to board the plane from Chicago to Princeton in Christmas day, she feels as if no one will miss her at home. After all, her boyfriend canceled more plans with her then he kept and Zack seemed to be worming his way into everyone's affections but hers. So, since everyone seems to have someone or something else to consume their time and their minds, she doubts that her being gone will leave much of a gap.
And then she gets to Princeton where her Aunt Hannah and Uncle Frank pick her up at the air port. They are homey and sweet, with almost a country feel about them. They show her around, and even introduce her to other kids her age. While she adores Susan, a girl who works at Aunt Hannah's antique shop where Cathy's thrilled to get to help at, and Susan's brother Bryan (he's a heart breaker), she finds that her absolute favorite resident of Princeton is not only unlikely, but dead.
Edward is a British solider who lost his life in a battle against non other then George Washington's troops during the Revolutionary War. Now Cath finds herself juggling spending time with her aunt and uncle, building a friendship that she'll value forever with Susan while casually dating Bryan (while trying not to fall for him) all while being whisked off her feet by the ghost of man who lost his life trying to keep her country from breaking away from England. Now she's got to decide, will she break up with Mike for one of her Princeton boys? Will she give up her life to be with Edward? Will she accept Zack? There's just so many questions to answer!
Favorite Characters: I think my favorite character was Hannah. She was sweet, understanding and she had her share of wisdom. Of course, the fact that she had her own shop filled with things she loved didn't hurt my ability to relate to her.
Least Favorite Characters: Cathy. Yep. This is when it starts to be revealed that no, this book did not quit reach the epic-ness that I remembered it being as a child. I disliked the main character. I found her to be spoiled, selfish, self centered and immature. Yes. I know she was a teenager. Yes. I know I need to take that into consideration. I did. And still, I found her to be annoying and inconsiderate. I hated how she was infatuated with whichever boy was in front of her and thought far more about herself then any of them or how hurt she would leave them. I hated that she disliked Zack so much for little to no reason and, in the process, couldn't even get over herself for her mother's sake.
Favorite Part: My favorite parts were when Cathy and Hannah were in the store together. I'm really not sure why, but those parts just made me happy. I'm not even an antiques kind of person and the store made me happy and felt like home to me.
I remember falling in love with the premise of the story before I even cracked the book open. I still like the premise of the book, however, I couldn't help but to question my middle school me's taste as I read this book. The writing...well...could have been better. First of all, it was a "tell me" kind of style instead of a "show me" and, honestly, I feel like the story suffered for it. For example, I understand that Cathy probably doesn't like Zack because she thinks he's trying to take the place of her father who passed away three or so years ago but she hardly mentions her father, doesn't talk about her frustration with Zack taking her dad's place and, instead, just gives him the cold shoulder no matter what he does (and he does some pretty nice things). In additions, Cathy seems to question very little when Edward appears out of thin air and then takes her back to London in the 1700's! She almost acts like it's just normal. No big deal. I, on the other hand, had many questions about Edward such as how can he take her back in time? Why does he not say good bye to her when he does? Why can he touch her? What does Princeton look like? I feel like there was so much more to this story that I didn't get to experience. There were so many wholes in the story that never got filled; so many questions that never got answered. And it's because of the writing.
I know what you're saying, "The book's already 331 pages. If you got your way, the book would be way too big for a 'Young Adult' book." Okay, I hear that but I disagree. The font in this book is larger then necessary and, well, there were a number of pages that seemed to have margin's that were not set to produce maximum effectiveness. There was quit a bit of unused space at the bottom of these pages! Some of that space could have been filled with details.
I know, I've spent a lot of time complaining this time and, it's true. This book did not measure up to my memory of this book at all. I was disappointed but I don't hate the book either. I liked the premise of the story. It was one of the first "romance" books I read as a kid, and the first "girl loves ghost" story I read. I also know that this story wasn't written for a thirty something year old woman who loves to read. Because of that, I can't write it off completely. I didn't love it this time, but that doesn't mean that another twelve or thirteen year old girl won't love it. It doesn't mean that a girl won't absolutely relate to Cathy. And that's okay. I just know that this book is no longer a book for me but it will always hold a special spot in my heart. In fact, I'm thinking it might even be a good choice for a young lady's first romance!
What do I rate it?
I give this a
10 Toy solider
(This was a really hard rate this one! Nostalgia really wants a say!)
But those are just my thoughts. Do you think I was too hard on this book? Did you love it? Let us know in the comments.